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What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person

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  • Posted August 17, 2012

    Could the church lack credibility with our culture because Chris

    Could the church lack credibility with our culture because Christians
    would rather be right than be in relationship with one another? Why is
    it that many Christians are tempted to replace relationship with reason,
    ensuring our doctrine is correct, factual, precise, often at the expense
    of relationship? The life of faith is about following Jesus,
    forgiving, seeking, rejoicing, sharing; it is a life of relating to God,
    others, and creation. “Disciples are not known by how well they defend
    orthodox propositions, but by how well they love one another”, writes
    Leonard Sweet in his book What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but
    Missed the Person. Sweet challenges us to think about whether our
    convictions crowd out friendships and argues that relationship is
    pivotal to Christian theology. Sweet expands his theme in eight
    sections that address relationships with God, His Story, others – in and
    outside the faith, creation, symbols, art, technology, and the spiritual
    world. Thought- provoking study questions at the back of the book are
    great for individual use. For group use, the answers are not easy for
    off-the-cuff responses but could really lead into some deep
    conversations. This book is not a self-help book nor stuffed with
    fluff, but rather, a relational theology of what it means to be in
    relationship with God and how that impacts every other aspect of life.
    When starting this book, I was tempted to make assumptions about what
    Sweet is trying to say. Yes, he is emphasizing relationships, but
    ultimately he doesn’t throw doctrine and truth out the window. Instead,
    without explicitly saying so, he shows how doctrine and relationship are
    intertwined and dependent on each other as shown through Jesus Christ.
    Sweet puts an untraditional spin on the story of Abraham and his
    potential sacrifice of his son Isaac, suggesting that Abraham didn’t
    quite get it right in his obedience to God’s command. Whether or not
    you agree with his innovative interpretation that is based on where the
    Bible is silent, it is at least worth thinking about and worth
    continuing to read. If you desire a fresh new slant on the familiar,
    want to engage more deeply with Scripture, or need to be motivated to
    live out your faith more passionately, Sweet will inspire you to live
    dynamically in every aspect of your life. This book is in my top list
    of favorites and I plan to read it repeatedly for wisdom. Disclaimer: I
    received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterbrookMultnomah
    Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite Author Leonard Sweet

    Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite

    Author Leonard Sweet has authored numerous books on Christian thinking and "What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person" will definitely wake up the complacent reader. At the beginning, on page 1, Author Sweet opens with "We know how to save the world. We just don't realize that we know what we know." Author Sweet advises that we are created by God for relationships. We are to live our faith and accept others and their differences from us, not turn our beliefs into a philosophical endeavor. On page 161, Sweet admonishes that life is suffering and there is no use in complaining about what we face. Using Christ Jesus' words and work throughout "What Matters Most", the author tells the reader to love God and his creation, and that means all of his creation including those we don't like. On page 185, Sweet reminds the reader that "No relationship is perfect because no person is perfect" and further down the page, writes that "God doesn't play favorites with love." He loves us all and needs us to relate to, to love one another.

    "What Matter Most" is a well-written, well-edited book on Christian living. It is not for the casual reader but for the reader who doesn't mind pondering on author Leonard Sweet's words. The author's observations of Christ Jesus' life and relationships to everyone regardless of their background is inspiring. His command of Bible stories such as that of the Prodigal Son is deep and thoughtful. "What Matters Most" is a book that will keep the reader thinking long after the last page is read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2013

    I enjoyed this book a great deal. Sweet askes inisightful and de

    I enjoyed this book a great deal. Sweet askes inisightful and deep questions particularly as they relate to Abraham, God and us. There is more to Jesus that just knowing stuff. It also involves knowing people. In a world of Christianity that often cites our faith is about relationship, Sweet seeks to provide an outline of what that relationship should entail. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing group for my review. All opinions are my own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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