Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Special Discount on Jesus Manifesto Tomorrow

Thomas Nelson sent me an advanced readers copy of Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and sovereignty of Jesus Christ by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola.  This book will be on special discount from Amazon on tomorrow, Tuesday, June 1st, the official release date.  You can learn more by going to TheJesusManifesto site.

I’ve had a chance to read about half the book up to this point.  It is basically a call to make Christ central to our lives, since they believe Jesus is getting shortchanged today (xxvi).  Sweet and Viola are concerned that the “good news” has been too disconnected from Christ and so are reminding people that “conversion is more than a change in direction; it’s a change in connection” (xxii) namely to Christ.  They feel the church has lost its first love.  Scripture references are abundant.

I may write a full review of this book after I finish reading it, for I’m just halfway through it.  While the central call of the book is one I applaud and think is needed in our day, there are some things about the book that I would want to engage with a bit more – their distinction between imitating Jesus and “imparting” or “implanting” Christ (68), their allusion to justified violence (95), their approach to Christ living through us (99), and their view on Jesus and politics (ch7).  I’d like to engage with these when I have some time, but wanted to let you know about the special tomorrow. I appreciate this deep and challenging manifesto of Jesus.

Have you read the book yet?  If so, what are some of your thoughts about the book?


3 Responses to Special Discount on Jesus Manifesto Tomorrow

  1. I’ve just started reading it…and so far you are echoing my read of the book.

    I’m looking forward to your review…I’m considering a review over at the other Jesus Manifesto :)

  2. Paul Glavic says:

    I’m part way through, and so far I have two huge critiques:

    1. The Christology in the book is probably well-intentioned, but neglects an understanding who Jesus was/is within the missio dei, and what Jesus himself pointed toward (the Kingdom, the missio dei, the Father Himself).

    I think of how Johannine Christology differs from the Christology of the Synoptics, and how potentially dangerous it is that the Western Church’s Christology is so drastically reliant on John and some snippets from Paul, to the exclusion of the Synoptics. Well, Sweet and Viola somehow make even Johannine Christology sound like it was written by Ehrman and Crossan. Just because you can wrap an idea in layer upon layer of hyperbole does not make it essentially more glorifying or true.

    (Which leads to my second criticism of the book so far…)

    2. The writing style oscillates between hyperbole and euphemism. I’ll be a bit exaggerative myself and say it’s like they go back and forth between statements like “5+5= Jesus” that make you scratch your head thinking ‘But I think there’s more to the Story than that,’ and statements like “We just love Jesus and think he’s swell” that make you feel like a jerk for pushing back on their hyperbole.

  3. JR Woodward says:

    Mark,

    Look forward to your review of the book.

    Paul,

    Interesting stuff. Let me know if you do a review. Love to read it.

    Peace.

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