I’m happy to announce the release of the first book in my JESUS Trilogy with Leonard Sweet.
Has your love for Jesus waned? Has He become too familiar to you? Have you been grieved by the lack of attention Jesus gets, even among Christians today, where other things – even “religious” subjects and themes – have taken center stage?
In this book, you’ll discover:
- The difference between serving the Lord and having the Lord serve through you.
- How to overcome the shallow state of Christianity today and not be sucked in by it.
- How to know Jesus in such a breathtaking way that He eclipses everything else.
- How to make Christ preeminent in your life.
- What it means to live by the indwelling life of Christ instead of by your own power and energy.
And much more.
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Whether you are a seminary professor or someone seeking answers about Christ for the first time, Jesus Manifesto promises to illuminate the truth about the greatest personality to ever walk the earth. And along the way you will rediscover, or experience for the first time, the power, prestige and primacy of Jesus Christ.
Ed Young, Pastor, Fellowship Church; Author, Outrageous, Contagious Joy
This is a really exhilarating reintroduction to a Jesus who seems sometimes to have become a stranger to the Church; a passionate and joyful celebration of God with us, which cuts right through churchy quarrelling and brings us back to wonder, love and praise – and the urgent desire to make Him known to all.
Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
There cannot be enough books written about the majesties and excellencies of Christ. To see Jesus as He is will transform us from one degree or glory to the next. Everything is about Him, for Him and to Him. I am grateful that Frank and Leonard did the work and are putting this in the lap of so many.
Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church
Today’s Church desperately needs that trumpet-like “certain sound” heard when Jesus’ own voice is heard—just as He spoke in The Revelation. Our hour is similar to that; one of doctrinal drift, double-entendre and deepening deception, both in the Church as in the world. Jesus Manifesto calls us to Jesus’ Person and position as Lord of the Church, to hear Him call us to truth’s clarity, power’s purity and obedience’s reward, to restore that “saltness” that will keep His Church alive and penetrating in its impact.
Jack W. Hayford, Founding Pastor, The Church On The Way, Chancellor, The King’s Seminary
One more sign of a Christianity that is beginning to look like Jesus again. Our great challenge over the past few decades has not been one of right believing but of right living. Viola and Sweet create a harmony here that invites you to give the world a Christianity worth believing in … after all they will know we are Christians, not by our bumper stickers and t-shirts — but by our love.
Shane Claiborne Author, activist, and recovering sinner
I look for books that call us to love Jesus and make His name more widely known. In Jesus Manifesto, Sweet and Viola ask us to step away out of the “Youniverse” (their word) of narcissistic religion and away from the pop-culture Jesus who is just a nice man. Throughout the book, they exalt Jesus as the divine Savior and ask the church to do the same. I believe this book will spark a renewed love for Christ by pointing us to the deep mystery of His person. You will be motivated to love and serve more deeply as your life is focused on Jesus the Messiah.
Ed Stetzer, President of LifeWay Research, www.edstetzer.com
Jesus Manifesto is the most powerful work on Christ I have read in recent years. The Christ of the Empty Tomb is back among us. Sweet and Viola have beckoned us to return back to Olivet and renew our souls. I was hushed by its welcome authority. I found a lump in my throat as I read through page after page of Biblical witness to the one and only, incomparable Christ in whom alone is our Salvation. You must read this book. All of us must, and then we must believe in this book, rise and advance on our culture with the truth we have lately backed away from in our faulty attempt to play fair at the cost of our God-given mission.
Calvin Miller, professor of preaching and pastoral ministry at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama; Author, Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition and The Singer
From beginning to end, authentic Christianity is all about Jesus and, ultimately, nothing but Jesus. No one has proclaimed this more clearly and persuasively than Viola and Sweet. Jesus Manifesto is an important and powerful prophetic call for the Martha-like Church to get back to doing “the one thing that is needful.”
Dr. Gregory A. Boyd, Senior Pastor, Woodland Hills Church, Maplewood, MN; Author, Present Perfect, The Myth of a Christian Nation, and The Jesus Legend.
Do you ever feel that “Jesus has left the building”? The Christian religion promises so much in terms of power, forgiveness, joy and intimacy but sometimes it feels that those promises are just words. Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola have a radical and Biblical solution, to wit, Jesus. Read this book and you’ll find your heart “strangely warmed.” That warmth is Him … Jesus. This book could change your life and the lives of everyone who cares about the church. I rise up and call the authors blessed!
Steve Brown, Seminary professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Author and the host of the syndicated talk show, Steve Brown, Etc
Brilliant, refreshing, soaring – and that’s just the first chapter! This book is destined to be a classic devotional volume that will inspire generations of Jesus-followers. The line from the song goes, “you can have all this world, but give me Jesus.” This book does just that.
Reggie McNeal, Missional Leadership Specialist, Leadership Network; Author, The Present Futureand Missional Renaissance
Whenever Len Sweet writes something, I am challenged and learn so incredibly much. Whenever Frank Viola writes something, I am challenged and learn so incredibly much. So with both Len and Frank writing together here – you are reading an exponential Jesus-focused challenge and learning experience. They write not just words and sentences, but this is seriously a Spirit-shaped breath of fresh air for the church at large in all her beautiful and messy forms and shapes and for Christians of every age and diversity.
Dan Kimball, Author, They Like Jesus, But Not the Church
I love this book simply because I love Jesus. It will deepen, widen, and heighten your love for Christ, and few books can make that claim.
Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor, National Community Church; Author, Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity
Jesus Manifesto is a passionate invitation to fall head over heels in love with the Son of God. Prepare to be shaken. Prepare to be awakened. And prepare to answer the call to follow Jesus with wholehearted abandon. After reading this book, you’ll never be the same.
Margaret Feinberg, Author, Scouting the Divine
The unrelenting purpose of the Holy Spirit is to lead us into the living presence of Jesus Christ. If we follow the Spirit, Christ can become as real to us as the world was when we were sinners. The Jesus Manifesto is a compass pointing toward this holy pursuit.
Francis Frangipane, pastor, Author, I Will Be Found By You
Jesus Manifesto is a priceless treasury revealing the riches of Christ in unique depths yet written with simple language. Prophetic and poignant, Sweet and Viola’s words soar high as they glorify the greatest Person in the universe – our Jesus Christ.
Anne Jackson, Speaker and Author, Permission to Speak Freely: Essays and Art on Fear, Confession and Grace
Amidst the many voices calling the church to the work of justice, Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola call us first to Jesus from which all justice flows. Together they help us see how the vision of Christ’s supremacy makes possible any and all faithful engagement with the world. There are times when a profound and significant truth needs to be said simply. The Jesus Manifesto does just that with an intensity appropriate to the message! I applaud it and I recommend it.
David Fitch, Author, pastor, professor, Northern Seminary
As many are defecting the ranks of the faithful for a gospel of their own making, we are indebted to Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola for unhesitatingly issuing a call for the recovery of the true testimony of Scripture, that Jesus indeed is Sovereign Lord, and that He reigns supreme over all the universe, and there is no other God but Him.
Mark J. Chironna, M.A. Ph.D., The Master’s Touch International Church, Orlando, Florida
From now on my friend Frank Viola will not be known solely by his proposals regarding the church. Len Sweet, my teacher, will not merely be known as a brilliant and original professor. With the writing of Jesus Manifesto, they will now be known as followers, broadcasters, ambassadors and articulators of Jesus. There is no higher role in life. I can offer no higher complement. Best yet, this role can be taken on by us all: doctors and nurses, policewomen and firemen, teachers and counselors—you name it. In the Jesus Manifesto there is room for everyone.
Todd Hunter, Author, Christianity Beyond Belief and Giving Church Another Chance
The beauty of this book is that it not only deals with the identity of Christ, but the ways that we are made to relate to this Living and Liberating King. I will be buying this book by the caseload to invite others to contemplate the question that has the power to change everything.
Chris Seay, Pastor of Ecclesia Houston; Author, The Gospel According to Lost and The Gospel According to Jesus; President of Ecclesia Bible Society
If the Christian church is to fulfill its missional vocation in the world, its life and witness must be bound at every point to the self-revelation of God in Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. While this certainly means wrestling with perennial questions concerning the person and work of Jesus, it also means taking ourselves less seriously and remembering that the answers we give to these questions are not the foundation on which the church stands or falls. In this book Sweet and Viola powerfully remind us that the gospel is not ultimately about doctrines, methods, and programs, but the living presence of Jesus Christ. In calling on Christians of all traditions to refocus our attention on the supremacy of Jesus Christ they have provided a clarion call to the most central aspect of faithful witness — He must become greater and we must become less.
John R. Franke, Clemens Professor of Missional Theology, Biblical Seminary; Author, Manifold Witness: The Plurality of Truth
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 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. 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, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University
It’s a brilliant work of art. This is an excellent book that could change the hearts of even the most calcified church member.
Bill Easum, Church Consultant and Christian Futurist
This is a rare book that’s worth discussing, and I highly recommend it.
Phil Cooke, Author, Speaker, Filmmaker, Media Consultant
This little book is a fresh and elegant portrayal of Jesus Christ that’s epic and timely. It puts a pulse on the main problem in the church today and uniquely stirs both heart and head as it points us to the only solution, Jesus.
Pastor Tommy Barnett, Phoenix First Assembly, Dream Centers: Phoenix, LA, NY
Like the passionate preachers I grew up hearing at revival meetings, Sweet and Viola point us to Jesus, only Jesus. In a time when the church has such ready access to so many strategies to “change the world” and “make a difference,” here is an invitation to return to the heart of evangelical faith–the conviction that God has already given us all we need in Jesus Christ.
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Author, God’s Economy & The Wisdom of Stability
In a day when much of Christianity seems to have missed the main point of our faith, Jesus Manifesto brings us back to center. Sweet and Viola have given us a matchless presentation of Jesus – one that combines poetic artistry, gripping metaphor, and profound insight. The book masterfully reflects what the Spirit is saying to the church today.
Dr. Kenneth C. Ulmer, President; The King’s College and Seminary, Los Angeles, CA
Gandhi once said, “Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Maybe if we actually knew Christ, we would reflect Him more. Sweet and Viola’s Jesus Manifesto is the quintessential re-introduction.
Sally Morgenthaler, Author, Worship Evangelism
Wow! What a message, what a word, what a masterful work. Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola have again challenged us to think deeper and go higher in our commitment to the call to genuine and authentic Christian ministry. Jesus Manifesto is a must read for all serious students, teachers and leaders in the Lord’s church. In this post-modern, high-tech age, where we talk on iPhones, listen to iPods, write on iPads, but have lost the power of the great “I Am”. . . we are called through this book to come back home, to indeed return to our first love. I believe that this book will cause more than a ripple in the Body of Christ.
Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr., Senior Pastor, Cathedral International
While I may not agree with every detail, the central thrust of this book is vitally important. Its reminder about Christ living in us and seeing our identity in Him is marvelous, as is its recognition that the historical Jesus of the Gospels is the Christ we worship. I fear that liberals (and often conservatives!) read Christ too much through the lens of their culture. Many conservatives read Christ too much through the lens of their church’s tradition. Some Pentecostals and charismatics (whose Pentecostal spiritual experience I share) subordinate Christ to their own experience (or traditions developed from others’ experiences). But we all need to return to Jesus as our Lord, as this book emphatically reminds us.
Craig Keener, Professor of New Testament at Palmer Seminary of Eastern University
Jesus Manifesto is a milestone in Christian literature – a spiritual masterpiece. It is both timeless and timely. The book contains a breathtaking unveiling of the beauty, glory, and wonder of Christ that speaks to both the head and the heart (something that few books combine today). The style of writing blends poetry with prose and is brilliantly sprinkled with metaphor. The content is illuminating, compelling, and even prophetic. Epic, true to Scripture, faithful to the testimony of the historic church, filled with seminal insights and written with exceptional prose, this little volume is a clarion call to return to the supremacy of Jesus Christ. For all of these reasons, Jesus Manifesto has come along “for such a time as this.”
Searching Together/Baptist Reformation Review
Frank Viola and Len Sweet have combined their writing prowess to form one of the most powerful pieces of Christian literature of our generation.
Englewood Review of Books
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.
Christian Book Reviews
I am very impressed with this book given its content and its timeliness. The Christ of Scripture and the Christ of History are trying to be pulled at both ends by liberal scholars and the typical skeptics alike. Skeptics and even so called believers would dethrone Christ. Viola and Sweet, however, do a thorough job in Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ: Jesus Manifesto. They proudly proclaim that Christ is the “Rosetta Stone of the Bible.”
Book Talk Reviews
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. 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 Manifestois the book for you. And very likely, the book for a good many people you know.
Faithful Reader Reviews
A new classic. In my opinion, Jesus Manifesto is the finest volume ever penned about the one pure focus of Christ as all in all. Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola never swerve from that focus for the entirety of the volume. Every page is an examination of the Savior and His glory and perfection. This is a singularly important book for that reason: it 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. 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.
Michael Newnham, pastor and blogger
Like Karl Barth’s commentary on Romans which brought Christ back to the center of 20th century theology, Jesus Manifesto is this generation’s work emphasizing the supremacy of Jesus for the 21st century.
Brett Blair, President and Founder of Sermons.com
Jesus Manifesto is heartening, refreshing, and convicting. My first read through the book was timely–right in the middle of a series we were doing in the book of Colossians. If Colossians was the melody, Jesus Manifesto was the harmony.
John Voelz, songwriter
This a timely book during a season in which God is shaking false foundations in order to bring His people to the true north of His Word. Religion has created multiples of false centers, when there is only one center, Christ Himself, the hope of glory. Jesus Manifesto brilliantly leads readers to embrace the Person of Jesus Christ rather than the many inaccurate representations that man’s wisdom has to offer. I enthusiastically recommend this book.
Robert Ricciardelli, Founder Converging Zone Network & Visionary Advancement Strategies
Jesus Manifesto is the right book at the right time by the right authors. With all the “isms” and borderline “cults” floating around right now, it’s time to pause and rediscover what we’ve lost.
Dr. Thomas Hohstadt
This book is destined to be a classic of Christian literature, and every true believer should read it!
Milt Rodriguez, Author, The Butterfuly in You and The Community Life of God
Jesus Manifesto is an eye opener. While some books bring you information, this book will bring about a paradigm shift to the way you see and view Christ. This book will be around for many years to come as a classic to read. Jesus Manifesto will bring you back to your ‘first love’ and clear up all the questions you have on the mission of Christ for planet earth. I highly recommend this book!
Jeremy Lopez, Founder the Identity Network
Christianity has become at times about everything else besides Christ. Jesus Manifesto is a clear call to get back to the Author and Finisher of our Faith: Jesus. This book has brought a fresh passion for Jesus and All of His Splendor. It is a must read for every Christ follower.
Benny Perez, Lead Pastor, The Church at South Las Vegas
What has gotten lost from our preaching and teaching and counseling is what always seems to get lost from our preaching and teaching and counseling —the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ. The fact that this book can be summarized with the synopsis, “Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption,” is the ultimate praise.
Rick James, Publisher CruPress, author of Jesus Without Religion and A Million Ways To Die
A 2010 release, Viola teams up with Leonard Sweet for the first time. The book contains crushing power and clever riffs focusing on the captivating glories of Jesus. Chapter 2, “A Bottle in the Ocean,” is a composition that gradually builds its crescendo before culminating into a breathless climax. Chapter 3, “If God Wrote Your Biography,” is a uniquely creative piece that creates an other-worldly effect. The book’s tempo speeds up as its electrifying message unfolds. Viola and Sweet make for a poetic and prophetic pair, kicking the supremacy of Christ into the stratosphere. Presents Jesus beyond the realms of anything you could possibly imagine. The legacy of the Viola/Sweet brand stands unparalleled.
Donald Stevenson, Spiritual Book Reviews
Jesus Manifesto made Amazon’s top 10 bestseller list reaching:
Mere Discipleship (an awe-inspiring, Christ-revealing conference message by Frank)
The JESUS Trilogy