Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ

Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ

by Leonard Sweet, Frank Viola

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Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
JAJanes More than 1 year ago
I've been wondering why the Christian walk seems so hard. I don't seem to know how to do everything I've heard and read that I should be doing. Are there enough hours in the day? I've asked close friends what I'm missing, why it seems impossible to do what I've been told I'm supposed to be doing. Then I received a copy of Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola. I read the book, and it has changed my life. Now I understand what I'm missing. In the words of the authors, "When Christ is not central and supreme in our lives, everything about life shifts out of orbit and moves out of kilter. . . . Christianity is not fundamentally about following a book . . . . It's about following a person and living out of His life." What's fundamental and necessary is Jesus Christ. Jesus Manifesto is a call to return to relationship. Sweet and Viola present Christ in all His wonder and majesty and glory and invite the reader to relate to the living Christ. Are you struggling in your Christian walk? You need to read this book. Are you walking in intimate fellowship with God? You need to read this book. The truths in this book are both simple and profound. This book should be on every Christian's bookshelf and should be read regularly to make sure you haven't lost your focus! Note: I received a FREE review copy of Jesus Manifesto, courtesy of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Present Testimony Ministry. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
MYoung More than 1 year ago
I have never read a book so saturated with the Lord Jesus Christ as this one. We are often saturated with "things" and "its" of the Kingdom. This book is a cry screaming, "Let's put Christ back on the throne!" A must read no matter what age, tradition, denomination, etc. Hope you enjoy!
PhoenixPreacher More than 1 year ago
The single greatest lesson I've learned among the hundreds of lessons I've learned from J.I.Packer is that "theology must always lead to doxology". In other words, if what you learn about God doesn't cause you to praise God then your learning was mostly in vain. The focus of our faith is a Person, not a doctrine or any combination of doctrines. Jesus Christ is that divine Person and He is all in all. That's is the simple message of the Jesus Manifesto and in my opinion it is the finest volume ever penned about that one pure focus. Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola never swerve from that focus for the entirety of the volume and every page is an examination of the Savior and His glory and perfection. This is a singularly important book for that is the only volume in my library that is about nothing but Christ and that reminds me on every page that I am to be about nothing else as well. Today the Body of Christ is being continually torn by disagreements over doctrine and practice and diverted by the good from the Best. We are drowning in a sea of riches... constantly offered excellent volumes on doctrine and theology, incredible software to parse it all and the greatest teachings of the church available with the click of a mouse. We have been at sea so long we've lost sight of the Lighthouse. Sweet and Viola have done the church the service of pointing us radically back to Jesus and they have done so with great clarity, grace and style. The theology is sound and the effect is what Packer would approve...doxology on every page. From now on every new believer in my path will receive three books..The Bible, "Knowing God", and "The Jesus Manifesto". I re read "Knowing God" every year, this will now be read along side it on the same schedule. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Prodigal_Father More than 1 year ago
Jesus Manifesto is a short book and quick read, but it is full of reflections about the basis of our Christian faith. It challenges the reader to define what each of us actually believes in. Writing this, it seems obvious that what we should believe in is Jesus Christ. And yet, the authors show examples of people whose faith is based on causes, ideas, and ways of life that are inspired by Jesus, even in imitation of Jesus, but that are not Jesus Himself. Reading along, I could hear Church meetings I have been part of and realize that as well-intentioned as those are, they were not focused on the basis of Christian Faith: the person of Jesus. And yet, in a number of places, I felt that the authors were setting up straw men and then shooting them down. Their perception that so many who call themselves Christians but who are in fact focused in the wrong direction may be a bit overstated. People may not be able to express the basis of their belief as eloquently as the authors, but that does not mean Jesus is not in their hearts. And at times the authors use too many quotes to support their simple point. But their simple point is a good one for all Christians to reflect on. I received the book from Thomas Nelson Publishers via a website called They sent me the book to review for free in return for my honest opinion.
Steelsmitty More than 1 year ago
Who do you say that Jesus is? Where does He fit in your thinking, your life, your church? In Jesus Manifesto Sweet and Viola help the reader and thus the church flesh out freshness to our understanding of the Christ. Could it be that the church has become so occupied with Christianity that we miss Jesus? The authors believe it is so and so do I. Who does the world say that Jesus is? More important, though, is this question: who do you say that Jesus is? This book very directly and simply gives us the answer. Do we really need another book about Jesus? Surely the Bible itself and the countless thousands upon thousands of books written about The Christ is sufficient? Well, yes and no. Yes, the Bible is all that we need for life and godliness. Certainly out of the countless books written about Christ there are no doubt more than enough that are worthy to be read and enjoyed. However, like anything else in this life, seeing and savoring the savior through another set of eyes is always wonderful. Can one have too many pictures over the years of our children going through stages of life? Another book, a good book that is true to Scripture, is always needed. I believe this is one of those books. To start with, I like the premise behind this book even though the title threw me off and seemed a bit on a cultic twinge. However, the content is very much orthodox and helped me in my walk with God. I believe I need a constant freshness in my view of Christ and this book delivered that for me. This course correction for a modern church that is more interested in having a dialog about justice or going green than in the worship and exaltation of Christ is straightforward and long overdue. This book can reach into emergent, missional, moderate, conservative and even liberal churches in a way that some authors with great books about Christ might not reach. These two authors hand deliver and gift to our churches that is worthy of small group studies throughout Christendom. Here is the cool content that draws me to and helps me easily recommend this book to my friends. These guys get the questions right and even more importantly they get the answers right. "Who do you say that I am?" "Do you love me?" In these questions lies the premise of the book. The answers are just as profound and fill the pages as they flow over our souls like gentle waves lapping at the shore of our need. Here are a few of these little nuggets to capture your interest. Every scripture and every biblical story points to and is about Christ. "He is the Rosetta Stone of the Bible." Did you know that? Jesus, the son of man, is the human being, the way human beings were supposed to be before sin. He died the perfect death after He lived the perfect life and all this to please and magnify the Father as we reap the benefits. The book opens with this challenge and I will close this review with it. So what is your chief occupation in life and ministry? Here's a hint: Whatever you are occupied with comes out of your mouth. It's what you talk about most of the time." Is it Christ or something else? That's why you should read this book. I was given this book as a free copy to review and blog. I was not told in any way what to say by Thomas Nelson publishers.
DMooney More than 1 year ago
Two great authors come together to make it plain and simple that Christianity is all about one thing: Christ. Too often we focus on one "thing" or another, and we treat Jesus as a guest, or as the starting point from which we move on to higher, deeper things. The only cure for every problem that plagues the church today is, quite simply, a larger view of who Christ is, and that there is nothing higher, nothing deeper. This book represents the kind of revelation of Christ that is essential for the foundation of the church. If we "move on," then we've missed the point.
ChristianBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Sweet (a Christian professor and prolific writer) and Viola (a best-selling author and church planter) offer a powerful and compelling first co-authored book. Jesus has been short-changed in the Christian church. Other things have supplanted his supremacy. The book is written primarily to Christians, showing them how great their Savior is, that He lives inside of them, and why he should be preeminent in their lives and faith communities. The book engagingly reintroduces Christians to the Jesus of the Bible as well as introducing those outside the faith to his stunning greatness. The writing is vivid, fresh, revealing and easy to read. Scores of quotes by past teachers of the faith from various denominations support the vision presented. Christians who seek greater insight into the founder of their faith will find "Jesus Manifesto" a welcome guide. The book has been endorsed by many top Christian leaders including Ed Young, Matt Chandler, Rowan Williams, Jack Hayford, Shane Claiborne, Ed Stetzer, Calvin Miller, Reggie McNeal, Gregory A. Boyd, Mark Batterson, David Fitch, Dan Kimball, Margaret Feinberg, Mark Chironna, Francis Frangipane, Todd Hunter, John R. Franke, Alan Hirsch, Chris Seay, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Anne Jackson, Steve Brown, Ken Ulmer, and Tommy Barnett.
dovetails More than 1 year ago
I'll admit, I thought this would be just another book about Jesus and that I really wouldn't learn anything new. I was wrong. As I read each chapter, I kept thinking to myself "wow". Almost every page was an "aha" moment going off in my head. The chapters kept building and building almost magically until I came to the end. When I finished, I was blown away. There were times where I had to stop and worship. Some parts brought me to tears. This isn't just a book about Jesus. It's a reintroduction to him that stirs every atom and grabs every cell of your heart. The book is powerfully written also. Fiction books happen to be my favorite. This book wasn't fiction, but it reads a lot like fiction. It holds your interest and paints pictures in your mind while reading. If I could give it ten stars, I would. It's one of the most powerful and moving books I've ever read. It's not just good, it's epic.
TrailFinder More than 1 year ago
Hundreds of Christian books are written about hundreds of different things. Self help and self improvement, leadership, how to be a better this and that, how to grow your church, how to read the Bible better, how to pray, how to be holy, and then the different attributes of God. "Jesus Manifesto" is a book that uniquely shows us Jesus and nothing but Jesus. Christianity and culture are stuck in battles over the left and right. This book gives a third way that's not left, not right, but forward. The book is phenomenal, a massive paradigm shifter because it totally resets the Christian faith into a new yet biblical perspective. One remark about style. The content of this book is profound but the way it's written is simple and a delight to read. Sweet and Viola are wordsmiths. Their voices combined together makes for a mirage of words, images, metaphors, and pictures that creatively bring Christ home to the heart. The back cover says "read this book and see you're Lord like never before." That statement is certainly true.
mmary More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book set up to recenter us on Jesus as the center of all things. It gives wonderful praise to our Lord God Jesus, as center of the universe and all that is!! The authors make a wonderful point; we often lose sight of the truth; the truth is that Jesus is the only real thing we have, the only real thing that is; we get tangled up in life and stress and big screen tvs and keeping up with the jones that we forget to keep our focus and our eyes on Jesus. One if the best points these authors make is to point out that unless we keep our hearts and fucus on Jesus, we live empty hollow lives. I have a permanent bookcase and only a few dozen books make it onto my case, but this one will stay with me. It is wonderfully inspirational and it will lead you back to Jesus if youve been waffling. if you just want a clean drink of cool water, this is it! This book takes us back to the basics, back to Jesus because we get so sidetracked like kids at circus shows. Even in our churches we get occupied with doctrine and dogma and traditions; we lose sight of the truth! This book pulls us together with Jesus and shows that He is more than just God, He is everything.
dvdbrumley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Puts Christ exactly where he belongs. At the head, foot, and center of everything.
sheriefx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just ask yourself this simple question "Who do you say that Jesus is?". If the answer is I don't really know or I think... but I'm not really sure. You need to read this book. Even if you think you know who Jesus is this is a great read. It will open your eyes to the real Jesus. You will start to see Him in a new light and realize how you should be living. It will change the way you view worship and even your prayer life. With so many churches now days preaching the "health and wealth" message and not preaching on the Bible and Jesus and the need for salvation this book is a much needed read. This is a good reminder that we are not to follow Christianity but follow Christ. I encourage all self proclaimed Christians to read this book. Our focus should always be on Christ and nothing more, this book helps us as Christians to get back to that main focus and realize that without Christ we have nothing but in Christ we have everything! Nothing is more important than Christ and our relationship with Him! "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7
FrancescaFB More than 1 year ago
A classic---an essential read for any devout Christian wanting to enhance their devotion to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Push aside all other chaos and focus on the one and only Truth.
iamwierd More than 1 year ago
This book is all about Jesus, our First Love... and about returning to our First Love. It's a good book for small discussion groups.
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mojo_turbo More than 1 year ago
The opening line from Publisher's review says, "The Christian church is falling apart and in desperate need of a revival." I read the same book and that was not the take away I got from Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola's new book, Jesus Manifesto. What I got from reading the book was just the simple fact that "the Jesus who is preached so often today is so shallow, so small, and so uncaptivating that countless believers are enthralled with countless other things." (page 20) What I liked so much about this book wasn't so much the "problems with the church" (which seem to be all the rave in publishing right now) but the challenging of popularly held ideas by modern Christians. For instance: the mantra "what would Jesus do." The authors here would argue that the question is in of itself flawed. A disciple of Jesus should understand that our lives are a result of being attached "to the vine" of Christ. So a better question is, "What is Christ doing through me." (page 68) So the Christian life should not about trying to "imitate Christ" (which is impossible and therefore self-defeating and leads to feelings of failure) but about having Christ "indwell" within the believer and allowing Christ to work through them. "The gospel is not the imitation of Christ; it is the implantation and impartation of Christ. (page 72) Much of the Christian walk becomes head knowledge. We try to learn and absorb the bible and facts about the bible. Because so much of the bible is taught "like school" from "teachers" we treat our salvation story like school and American learning. But Jesus taught in a mentor-style way, not a classroom style way. He didn't conduct lectures and test his disciple's knowledge - no, Jesus "lived" and "modeled" a way of living and asked his disciples to "follow him." "Jesus isn't a cause; he is a real and living person who can be known, loved, experienced, enthroned and embodied. Focusing on his cause or mission doesn't equate with focusing on or following him. It's all to possible to serve the god of serving Jesus as opposed to serving Him out of an enraptured heart that's been captivated by His irresistible beauty and unfathomable love. But Jesus led us to think about God differently, as relationship, as the God of all relationship." (page 94) I loved this book and felt it was a great companion to Andrew Farley's Naked Gospel. I don't think there is anything more important for the Christian to grasp than their identity in Christ and the nature of His message. Or as pastor Mark Driscoll is so fond of saying, "It's about Jesus."
edivietro More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola. I really did. Unfortunately, like the other works by these two authors I just could not get into the groove of their prose. Leonard Sweet in particular writes in a style that does not resonate with me. I'm not sure what it is, but I find his prose more distracting than engaging, more 'hip' than helpful. (And let's be honest, anyone who writes a book called SoulTsunami is way too hip for a baptist preacher like me.) My exposure to Frank Viola has been limited, but the same seems to apply as well. There's just something about their approach to the material that I don't 'get.' I think I must be becoming more uncool or something. The core premise - to reinstate the supremacy of Christ in our theologies and lives - is something that I can give my whole hearted consent to. It is just the execution that perplexed me. All the same, that's not to say that Sweet and Viola won't resonate with you. The things about the book that did not work for me were entirely stylistic and preference-driven. Their content was excellent and worth at least exploring. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 :"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
FaithfulReader77 More than 1 year ago
Both Leonard Sweet, professor of evangelism at Drew University, and Frank Viola, perhaps best known for his commitment to church restoration, believe the church has lost its way, and the answer to one simple question may convince you that their premise is valid: How often has your pastor made Jesus Christ the focus of a sermon? If your experience aligns with theirs, your answer will likely be on the order of "Not very often at all." And that, the authors contend, is exactly why the wheels have come off the church. The only hope for restoring the lives of Christians and the life of the church is awakening to the "supremacy and sovereignty of Jesus Christ" --- a truth that has been lost as followers of Christ have turned their attention to social, moral, political and psychological issues, to trite, misguided and inaccurate images of who Jesus is, to their own comfort, blessings and "goodness," and to so much more that distracted them from that truth. In 10 chapters and 200 pages, Sweet and Viola brilliantly and clearly reveal a truth that has been forgotten by --- or never fully understood by --- several generations of Christians: that their life is Christ, that in Him they "live and move and have their being," that He is "central and supreme." In keeping with their premise, the authors reveal who Christ is on every page, either through their own writing or through a magnificent selection of quotations about Christ from authors, theologians, philosophers, preachers, hymn writers, church leaders, poets, and of course, the Bible. Their own writing is so filled with apt metaphors, striking imagery, and such a rare measure of eloquence that to read the book and not see Christ with greater clarity seems utterly impossible. There's little question that JESUS MANIFESTO is on its way to becoming a classic work on Jesus Christ --- and on the sheer foolishness of trying to live as a Christian rather than allowing Him to live through you. By restoring the headship of Christ as a living experience in the life of those who claim to follow Christ, the authors write, Christians can become the "living epistles" (or "Jesus Manifestos") through which the grace, truth and love of Christ will be manifested to the world. For those who have trouble with that concept --- those who cannot imagine that they could ever reflect even the slightest glimmer of who Jesus is --- Sweet and Viola offer an elegant and powerful argument to the contrary in a chapter titled "If God Wrote Your Biography." Read it and savor the reality of Christ in you, the hope of glory. Breathtaking, awe-inspiring, worshipful, life-changing, delightful --- all are characteristics of the book itself and of the love for Jesus that the authors have and want their readers to have. If you suffer from what Sweet and Viola call JDD (Jesus Deficit Disorder), if you long for that "first love" for Jesus that you've lost over the years, if you realize it's time to shove everything else aside --- even those virtuous "churchy" things --- for the sake of knowing Christ, then JESUS MANIFESTO is the book for you. And very likely, the book for a good many people you know.
JBRUECKNER More than 1 year ago
I guess I could have given the text the benefit of the doubt, and at least finished it -- but I had an issue with the position that Sweet & Viola put Christ. Too many times I felt that they read the supremacy of Christ in place of Christ's being seated at the right hand of the Creator, God. I truly do support the argument that the church today has put Christ in her peripherals, and she may wrongly put other matters in place of her, but I would argue that Christ came that we (humankind) would ultimately worship the Creator (who is Christ). This is a fine line, I understand that, but it is Christ who intercedes for us IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD (Hebrews 9:24). God ought be the church's focal point. All things are in God. Where do we draw the line? Do we draw the line? Are we truly to see the grand narrative as pointing to Christ ... or should His story cause His creation to worship Him?
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola is a message of revolution to the Western church. The authors, well known for their many books, want to change the focus of our faith. As a church, we often pick and choose the aspects of Jesus we want to focus on like social justice or loving shepherd, and we forget about his more difficult sides, but in doing so, we lose the truth of who he is and what it means to follow him. We've turned faith into an being all about ourselves. Being better people, being successful or wealthy, being nicer to others, but all of those things are irrelevant if our focus isn't directly on Christ. The authors do their best to remind readers who Jesus really is, and that's not an easy task, but by using his relationship to the village of Bethany as well as other examples, they do a wonderful job of redirecting our focus to him. Christianity has become very vain and prideful, but Sweet and Viola dispel that illusion. It's not an easy book to read, but it's a necessary one for our times. If you are sick and tired of rudderless faith and watered down churches, this book will inspire you to worship the man in whom and for whom all things were created: Jesus. That alone is our purpose.