Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Finally finished the "other" jesus manifesto

I finished reading Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola while on vacation (Not to be confused with the original The Jesus Manifesto). I read the 'advanced readers copy' with uncorrected proof, so I don't know exactly how it may differ from the regular book. At any rate, despite my misgivings about the title (I have been a follower of the other Jesus Manifesto for a long time, but I do understand that Len and Frank had very little control over the title issue), I thought it was a good read overall.

I realize there are smarter people than me who have had some issues with this book - and they may be legitimate or not - it actually came at just the right time for me to read it though. Having just finished Alan Hirsch's book, The Forgotten Ways, it was good to read a book that solely and simply lifted up Jesus. As the authors say on the back cover, "JESUS MANIFESTO presents a fresh unveiling of Jesus as not only Savior and Lord, but as so much more. It is a prophetic call to restore the supremacy and sovereignty of Christ in a world - and a church - that has lost sight of Him."

Again, as a regular 'nobody', I don't really know how well the book is written, or the dynamics of its lack of praxis and whatnot, but for me it was a nice easy read, and it restored a certain sense of hope... That even a schmuck like me can really, truly be loved and included in Christ's kingdom - whether I can 'do' all the missional stuff or not. Not that the 'doing' isn't important, but sometimes I just need to hear about Jesus and how great he is.

Anyway, this is not a review, and I don't know that I would or would not recommend the book. Who am I to say. But I did turn the corner of many pages, and underlined quite a bit, so I will likely follow up with my normal "highlights" in later posts over the next week or so. In spite of my reservations about this book, I was really glad I read it (and at this time). As the authors stated towards the end, on p. 172:
Though we have never discussed any of these issues, the two of us might disagree about many things - ecclesiology, eschatology, soteriology, economics, globalism, or politics. But in this book, we have sounded forth a united trumpet. We have sought to present the vision that has captured our hearts and that we wish to impart to the body of Christ - we have said in unison, "One thing [we] know..." and that "one thing" is Jesus the Christ. He is the root and essence of Christianity...
Amen.