Monday, May 31, 2010

Review: Jesus Manifesto

Jesus Manifesto
Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ
Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola
Thomas Nelson 2010

A manifesto? Yikes! Some of us may remember a few other manifestos from the past and the idea of another one doesn’t sound very friendly at all. So right from the start I’ve got a problem. But, the title did get my attention, so the authors and publishers succeeded in their effort. Then the vast array of praise within in the first few pages makes me wonder why bother with a review. I discovered that there is a website connected to the book as well that may shock or offend some who dare to visit it. Check it out for yourself sometime. Now all the pieces are in place for a really scathing review, as some might say.

That’s not to be the case though. Not scathing, at least. The basic idea of returning to Jesus in His fullness is a great idea. Sweet and Viola make the point that somewhere the church has become sidetracked is right on target. “Youniverse” is one term that they used to describe where some live these days. How else do you get the me generation and their offspring to notice?

There are some really good quotes within this book. Sweet’s researchers, and I suppose those of Viola since I have not read any of his work before, do a great work in locating them in the vast amount of material available in media land. They make you want to search out the end notes to mark some of them for further attention. That’s one of the reasons I like to read Sweet. Another is his ability to cause me to stop and think about what he has just presented. His word play though can get annoying and he manages to go there frequently in this book.

My advice for readers is to start about half way through this book. Otherwise they’ll put it down and not return. The back half is worth the read and where I finally began to like this book. From chapter seven forward would make a great work on its own. T

What about those opening chapters? How anyone could take such a magnificent topic and make it so tedious to read is mind boggling especially in light of the last few chapters. It felt like trying to connect the dots or reading Pascal’s Pensees like a novel. Sorry, I couldn’t follow the thoughts better, might be me not truly understanding where they were coming from or trying to go with the discussion.

This book was provided by Nelson Publishing’s BookSneeze in return for a review.

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