Sunday, July 11, 2010

Review: JESUS MANIFESTO by Len Sweet & Frank Viola

Len Sweet is a friend, so this review must be read with that in mind. I always look forward to each new book he pens with anticipation. I have also read many of Frank Viola's books and have had several internet conversations with him. Months ago Len & Frank posted a nano version of the Jesus Manifesto on Len's website, NANO MANIFESTO. Frank Also posted the long version of the manifesto on his site MAGNA CARTA of Christ. In my mind and heart I shouted a mighty “Amen!” & looked forward to the book.

Weeks before the release the forward and intro were online, so I made good use of the “free” previews and used them as a guide in my own devotional life. With these few lines of the book I began to again look at the book of Colossians and Ephesians in my personal reading and meditation. There was nothing new in the preview or the book, but what I did hear were the voices of brothers calling me to remember, “Christ is all”. With the western church struggling to find its identity in the 21st Century I believe Len & Frank are speaking words of remembrance with a prophetic tone. A paraphased opening line could sum the entire book, The church has been about many things but Christ.

On the release date, I ordered a copy of the book from Amazon and waited for it to arrive. The book then became my “friend” for the nest two weeks as I slowly read and considered each page, paragraph and chapter.

Though a book encouraging us to have Christ live in us and us in Christ, it is light on practical tips. This is not a book of seven steps to the resurrection life or three keys to understanding Christ in you. It is a devotional and should be used as such. Read a section or chapter, then review the end notes. Open your bible to the scriptures highlighted and simple ask The Spirit to make this universal size mystery real in your life.

My copy is full of red ink where I underlined bits & pieces as my heart leaped during the read. Some pages are nothing but long red squiggles, question marks & stars. The book has now been handed to my oldest daughter who will now change colors as she reads and highlights. I look forward to the colors, the conversations and the unfolding of the mystery of Christ in me the hope of glory.

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