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10 September 2009

a jesus manifesto

This morning a friend sent me a link to a Facebook group for A Jesus Manifesto, a declaration of intentions (as dictionary.com puts it) that was written by Leonard Sweet, pastor, author, and well-known Church leader, and Frank Viola, author of several paradigm-challenging books such as Pagan Christianity and Reimagining Church. The Facebook group probably been around for a little while, but I've just seen it for the first time.

The manifesto may take a little while to read, and as noted on the Facebook page, "[The] page exists for those who wish to express their agreement with 'A Jesus Manifesto' by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola. It is also designed to connect them with one another as well as to update them on events and resources related to the document." So don't go joining it willy-nilly -- to do so expresses agreement. Also, note that the Facebook page doesn't exist for debate. A link is provided to a site at which people can express thoughts and opinions.

I've read the manifesto once before and am in the process of reading through it again more meticulously. Several parts jumped out at me, such as this:

Jesus Christ cannot be separated from his teachings. Aristotle says to his disciples, “Follow my teachings.” Socrates says to his disciples, “Follow my teachings.” Buddha says to his disciples, “Follow my meditations.” Confucius says to his disciples, “Follow my sayings.” Muhammad says to his disciples, “Follow my noble pillars.” Jesus says to his disciples, “Follow me.” In all other religions, a follower can follow the teachings of its founder without having a relationship with that founder. Not so with Jesus Christ. The teachings of Jesus cannot be separated from Jesus himself. Jesus Christ is still alive and he embodies his teachings. (emphasis mine)

Interested in your thoughts on A Jesus Manifesto. I'm not sure of my complete set of thoughts yet.

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