…accorded even a part of the authority and primacy given to jobs, hobbies, family, social involvement, friends, political causes by those who take His name as their own, this world would be a different place.
How much more so if He were given his rightful place, the throne of each of us.
In Jesus Manifesto, authors Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola cast about for a way to impress upon Christians the necessity of being more than Christ-people. We ought to be Christ.
Not that we have any part in His redemptive work or in His place in the God-head, but that rather than seeking to follow Him, or model Him, or be like Him, we ought to BE Him.
For me, I found this a useful understanding of my role as a Christian. It’s difficult always playing catch-up with Christ. When we’re following, we’re always behind. But when out identity is in Christ and He is in us, there is a much closer association than if we are simply being like Him.
Among other problems, this further pushes our own self down, humbling our position in our own body, and this is a difficult and unnatural thing for people who, like me, are quite content in our nearly-Christ-like Christianity.
At times it seemed the authors resort to platitudes and Christian-isms, bumper-sticker theology. However, it became clear as the book goes on that the memorability of the phrases was clearly chosen to make this potentially unpalatable ideal more memorable and less easily dismissed out of hand.
I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking to have a clearer picture of what is expected of us as Christians.