The Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola stands as a call to the church to restore the person of Christ to the center of our churches, lives, and ministries. I cannot think of a more timely topic to be addressed in the American church. Sweet and Viola do an excellent job of addressing the need for a refocus on the person of Christ in the church and the beauty of Christ, which is clearly seen in scripture. The final chapter of the book clearly explains the authors’ views on the topic and the goal of the book by stating:
“But if the truth be told, we have been handed a shrink-wrapped Jesus. Christ has become our once-a-week Mascot. We rally around Him on Sunday mornings, selfishly reaching for all we can get from Him – goodies and gifts, all for us. Then we push Him off to the sidelines the rest of the week. But the game has never been about us; it has always been about Him. The gospel that’s so often preached today lacks a revelation of Jesus Christ. The contemporary gospel boils down to a fire-insurance policy, a Santa Claus God, or a performance-based religion. As long as we stay on that plane, we’ll never see or comprehend the staggering enormity of our Lord.”
I constantly found myself challenged throughout the book. I would greatly encourage anyone to read this challenging book that seeks to put Christ back in His rightful place – at the center of everything.