Monday, May 31, 2010

Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

The authors argue that the church today is suffering from JDD: Jesus Deficit Disorder. We have lost sight of Christ. They want to present Christ to us in such a way that we can't "help but fall at His feet and give Him [our] undying devotion..." (xix)
Christ is to be our occupation. "[T]here's nothing worth pursuing outside of Christ." (20) Christ is our life. Christ is our sufficiency. "There is much more in Christ than we have ever imagined." (40)
It is in Christ that we find what it means to be truly human. It is not that we try to be Christlike but that Christ lives in and through us. "The gospel is not the imitation of Christ; it is the implantation and impartation of Christ." (72)
Jesus did not call us to follow His teachings but to follow Him. In other religions people can follow "teachings" of the founder without having a relationship with that individual. Not so with Christ. "Christianity is ... a passionate love for a way of living in the world that's rooted in living by Jesus..." (90)
We should not be asking, "What would Jesus do?" We should be asking, "What does Jesus want to do through me right now?"
When we attempt to be like Jesus we fail because we ignore the root of His actions - His union with the Father. "Jesus said clearly that He couldn't do anything in His own strength." (126) Nor can we. "Genuine Christianity is learning to live by an indwelling Christ." (165)
Jesus is to be the very center of our being. When He is not, everything is out of order.
Read this book and be inspired to live the life God desires, the life of "Christ in you."

This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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