Book: Jesus Manifesto
Authors: Len Sweet and Frank Viola
About a month ago I received an advanced copy of Len and Frank’s book “Jesus Manifesto.” When I received the copy there was a note in it asking me not to write anything about it until the end of May. Well, after reading it, I have to say that holding my tongue for a month was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I found the book refreshing and insightful.
Over the history of Christianity we have made the gospel more about so many things and positions and less about Christ. We have place religious doctrines, ideas concepts, and techniques outside a understanding of who Christ is in our lives. We have developed strategies, methods, formulas and programs to attract people to the church and strives hard to make the church a place of entertainment. Our programs, methods, formulas and programs have all over shadowed the beauty, glory, and reality of the living Christ. Because of this, because we have placed other things above Jesus, we find people in the church starving to experience the true and lasting Jesus. Those outside the church look in and see that we are starving, at the same time we are inviting them in to partake. In general, those in the church know a great deal about Jesus, but they do not know Jesus. We can speak the Christian talk, we know how to play the game, but there is very little we offer because we are not offering Christ; we are offering “church.” The Jesus Manifesto moves us to answer the question Jesus asked of Peter, “Who do you say I am?”
In reading the Jesus Manifesto, I have found that Len and Frank have shared a Jesus that is fresh and alive. They presented a Jesus that unveils to us a Savior and Lord, but also a vision of what we have been missing in our understanding of Jesus. Jesus is neither Republican nor Democrat, conservative nor liberal. In the Jesus Manifesto we see Jesus beyond Social Justice, beyond our limited political understanding of who Jesus is in our lives. We see a Jesus that is to take center place in our lives, to hold us to the walk of faith that expresses Jesus in our daily lives. The Jesus we encounter in the Jesus Manifesto is a Jesus that is real, touchable and connective. A Jesus that moves beyond the “churchy” definition and moves to a place where the Holy Spirit moves in us and through us. The Jesus Manifesto moves us beyond the church, and into Christ.
So, the question is now on you, “Who do you say Jesus is?”