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Vendor: New Growth Press
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)|
If you met Jesus today, and he asked, "What do you want from me?" what would you say? When Jesus asked that question long ago, he got a variety of answers. Some wanted a miracle, some a theological debate, some a sign that he was the Messiah, some wanted power, some wanted just to see him, and others wanted to get rid of him. We are much the same arent we? We all want something from Jesus. We are just hoping for a little help to get through lifea new direction, a purpose that will get us up in the morning, an exercise plan, a way to get organized. But that approach to Jesus doesnt result in real faith or love.
The real Jesus doesnt give us just a little help. He turns our world upside down. Getting Jesus right means a whole new way of thinking (the way up is down) and a whole new way of life (daily dependence on the one who knows the beginning from the end). Instead of a blueprint for living or a new workout plan, we get a rich life where the simple truths of the gospel inform our everyday life with each other. Where we daily remember our deep need for forgiveness, the joy of being forgiven, and gradually become those who receive grace and share grace with those around us.
- Aimed at a young adult audience who has drifted from the church, by unpacking the ways the author got Jesus wrong, with a strong call to meet the biblical Christ.
- An easytoread introduction to the living God for those who say they have tried Christianity and it doesnt work.
- A call to a radical, robust discipleship based on a biblical view of who Christ is and who he calls his people to be.
Bob HaytonSt. Paul, MNAge: 25-34Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5Lives up to its provocative titleMay 11, 2017Bob HaytonSt. Paul, MNAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"Getting Jesus Wrong" may be one of the best titles I've seen in a while, and the book comes close to living up to its provocative name. The author is not well known, but his message deserves to be heard by one and all.
Matt Johnson is an interesting story in himself, a self-professed punk rocker who found Jesus and meandered his way through a small Pentecostal church and into a Calvary Chapel. He winds up in an evangelical mega church in Seattle with a reformed bent. A church, mind you, that has lately disbanded due to problems with its leadership. (While Johnson doesn't say it plainly, it is hard not to see this as Mars Hill Church and Mark Driscoll.)
Out of this ruin, Johnson emerges -- but not untouched by the problems. At times he is painfully honest about his own condition. Jobless, with marital problems, burned out and disillusioned -- he doesnt seem at first glance to be the kind of person who could and should author such a book as this. But his brokenness is appealing, and his message is freeing -- both for himself and the reader. He has been wowed by a rediscovery of the free Gospel, unhindered by law. He has left behind a legalistic view of Christianity and found solid ground on which to stand.
The book uses his checkered history as a case study for how false impressions of Jesus can warp our Christianity. To many, Jesus is a Life Coach who may even offer a checklist for how to find a better life now. Or maybe Jesus is a movement leader or visionary who excites people to follow, only to use them as cogs to build his ministry. In all of this, acceptance with God and hope for the future depends on how well you follow the coach, keep the checklist, or contribute to the movement and the vision. And in the end, this approach leads to either pride or despair. You just can't do it. But if you could, then it's all you and not Jesus anyway.
The antidote to this problem is understanding the proper role of God's Law (and the little "l" laws that we often substitute). The Law is meant to kill us and leave us bereft of any hope apart from Christ. It is meant to make the Gospel that much sweeter, and grace so much greater. God loves his Son, and we are united to Jesus by faith. God is pleased with us, we don't have to earn his favor or maintain our standing through effort. This understanding should lead to humility and real hope.
This is a great message, and yet it can be misconstrued. I don't get the sense that Matt is saying holy living doesn't matter -- although some could go there if they wanted. And neither does he say that God's grace does not produce righteousness in us either. But the law/Gospel distinction presented is refreshing, especially for those who have become enamored with the latest movement or visionary leader, and have lost sight of the soul-sustaining power of the Gospel. Johnson is careful to point back to himself as the source of the legalism. There were good people in his previous churches, and even a good church cant keep a legalist out.
Some will appreciate his authentic and open style. Others may be alarmed at his levity. I winced when I read about he and his Christian friend's penchant for "sloopersizing" their beer! Johnson's background leaves him more open-minded on some theological points than some will like: he is rethinking his views on traditional gender roles (complementarianism) for example. He also speaks of Christ's presence in the weekly communion and how the juice dribbling down his hand reminds him of his need for Christ. This sounds more Lutheran than a typical evangelical is accustomed to. But Johnsons clarity and openness redeems the book: his insights into contemporary Christianity's infatuation with morality ("law-lite") and his prescription for struggling legalists is invaluable.
As a sample of his style, and to end on a positive note, let me share a brief excerpt. Then get this book, especially if you have ever been burnt out, or struggled with legalism. In fact, you can get a copy to give to someone you think may be in that condition -- but read it yourself first. I'm sure you'll benefit as well.
"When your life is in the crapper, when your church is torn apart by wolves, God is present even if you can't see it or feel his presence. I have hope in the trials of life that he still makes beauty out of ashes (Isaiah 61:3)." (p. 129)
Disclaimer: this book was provided by the publisher. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
Kristieupstate NYAge: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5thought-provoking readApril 20, 2017Kristieupstate NYAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"Getting Jesus Wrong" is such a thought-provoking read. It will have you thinking about your beliefs and your personal walk with Jesus throughout this book while at the same time think ah I have never thought about this or that in that light before. Each of us have a personal relationship with Jesus, and each of us views Jesus a certain way. We are all influenced by our families, how we were raised, the church we grew up in or are a part of and how we have interpreted the Bible, among many other factors. However, some may be inaccurate and cause us to see Jesus a certain way while in fact Jesus Himself is trying to give us another message or really is something all together different from what we belief. This is a great book to help the reader feel stronger in his or her beliefs and really build that relationship with Jesus to a healthy and more "right" way of thinking and living.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Correcting false images of JesusMarch 31, 2017bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Do we create our own image of Jesus, one we like? Maybe we make Him a life coach, cheering us on like a motivational guru. Maybe we make Him a movement leader, backing our latest missional move. Perhaps we make Him our moral checklist so we know exactly what to do to make Him like us.
Johnson reminds us that the gospel is about a Savior that saves, not a life coach or spiritual adviser. Rather than helping us, God wants to make all things new. He gives a personal and honest account of the made up views of Jesus he has embraced and how they were not good for him.
I really appreciate Johnson's honesty. He admits where he got it wrong in the past and shares what he thinks is a right view of Jesus. But he warns readers that he doesn't have the final word. In a decade or two, he says, he may realize he has gotten this wrong. He does know that our maturing in the faith must be grounded in a true view of who Jesus is and what He has done.
I recommend this book to those who know there is something wrong with a teaching but quite can't identify it. Perhaps it is a church that has gotten off track or a pastor who is preaching a message that just seems off. Perhaps you've been through the glitzy ministry wringer, as Johnson describes it, or seen a church implode. This book is one man's thoughts on what it means to know and follow Jesus. Granted, he was part of a megachurch ministry that went wrong. That has definitely has an effect on what is in this book. The book contains the thoughts of a man who bought into false images of Jesus. I think every Christian could benefit from giving good thought to what Johnson has written.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Litfuse. My comments are an independent and honest review.