Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet’s words are just as poetically powerful as they are prophetic. In their new book, Jesus A Theography (2012) the authors articulate how the entire Biblical narrative is the story of Jesus Christ. Just as Elijah, Isaiah, and Jesus for that matter, called people back to the heart of God, Viola and Sweet have written a sequel to their first Jesus Manifesto, once again calling people to fix their attention on the heart of God, the person of Jesus.
Not striving to write a biography, they have instead chosen to convey Christ through the story of God’s interactions with humanity from the First Covenant all the way through the Second. From Genesis and the Garden of Eden, to Golgotha, and into the New Jerusalem of eternity to come, every written word we have in Scripture points to the Living Word, the Logos, God Incarnate.
As Augustine said, “In the Old Testament, the New is concealed, in the New, the Old is revealed.” Separating the two Testaments is like cutting Jesus in half. As our Lord confidently, and scandalously, declared, “All Scripture points to me” (John 5:39). Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and prophets. The law has been completed in a life laid down with love on the cross. Viola and Sweet beautifully illustrate the majesty of Christ’ prophetic and divine, self-actualization of the Bible’s first 39 books, including His reenactments of the creation account, Israel’s desert trial, and the Davidic lineage proving his Messianic title.
The authors also review Jesus’ “mission statement”, his question based and parable style teaching, and healing ministry. Though every chapter portrays the biblical and living King of Kings, perhaps my favorites are the last four on Jesus’s crucifixion, atonement, resurrection, ascension and future return. I also really appreciated the appendix on Post-Apostolic Witness, including pronouncements by Aquinas, Wesley, Bonhoeffer, and Wright among many others.
I highly recommend Jesus a Theography. It is a testimony of Truth. This revealing of Jesus will benefit new and old Christians alike.