“Christians don’t follow Christianity, they follow Christ.” This is the thesis of “Jesus Manifesto” by Leonard Sweet And Frank Viola. The authors’ assertion is that Christians have made Christianity to be about so many things: morality, politics, social justice, etc. Though these things may good, or even Christ-like, they are not where the Christian begins. “He begins with God.”

This is a timely book. Not so long ago. I wrote that conservative political fervor was quickly replacing the gospel for many evangelicals. The reaction I received proved that for many, politics was central. The idea of Christ being central (even with political action being the fruit of a Christ-centered life) was unthinkable. No matter where one sits on the theological spectrum, left or right, this book calls for something else: to make Christ the center.

Be warned: this is not another how-to manual. There are no steps or suggestions for how to reorganize your life or your church. Instead, the authors will walk you through an understanding of who Jesus is (making no difference between the Christ of the Gospels and the Christ of the Pauline epistles), and invite you to allow this Jesus to live in you.

Thomas Nelson Publishers gave this book to me in exchange for a review. I am not obligate to give it a positive review, and quite frankly, I did not expect to. Some of the language of the book indicated to me that this book might represent a post-modern view of a different kind of Jesus that is found in each one of us. Nothing could be further from the truth. The book is about making the Jesus of scripture the center of our lives, gospel, and church. I heartily recommend it.

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