I was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of this book a little over a week ago before its June 1 release. I’ve admired Frank Viola’s work for awhile now, following his blog and reading his previous works Pagan Christianity and Reimagining Church. I’m not as familiar with Sweet’s works, but I’ve read several that he’s been a part of.
The premise of the book is simple: Jesus. The authors contend, and rightly so, that Jesus must return to the center of our lives and our churches. Every page of this work spills over with Jesus. The authors contend that American Christianity has settled for a “lite” version of Jesus, and has bought into the false notion that Christianity is about morals and “trying harder” to imitate Jesus. The bottom line is this: we’re not to imitate Jesus’ life–He wants to live His life through us.
Although I don’t agree with everything in this book (there seems to be a downplay of doctrine in the book–and a few paragraphs could have been devoted to how doctrine is centered in Christ), I love the overall spirit of the book. Jesus is the center of everything. We must return him to his rightful place.
You can find out more about “Jesus Manifesto” on the book’s website.