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    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Jesus Manifesto- A book Review

    This is a book about Jesus.  Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola are tired of Christians missing the point of Christianity, which is Jesus.

      This book does similar to what Jesus did in the end of Luke on the Road to Emmaus where it says: "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." (Luke 24:27 ESV)

      The authors want to show the reader that everything in the Bible and everything in the life of the believer is and should be surrounded by, plunged into and seen through Jesus.

      They go to great lengths to share from the Bible how Jesus is the focal point of our faith.  They also go to great lengths to personalize the gospel, sharing how Christ at the point of our salvation dwells within us and we have the divine communing with us.  Below is a great excerpt from the book that to me is the sum of the whole book.

      "Not only does this Christ live in you, but more importantly: you can live by His life.  ...Christ who is our life. (Col. 3:4)  You have been invited to share life with your Maker and Creator.  And to top it all off, you have been made utterly, totally, fully complete in Him--here and now (Col. 2:10)  Why, then would you chase anything else? How can you be consumed with anything other than your Lord, Jesus Christ?  And how can you graduate beyond Him?  He is enough, even more than enough.  Jesus Christ is like a vast ocean.  He is too immense to fully explore, and too rich to fathom.  You are like a bottle. The wonder of the gospel is that the bottle is in the ocean, and the ocean is in the bottle."

       It's all about Jesus and Jesus is all we need.  This book is an easy read and a book worth reading.  We do (as the authors suggest) neglect the truth of the Gospel which is Jesus. His Spirit dwells within us and makes us new and it is only possible due to his death and resurrection.

      I was a bit disappointed in the heavy weight put on one member of the Trinity to the exclusion of the others...which taking chapter 10 into account they thought might be an issue, since it adressed that mode of thinking.

      All in all this book was a good reminder that our faith and what we "do" is really not us but is Jesus.  Without Jesus we can't do anything for God.  With Jesus we have the ability to do everything for Jesus by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit within us.

      I do recommend this book and whole-heartedly affirm the message.  More Christian books should be surrounded in and around Jesus rather than self-help or other trivial matters.  Sadly (as the authors point out themselves) much of what we have in the Christian Literature section these days are self-help, self-awareness, self-betterment and self-enrichment rather than Jesus.  I would also say much of what is preached from the American pulpit is the same.  Let's preach Christ and have a new "Jesus Manifesto!"

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