Do we create our own image of Jesus, one we like? Maybe we make Him a life coach, cheering us on like a motivational guru. Maybe we make Him a movement leader, backing our latest missional move. Perhaps we make Him our moral checklist so we know exactly what to do to make Him like us.
Johnson reminds us that the gospel is about a Savior that saves, not a life coach or spiritual adviser. Rather than helping us, God wants to make all things new. He gives a personal and honest account of the made up views of Jesus he has embraced and how they were not good for him.
I really appreciate Johnson's honesty. He admits where he got it wrong in the past and shares what he thinks is a right view of Jesus. But he warns readers that he doesn't have the final word. In a decade or two, he says, he may realize he has gotten this wrong. He does know that our maturing in the faith must be grounded in a true view of who Jesus is and what He has done.
I recommend this book to those who know there is something wrong with a teaching but quite can't identify it. Perhaps it is a church that has gotten off track or a pastor who is preaching a message that just seems off. Perhaps you've been through the glitzy ministry wringer, as Johnson describes it, or seen a church implode. This book is one man's thoughts on what it means to know and follow Jesus. Granted, he was part of a megachurch ministry that went wrong. That has definitely has an effect on what is in this book. The book contains the thoughts of a man who bought into false images of Jesus. I think every Christian could benefit from giving good thought to what Johnson has written.
You can find out more about the book and read a sample here.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here at the end of April, 2017.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Matt Johnson is a husband, father to two little girls, freelance writer and editor, and is an armchair student of theology living in Seattle. Until recently Matt spent seven years as an associate volunteer pastor in counseling and recovery ministry. You can find out more at https://www.therealmattjohnson.com/.
New Growth Press, 160 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Litfuse. My comments are an independent and honest review.