So I have been meaning to start doing book reviews on here for a while now, and of course sometimes I can be a procrastinator….even about things I care about. But anyway, this will be my first book review on this blog, with hopefully more to come in the future.
When I first saw that Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet were going to be writing a book together after releasing their joint essay, I got pretty excited. The essay itself was a kick back on track for many believers, showing us that Christ is all and in all. Of course I was already a fan and beneficiary of both Viola and Sweet’s writings, so the fact that they were collaborating was a plus as well.
First, this book does not exist to give us a step by step guide for living a better Christian life such as many mainstream books these days. Instead, it gives us a glimpse of the beautiful, all encompassing Christ that we so often lose sight of. If there’s one thing that I know I walked away from this book with was the realization of how we all so easily lose sight Christ, the true Jesus that is, not the Santa Jesus, or the Civil Rights Jesus, or the Moral Teacher Jesus, but the one true Son of God, the life giving spirit, the Christ in whom all things are summed up.
This book doesn’t just give us more theology and more doctrine, but it shows that Christ is far too immense to be locked into a systematic theology. So many believers might say “I understand Jesus, but it’s time to move onto deeper things.” Point: You cannot graduate beyond Christ while in this life. Viola and Sweet show us that Christ is the one “thing” we seek, any other spiritual “thing” trembles in comparison to Christ, even good things. Jesus Manifesto proves that all spiritual things are found only in Him alone, and they can never be detached from Him.
Jesus Manifesto calls out the types and aspects of Jesus that so many believers get caught up in, the “things” that are in Christ, as opposed to the one true Jesus, and they reveal them for what they are. I believe that this is a very important book not only for our generation, but for for generations to come. We have to see Jesus Christ for who He really is and experience His life for what it really is. We have to obsess over this Christ, Jesus Himself, so that “…in all things He might have the supremacy.”
Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet have sounded forth a decree to the Body of Christ to return to its first love. Jesus Manifesto contains a heart cry that will speak for years to come, and yet it’s merely a glimpse of the vastness of Christ and His riches.
There are few books that I believe should be read by every Christ follower, and this book is one of them.