Monday, May 31, 2010

Review of "Jesus Manifesto" by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

In their book, Jesus Manifesto, Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola assert that many Christians try to follow Christ without really grasping who He is. Jesus Christ should be the foundation and guiding focus of the Church, however, the church today has made its agenda about many things related to Christ, veering off-course from being centered on Christ. This book is a homeward call and even a revelation for Christians. It illuminates the life and person of the Lord Jesus Christ in a way that reclaims the wonder, awe, beauty, transcendence, and glory we have forgotten. Sweet and Viola take the reader on a scriptural journey to present the richness and magnificence of Jesus Christ. It is an invitation to a love affair with our Lord in a deeper, more intelligent, more mysterious and profound way.
This book is thoughtful and intelligent, reminiscent of the devotional classics. The authors have taken scripture as their foundation, and then expounded on it in a personal and insightful way. I have been a Christ-follower my whole life. This book has helped me open my eyes in wonder at the Jesus who has been my Savior, and has rekindled my love for Him and my hunger to know Him. It has convinced me of the astounding truth that Christ is sufficient - more than sufficient, He is everything! I agree that we have forgotten this truth as a Christian Church, and believe we expend energy and resources on ministry that may be about Christ or for Christ but have lost their center in Christ. This book has been a call to reclaim Christ as my north star, my source of power, the One who lives His life in me. I highly recommend this as reading for anyone seeking to understand who Jesus is, and especially for those of us who claim Him as our Lord!
I review books for BookSneeze and am not required to post a positive review.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Review for "66 Love Letters" by Dr. Larry Crabb

The way I view the Bible has been changed forever!

In the book 66 Love Letters, Dr. Larry Crabb takes the 66 books of the Bible and looks at them as love letters from God, asking the question, “God, what are you telling me in THIS letter?” Each short chapter is an expression of what he believes God is saying through that particular book. It is intriguing to see the idea unfold that the whole Bible is one big love letter, that each letter builds on the others in a progression that is not by accident, and that one must understand the whole letter from beginning to end to have an accurate picture of what God is saying to us. He writes in the style of a conversation between him and God that is honest and intimate.

As a Christian, I have always believed the Bible to be the inspired Word of God. Reading this book has helped me see threads between the various books that I never saw before. It has given me insight into books I found difficult to understand. Sometimes in Bible study we get caught up in studying the meaning of a single verse or passage. Seeing the broader themes of the Bible through Dr. Crabb's writing has been wonderful. 66 Love Letters has inspired a deeper love for God and stretched my thinking. Dr. Crabb challenges the idea of a casual spiritual life, repeatedly calling for a completely transforming love relationship with our God. It took me a while to get through this book because there was so much to reflect and think deeply about. I now plan to go through it again, much more slowly, with Bible in hand to learn more!