Brokenhearted Theology, Reading Reflections

The Jesus Manifesto (book review)

Today, Thomas Nelson released a new book by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola called Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ.  The book is accompanied by a website (and a whole lot of hype).  As the title and subtitle suggest, it is a book about Jesus and about Christology.  The assumption driving the book is that much of the church (primarily meaning the Western church) has lost sight of belief in Jesus as the Christ (Messiah/Sovereign/King) that has radical implementations for the way we look at the world and live our life.

While I thought that at times the authors overstated the problem they were addressing (a faulty or insufficient Christology), I appreciated their encouragement of a broad, deep, and rich understanding of the lordship of Christ.  The authors set out to write in what they call an ancient devotional style.  I appreciated the more meditative and reflective examples of this but found the style inconsistent throughout the book.  Sections feel more ancient, classic, or timeless, while others feel similar to many other hyper-timely books which may or may not be useful in a few years time.  While I enjoyed aspects of the book, some reoccurring themes throughout the book made me pause and wish for further clarification or balance, specifically in regards to the trinity and the kingdom of God (and, combining those two, the trinitarian nature of the kingdom).  Although I would have appreciated more nuance and clarification in these areas, as a whole the book provided an encouraging call to reflection on the meaning of Christ for the church today.

(Note: I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher)


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