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Grand Rapids, MI

Embarking Blog

...on the journey towards restoration of all things

A Jesus Manifesto

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I just finished reading A Magna Carta for Restoring the Supremacy of Jesus Christ aka A Jesus Manifesto for the 21st Century Church by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola.  I enjoyed reading it, and many things resonated with me.  Apart from potentially being a marketing tool to sell more books possibly suggested by the publishers (my cynic is always present), the manifesto essentially highlights the importance of Jesus the Christ over and above anything in his name - be it justice, being missional, good works, laws or any other thing.  It is a reminder that Jesus it the one important thing, not anything else.  True.  I think what stood out for me were a couple of phrases:

Christianity is the "good news" that Beauty, Truth, and Goodness are found in a person.

This connects to what I've always said that truth is relational rather than (or superceding) being objective.  Jesus - as a member of the Trinity - is truth, and truth is personal.

We believe that the major disease of the church today is JDD: Jesus Deficit Disorder.  The person of Jesus is increasingly politically incorrect, and is being replaced by the language of "justice," "the kingdom of God," "values," and "leadership principles."

I agree with this in principle, but also want to make the point that much of the [evangelical] church has for far too long ignored issues of justice and particularly the gospel focus on kingdom.  Some of the strong language in these directions is to recapture the biblical messages of Jesus in a more holistic fashion.  Agreed that Jesus himself is the point, but because he is the point, his kingdom and justice are important.  I'm not as big a defender of "values" and "leadership principles," although I certainly do have both, and the bible speaks to both as well.

The center and circumference of the Christian life is none other than the person of Christ.

Those of you who know my story of conversion to Christ know that Paul's statement in Colossians that "in Christ all things hold together" means a great deal to me both existentially and philosophically.

Christians don't follow a book.  Christians follow a person, and this library of divinely inspired books we call "The Holy Bible" best help us follow that person.

Well said.  Many people never get through the book to Jesus the Christ.

Christians don't follow Christianity; Christians follow Christ.


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