It's an easy read with a simple idea: Christianity is Christ. You can't really disagree with that. It should be so obvious that no-one would argue with it. Jesus Manifesto suggests this is pretty revolutionary...
"Christians have made the gospel about so many things—things other than Christ. Religious concepts, ideas, doctrines, strategies, methods, techniques, formulas, "its" and "things" have all eclipsed the beauty, the glory, and the reality of the Lord Jesus Himself. On the whole, the Christian family today is starved for a real experience of the living Christ."
In many ways I really really like this book, particularly it's unpacking of what Colossians says about Jesus, and the idea of telling your life story through the story of Jesus is a very good example of what union with Christ means: "From the viewpoint of God, your biography is Jesus Christ" (p59). Amen! When it's doing this, the book is excellent.
But I have some issues with it.
- I wish they didn't make "mystery" so mysterious, I get what they're saying but it's a bit confusing.
- I wish they were a bit more encouraging about how things are. It's not as innovative as they suggest, and the state of the church isn't quite as devoid as they suggest. The sense that the church has totally "lost it" made me sad and gave the book a sense of unreality.
- In an effort to rebalance an underemphasis of Jesus life I think they could probably be clearer about his death.
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