Jonathan's book is built on an excellent premise: become fully human in all the ways Jesus was. Unfortunately, the structure of the book built on that premise is rather shaky.
Jonathan starts his book by saying he wants us to know who we really are by coming awake to God and understanding that Jesus is our prototype. Jesus never forgot who He was - beloved by God. "He lived every moment of His life fully convinced of His identity." (18) What if that were possible for each of us?
The book was off to a good start, but then Jonathan lost me. By about a third of the way into the book I was tired of stories about Jonathan. I do think there is more about Jonathan in this book than there is Jesus. For example, he spends more words writing about his own attempts at going to the wilderness than he does of Jesus being in the wilderness. (Compare p. 57-61 with p. 51-53.) At the end of the book I knew far more about Jonathan (his wedgies at Bible camps, his riding his bicycle, Pentecostal upbringing, etc.) and others involved in his ministry than I did about Jesus.
Sometimes I just didn't get him. "I think most of what you need to know about how life with God works is probably wrapped up in the bittersweet taste of dreams. All the longing and aching for something beautiful that is just out of reach. Sometimes you can touch it and sometimes you can't." (118-119) What? That's most of what I need to know how life with God works? Poetic words, sure, but give me what the Bible says about life with God!
I am yet still puzzled by how Jesus is our prototype and what we do with that. Jonathan has provided us with lots of stories but with no teaching as to how we really live into the identity of Jesus as our prototype. There is nothing about having the mind of Christ, or what it means to be "in Christ" or to have "Christ in you." There is nothing about the Spirit at work in you.
I can tell Jonathan loves to talk and write. He is a good communicator. His book reads well and is poetic at times. It is just that he did not do in this book what he said he was going to do at the beginning.
If you enjoy an individual's spiritually "coming of age" story and the stories of authentic followers of Jesus, you'll like this book. If you really want to know what it means to have Jesus as a prototype of being fully human and how to live into that identity, you'll have to go elsewhere.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Prototype: What Happens When You Discover You're more Like Jesus Than You Think?, written by Jonathan Martin, is a publication centered around helping its readers discover their identity and purpose in God.
Within this compelling book, Jonathan presents a vivd understanding of who we are in the eyes of God, how much God loves us, and the desires that He has for our success within this life that we are blessed to live. He teaches his readers how to learn and grow from their hurts and pains, how to become stronger on the other side of adversity.
An example taken from the ninety-seventh page of the fifth chapter: When we have suffered profoundly, we are given something much better than answers for "why." We are given the presence of a God who suffers and makes His own wounds a resource for our healing.
Along with this book, I also received a DVD containing six thought provoking lessons that coincide with its teachings. These powerful video sessions combined with the book bring forth a wonderful experience for all who are willing to take the time to utilize their existence.
Prototype is definitely a recommended purchase, but I would encourage you to also pick up the small group DVD and envelope the entire experience.
This has some memorable quotes and verses that are worth exploring further, but it felt to me somewhat inconclusive, or just scratching the surface of the concepts. The prototype idea is intriguing, but it wasn't developed to the point where I could grasp it. This book seemed to be addressed to those who are already Christians, as encouragement. There were plenty of reasons to be encouraged, but it seemed to be lacking something. I'm not sure why his message was obscure to me; possibly because I didn't have the experience he had as a child, or because his upbringing was so different from mine. Possibly it was because his writing was so repetitive. I plan to read it again, to see if I can get more out of it.
"Prototype" by Jonathan Martin explores the concept of Jesus being the first, and therefore our example, to define a new way of being human. Throughout the book, Martin attempts to explain how Jesus, through His life, death, and resurrection, showed us how to live in such a way that other people will begin to grasp what our future in heaven will be like right now. On the first page of his epilogue, Martin tells us that he has not attempted to say anything novel. He is simply trying to explain the New Testament term for Jesus, "firstborn from the dead" (Colossians 1:18), in modern day terms. He defines the church as a "community of new humans entrusted with the task of making the future present."
Martin has some beautiful ideas. The first three chapters of the book are brilliant. After that Martin's style becomes a little more rambling as he presents his ideas more subtly through stories of his and other people's experiences, sometimes through the experiences of Bible characters. The final chapter is a conclusion which ties the beginning to the end, clarifying the whole. He closes with a powerful letter to the church, encouraging her to identify and focus on her role on earth right now while resisting the strong temptation to be something less.
Readers will find Martin's presentation unique and will be challenged to think about their role in Christ's church.
There are so many things in this world that lead us to believe that we have to be successful, wealthy, beautiful, etc., to be worthy of love. On the contrary, God tells us to be still, and know that He is love, and that we were created in His image. If God says we are worthy of Love, who are we to doubt that?
Jesus Christ, God's beloved, is our Prototype, thereforeÃ¢â¬âwe are beloved.
An inspiring, uplifting, and life-strengthening look at our likeness to God's son. In Prototype, Jonathan Martin reminds us to live our lives with this reassurance.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a Review Copy free from the NetGalley book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The options I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255