New Testament scholar, author, and professor Scot McKnight has weighed-in on Jesus Manifesto. Scot is the author of some fantastic books, including A Community Called Atonement, which is my favorite work treating the atonement of Jesus.
Here’s his review of Jesus Manifesto.
Christ the Center
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John Stott and others have reminded us that at the center of Christianity is Jesus Christ. But we forget. When we forget, we begin centering our faith on how salvation occurs, on great theologians, on ethics, on justice, on politics, and on church building programs.
That is why Len Sweet’s and Frank Viola’s new book, Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ , comes at a good time and calls us back to the only life-giving and life-sustaining and hope-generating center that we are to have: Jesus Christ.
This book got a full-court press promotion when it appeared and now that the dust has settled, it is time once again to bring it back into play. What Sweet and Viola do, in a variety of ways — this book is not an argument or a logical case but a series of reflections all doing the same thing, is to show that at the center of our faith is Jesus Christ, a Person, and not a Plan. When we separate our faith from its center, it loses its luster and it cheapens it into a product.
There is nothing out of the ordinary for the solid Bible reader in Jesus’ line: I am the way, the truth and the life. When we see this text as some kind of development, we are doing something wrong. Over and over Sweet and Viola bring us back to this very point, often in very clever and fresh ways. Thus, “conversion is more than a change in direction; it is a change in connection” (sounds like Sweet, maybe Viola). So they say we have a massive Jesus Deficit Disorder.
My favorite chapters: “The Occupation of All Things” and “If God Wrote Your Biography.” Both chapters are pristine expressions of how Christ-drenched our faith is.
Scot McKnight is a widely-recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. He is the Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University (Chicago, Illinois). A popular and witty speaker, Dr. McKnight has given interviews on radios across the nation, has appeared on television, and is regularly asked to speak in local churches and educational events throughout the USA and in Denmark and South Africa. Dr. McKnight obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Nottingham. Scot McKnight is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Society for New Testament Studies. He is the author of more than thirty books, including the award-winning The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (Paraclete, 2004), which won the Christianity Today book of the year for Christian Living.