Thursday, April 13, 2017

Getting Jesus Wrong by Matt Johnson


About the Book:
We all want something from Jesus, whether that’s help to get through life, a new job, a new direction, a new exercise plan. Learn why that approach doesn’t result in real faith or love in Matt Johnson’s new book, Getting Jesus Wrong. Whether we’ve followed a false Jesus or attempted to coopt the real Jesus, Getting Jesus Wrong ultimately offers us hope because it helps us see Jesus as he is. Getting Jesus right gives us more than spiritual vitamins or a blueprint for living; it gives us a full, rich life spent exploring the depths of gospel love together.
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Getting Jesus Wrong (New Growth Press, February 2017)

Jesus is not a life coach, a movement leader, a cultural visionary, or a blessing dispenser—but you might not know that by listening to many Christians talk about their faith.

Feel-good slogans promote a caricatured Jesus made in our own image who cannot save us and leave us feeling guilty for not saving ourselves. Following the wrong Jesus disappoints us and produces anxiety, pride, and despair.
The first half of Getting Jesus Wrong recounts pastor and author Matt Johnson’s personal encounters with a string of false saviors—false saviors that many, especially young adults, will recognize. Johnson’s humor and transparency in recounting his own painful experiences will appeal to those who have tried a “brand” of Christianity and found it lacking.

The truth is, we all want something from Jesus. Some are just hoping for a little help to get through life—a 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 doesn’t result in real faith or love.

Whether we’ve followed a false Jesus or attempted to coopt the real Jesus, Getting Jesus Wrong ultimately offers us hope because it helps us see Jesus as he is. Getting Jesus Wrong shows that the message of the Bible is about Jesus coming to us as we are—which is good news for exhausted and disillusioned disciples. It shows us that 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). Getting Jesus right gives us more than spiritual vitamins or a blueprint for living; it gives us a full, rich life spent exploring the depths of gospel love together.




About the Author:
 



Matt Johnson is a husband, father to two little girls, and is an armchair student of theology living in Seattle. He is also a freelance writer and editor. Until recently, Matt spent 7 years as an associate volunteer pastor in counseling and recovery ministry.

Find out more about Matt at https://www.therealmattjohnson.com.






Margie’s Comments: Getting Jesus Wrong by Matt Johnson is an interesting read—one that I needed right now. We all want Jesus to be the person we need Him to be, but as humans we tend to focus on the aspect of Christ that we see ourselves needing most. And because of that we tend to limit Him by putting Him into a “box” of our own making. After a time we wonder what went wrong, why Jesus isn’t doing what we want Him to do. While I identified with many of the false Jesus persona the author presents, I think checklist Jesus was the one that convicted me the most.

Not only does the author talk about the “false Jesus” but he also includes a section of who the true Jesus is and how we can learn to depend on Him alone daily and in every situation. While reading Getting Jesus Wrong, I kept thinking of the discussion Jesus has with His disciples in John 15 about abiding in Him, especially verse 5: “In am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (emphasis added, NASB). God is using this book and circumstances in my life right now to teach me this lesson: without Him I can do absolutely nothing!!!

If you are frustrated with your limited faith in Jesus, I highly recommend this book. Even if you aren’t, but wonder if you’re “getting it all,” read this book. Don’t just read it. Study it. Check out the verses the author quotes, and pray for God’s direction and understanding.

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