It is so easy to get caught up in stuff about Jesus, or for Jesus. The more of a “leader” you are, the easier it is to get excited about stuff. From doctrines to interpretations, from models to methods…
We have made faith and practice into so many things, burdening them with layers of complexity. One of the things I am learning about “church planting movements” is that for something to go viral, the message must be so focused and simple that it can be caught and passed on by anyone.
This book is a wake-up call to return to your first love. It has infected my thinking, my meditation, my conversations… Here’s a teaser from the introduction:
So what is Christianity? It is Christ. Nothing more. Nothing less. Christianity is not an ideology or a philosophy. Neither is it a new type of morality, social ethic, or worldview. Christianity is the “good news” that beauty, truth, and goodness are found in a person. And true humanity and community are founded on and experienced by connection to that person.
A word about style: I happen to enjoy the word games that Len Sweet plays, because they tweak my brain to go beyond the words. But some people don’t. Whether you love or hate his wordplay, you should know that this collaboration with Frank Viola adopts a much simpler tone. This kind of simple writing is easy to grasp, but is easy to rush through and say, “Yeah, yeah, it’s all about Jesus, I get it already.” I recommend that you treat this book as a devotional, reading it prayerfully.
Actually, if you’re like me, you have no choice but to read it prayerfully. Every few paragraphs, I hit a “zinger” that stops me in my tracks, reframes my thinking, and throws me into meditation. Like, “When Jesus becomes an abstraction, faith loses its reproductive power.” Chew on that. This book is increasing my love for Jesus …and how often does one get to say that?
Are you curious to learn about a simple Christianity? A faith that rises above its divisions? A Person who asks that you give yourself completely to him, because he gives himself completely to you? Then you owe it to yourself to get this book. …But wait, don’t place your order until Tuesday, June 1st when it will be on special discount for its release date.
(Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book.)