Books

The Bad Habits of Jesus

 

The Bad Habits of Jesus: Showing Us the Way to Live Right in a World Gone Wrong

In our culture, we have a tendency to describe Jesus in ways that soften his revolutionary edge. Len Sweet uncovers and presents to us the offensive and scandalous Jesus described in the Bible.

  • Did he disappear when people needed him most? Yes.
  • Did he refuse to answer questions directly? Yes.
  • Did Jesus offend the people of his day? Absolutely, yes.

Popular author and speaker Len Sweet examines the words and actions of Jesus and places them in context. We need to understand who Jesus really is if we are to follow him wholeheartedly. That is why it is so crucial to see the “rebellious rabbi” for who he is and not for who we may imagine him to be.

The Bad Habits of Jesus will help you see the untamed Jesus, who isn’t sanitized for our culture. That Jesus just might transform how you live out your life.

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Jesus Speaks

 

Jesus Speaks: Learning to Recognize and Respond to the Lord’s Voice

by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

Countless Christians today are hungry to hear God’s voice. The trouble is, many don’t know how. In a warm and practical way, Jesus Speaks teaches readers how to listen for the voice of Jesus. The bookexplores the various ways in which Christ speaks today and how His sheep can grow in their ability to recognize and respond to His voice daily.

By exploring how the disciples interacted with the risen Jesus—from the Gospels to Revelation—Sweet and Viola unpack the myriad of ways the Lord speaks to His people today. They demystify the process, providing practical handles on how you can recognize the voice of Jesus in your own life.

In 2009, Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola set out on a journey of discovery. They had one goal: to help restore the supremacy and sovereignty of Jesus Christ above all else. Soon after, they released their national bestseller, Jesus Manifesto. Two years later, they released Jesus: A Theography, beautifully establishing that all Scripture unveils a person—the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Speaks is the long-awaited third volume in their JESUS trilogy. Read it and be equipped to hear the voice of your Lord.

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

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Tablet to Table

Tablet to Table: Where Community Is Found and Identity Formed

What if the Bible were seen less as a tablet of ink than as a table of food? From Tablet to Table invites readers to explore the importance of The Table in biblical theology, and what it might mean for us to bring back the table to our homes, our churches, and our neighborhoods. The table pictures the grace of God’s provision for all aspects of our lives, a place of safe gathering, of finding identity in shared stories, of imparting food and faith, of playing host and finding satisfaction as a guest. Sweet explores how our failure to understand and appreciate “the most sacred item of furniture in every home” has created such a deficit in our fast-food, take-what-you-like-smorgasbord, together-but-separate society. Buy Now

We Are the Church

We Are the Church: The Untold Story of God’s Global Awakening

We Are the Church bears witness to the mission and growth of the world church. Far from a dusty, theoretical treatise, We Are the Church is drenched in the sights and smells from the front lines and fox holes of mission. Filled with stories and testimonies from followers of Christ all over the world, each chapter is a living witness to how “the mission field has become a mission force” (J. Hudson Taylor IV). In the west, it seems the voice of revival is like the whistle of a train that stopped running years ago but which you think you sometimes hear faintly from the far side of the valley. In the east and south, the voice of revival is like a train coming out of a tunnel, hurtling down the tracks, coming at you with all its force and power, inviting you to climb aboard or get out of the way. You are invited now to get aboard this powerful, missional train and read firsthand the untold story of God’s global awakening.

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Giving Blood

Giving Blood: A Fresh Paradigm for Preaching

If the church wants to converse effectively with a culture, it must learn that culture’s language. Today, our culture thinks not in words but in images, stories, and metaphors. So what does this mean for preaching? In this ground-breaking resource, Sweet offers an alternative to the traditional models of preaching, one that is fitting to a new culture and new modes of thinking. This first book of its kind moves preaching beyond its pulpit-centric fixation and toward a more interactive, participatory mode of communication. Seeing the sermon as sacramental conversion experience, Sweet presents a challenge to a church struggling to maintain in an image based, media-saturated world.

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Me and We

Me and We: God’s New Social Gospel

Me and We calls for a new social gospel in the world in which economies of division are replaced by economies of relationship. Using the examples of individualism, racism, and consumerism, Sweet calls Christians to rethink individual responsibility even as we live together in God’s “house and garden” communities, our churches, and the world. The book blesses the uniqueness of created persons, and yet shows how God’s plan for creation means that all unique individuals live together in harmony and symphony to the tune of the One God in all of our economies: money, politics, and church.

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The Well-Played Life

The Well-Played Life: Why Pleasing God Doesn’t Have to Be Such Hard Work

Do you secretly think that the harder you work, the more God is pleased with you? You can live like that—for a while. But imagine what it might mean instead to unclench your teeth, loosen your grip, and actually experience God’s pleasure in you—not just in everything you are doing for Him? The Well-Played Life is a journey of a life filled with richness, fruitfulness, and creativity of living in God’s pleasure. Renowned author Leonard Sweet explores what it means to please God in the nitty-gritty of life; how that changes from the time we are 5 to the time we are 50; and how in every age of our lives, in everything we do, we can experience God’s gift of play. The Well-Played Life offers a new spiritual direction of enjoying (and being enjoyed by) God. Discover how a Sabbath way of Christian joy is not only possible, but also how we were designed… and a core part of God’s plan for our lives.

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Jesus: A Theography

“The Scriptures are the cradle in which Christ is laid.” — Martin Luther

Virtually every “Jesus biography” begins with the nativity account in Bethlehem. In this groundbreaking new book, Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola begin before time, in the Triune God, and tell the complete interconnected story of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation. Biographies of Jesus have generally been written by those trying to investigate the historical Jesus.

On the flip side, those interested in tracing the biblical narrative are typically disinterested in historical Jesus studies. These two approaches have yet to converge, until now. The Old and New Testaments are not two separate entities. Once we see the combined narrative, everything gels into a coherent, understandable and amazing story.

The story is not just “salvation history” as many people call it. Rather, it is the story of Jesus Christ-one person in two natures (divine/human) with four ministries (prophet/priest/king/sage) and four biographies. Every bit of scripture is part of the same great story, what the authors refer to collectively as the theography of Jesus. Biographies critique the subject in a factual way.

In this theography, the subject critiques us. The 27 books of the New Testament are a commentary on the Old Testament. Once this is properly understood, everything changes and biblical identity is found in the character of Christ and in the narrative codes of his entire existence-the greatest story ever told.

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The Greatest Story Never Told

God raises up Methodists for such a time as this.

Here is a ditty Len Sweet’s Methodist grandfather used to sing:

A Methodist, a Methodist will I be
A Methodist will I die.
I’ve been baptized in the Methodist way
And I’ll live on the Methodist side.

What “genius” of Methodism inspired this kind of love and loyalty in the earlier years of the faith? What did it mean to live in “the Methodist way” and to die on “the Methodist side?” Perhaps it is time to resurrect a neo-Wesleyan identity and to challenge the prevailing “one-calorie Methodism” that characterizes so much of our tribe today.

What makes a Methodist? How can we re-ignite the spark of genius that motivated such commitment in our cloud of witnesses?

The essence of Methodism’s genius resides in two famous Wesleyan mantras: “heart strangely warmed” (inward experiences with a fire in the heart) and “the world is our parish” (outward experiences with waterfalls of cutting-edge intelligence). For Wesley, internal combustion, the former, led to external combustion, the latter.

In the 18th century, Methodists in general (and in their younger years, the Wesley brothers themselves) were accused of being too “sexy.” What else could all those “love feasts” and “strangely warmed hearts” be about? Why else were all those women in positions of leadership? With this book the author hopes to bring back to life some of Methodism’s sexiness so that our current reproduction crisis can be reversed.

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