Review of Jesus Manifesto

July 11, 2010

I have recently completed the book Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Farnk Viola.

This is a particularly interesting book as it explores the current state of Christianity today.  It explores if Christians today have made the gospel of Christ everything but what it was meant to be.  In a day with megachurches, complex conferences, super Christian programs, has the church as a whole diluted the the true beauty and simplicity of the Gospel?  This question is explored extensively in this book.

Perhaps the chapter I enjoyed most was Chapter 5, “A Ditch on Either Side.”  It begins with a quote from Karl Barth that the truth walks the razor edge of heresy.  Going further, it looks at two popular approaches to following Jesus: (1) theological rationalism and (2) theological ethics.

Theological rationalism, as explained by the authors, holds that Christianity is the life application of the correct description of God, found in the right doctrinal system, believing that the correct belief system is at the heart of authentic Christianity.  Theological ethics, on the other hand, holds that the center of Christianity is a rule of ethical behavior, insinuating that Christians are followers of the greatest moral teacher of all time. Each of these approaches are explored in great detail Biblically.  The authors do a great job highlighting the errors in each of these approaches.

Overall, the book was a great read, however, it would be one for those readers who enjoy deep theological studies.  Although I enjoyed the book, I would have to say it is an acquired taste.  I enjoyed the particulars it explored into today’s Christianity and there were several thought provoking chapters leading me to question my own beliefs and convictions.

If you are looking for an in depth, challenging look at church today, I would suggest reading Jesus Manifesto.  It definitely left me with a lot of questions needing prayerful contemplation.

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.


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