Monday, November 12, 2012

A Theography
by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

OVERVIEW: Jesus is written for the average reader as well as scholars. Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola (authors of Jesus Manifesto) unfold the greatest story ever told in a fresh and invigorating way. So whether you are a seasoned Christian, a new believer, or someone who is intrigued by Jesus, this book unveils the discoveries of a lifetime, transforming the tired and familiar way we have read the Bible into an electrifying journey of rediscovering Christ.

AUTHORS: Leonard Sweet is the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University (NJ), a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Fox University (OR), and a weekly contributor to and the podcast Napkin Scribbles. With some of the highest "influence" rankings of any religious figure in the worlds of social media (Twitter,Facebook), and a pioneer in online learning, he has authored numerous articles, sermons, and more than fifty books. Frank Viola is a popular conference speaker and the best-selling author of numerous books on the deeper Christian life. His blog Beyond Evangelical is rated as one of the most popular in Christian circles today.

MY REVIEW: "In this compelling work, authors Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola reclaim the entire Bible as a gripping narrative about Jesus Christ. Virtually every other "Jesus biography" begins with the nativity account in Bethlehem. In this groundbreaking book, Sweet and Viola begin before time, in the Triune God, and tell the complete interconnected story of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation. Jesus: A Theography is the first book ever written to combine historical Jesus studies with biblical theology, crafting together one breathtaking saga that tells the Jesus story in both Old and New Testaments. This flagship book demonstrates clearly that every bit of Scripture is a part of the same stunning drama, what the authors refer to as the theography of Jesus Christ."

I have been reviewing books on my blog for years and this is the first time I have ever started my review by quoting words directly from the dust jacket. But I am doing so this time because those words review this book in a way that I can not. I also am writing this review before I have finished reading the entire book. I am only half way through but I have stopped reading and started writing about this book for two reasons: I am so excited I can't wait to get this information out to my followers and I do not have to wait to see if my opinion changes. It will not. I recommend this book without reservation.

I preached for almost fifty years, my library shelves contain many books about Jesus―but none like this one. I have been reading this book slowly because I am underlining, high lighting and making notes on almost every page. "The Bible is often viewed as a disjointed array of stories, events, laws, propositions, truths, ethical statements, and moral lessons." But this book demonstrates that the sixty-six books of the Bible are woven together by a single storyline. It's the story of Jesus Christ.

I don't care how many books you have about Jesus. Buy this one! You need it.

(I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)