I’d like to again thank all you who are supporting Jesus Manifesto. Because of your interest and support in this work, the book reached the following on Amazon.com (the largest bookstore in the world):
- #6 in All Books (reportedly 9 million)
- #2 in NonFiction Books
- #1 in Christianity
On Wednesday, I’ll be posting a new interview that Len Sweet and I did about the book. I’ll also be using this blog to answer questions that people send me.
So far, the two most common questions I’ve been asked are (1) why did you and Len write this book? (2) you both have very different writing styles, so what was it like writing together?
Here is my answer to the first question. I’ll answer the second tomorrow.
10 Reasons Why Len Sweet and I Wrote Jesus Manifesto
- To present the stunning greatness of Christ to a church that has (in many quarters) lost sight of Him, made Him a footnote, a side dish, or relegated Him to a mascot. We can only give to others what we ourselves have. We feel that many Christians are so busy exhorting God’s people to be missional, to evangelize, to get out there and “do, do, do,” without first asking ourselves: Do we really know Him? As one reviewer (John O’Keefe) beautifully put it: “Those outside the church look in and see that we are starving, at the same time we are inviting them in to partake.” We hope that our book will lead each reader to begin the journey of knowing Christ deeply. Out of such knowing will flow ministry that is living, real, powerful, and effective. When I take a moment to ponder how staggering awesome my Lord is, I can’t help but shed tears. It touches me emotionally. We want the same to happen when people read our book.
- To dethrone and disavow everything that has competed with the glory that belongs only to Jesus. The book challenges us all with this thought: That if we catch a glimpse of the glory, splendor, and greatness of Christ, so much of what we are chasing and majoring in will be wiped off the table and will dissolve in the presence of Him who is “full of grace and truth.”
- To demonstrate that Jesus Christ is so much more than Lord and Savior, and that we can never graduate or advance beyond Him. So much of what is being pursued in modern Christianity is something other than Jesus Himself. For instance: Jesus is more than the Justifier and He’s more than the Justice-giver.
- To be awakened to an indwelling Lord. Jesus lives within His people and we can live by His life. This is a large part of the mystery of the ages, according to Paul in Colossians, yet how often do we hear about it?
- To put Christ in His place – the only place He will accept. First place and the place of everything else.
- To install in the hearts of God’s people a genuine thirst and hunger for Christ. Not by commands, duty, rules, regulations, guilt or shame. But by “the sight of peerless worth,” that is, by unveiling Christ before our eyes. We have tried, anyway.
- To help give Christian readers a glimpse of their Lord whereby they will naturally love Him more. This commercial is a great example of the state of Christianity today. So many of us can wax eloquent about spiritual and theological “things” (like this guy does when he tells about his love for “Miller Lite”). But we are struck deaf and dumb when asked about Jesus Himself (like this guy does when his girlfriend asks him, “What do you love about me?”)
- To present Christ (we hope) powerfully and creatively to non-believing seekers. Namely, that He would be more fascinating, more interesting, more compelling, more incredible, and more beautiful than perhaps they’ve assumed.
- To show and remind us that a greater than Moses is here (Moses represents the Law – which majors in personal holiness). To show and remind us that a greater than Elijah is here (Elijah represents the Prophets – which majored in justice). To show and remind us that a greater than Solomon is here (Solomon represents the sage – who majored in wisdom). Jesus Christ is greater than all three because He embodies Holiness, He embodies Justice, and He embodies Wisdom. Let’s major on Him, then, instead of taking parts of Him and detaching them from His glorious Person. It’s possible to put holiness, justice, and wisdom on the throne as mere “things” and leave Jesus Christ out in the cold.
- To offer a third path that’s not part of the left vs. right/conservative vs. liberal debate that has brought so many members of the body of Christ to a grinding halt spiritually.
If Len Sweet and I have done our jobs successfully in communicating with this book, readers who finish it will no longer be chasing “things.” They will be too enthralled with, entranced by, and enraptured with Jesus Christ Himself. Everything else will fade into the background at the sight of His peerless worth. And everything else will flow out of a real and intelligent love for Him. A new page will be turned. A new passion in the journey. A new obsession. A new direction.
And it will be Christ.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog . . . I’m going to be talking about the process of writing this book, which has been, heretofore, undisclosed. The full story tomorrow . . .