The Genius of Jesus: The Man Who Changed Everything by Erwin Raphael McManus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The author is the lead pastor of Mosaic, a nondenominational christian megachurch based in Los Angeles. In this book, he explores the concept of Genius, starting with how he defines it … which basically holds two things … it is nonconforming and it is transformational (the author actually splits nonconforming into three parts: 1. They are heretical. 2. They are original. 3. They are extremist). There are two ways that genius manifests: transforming what we do is the most common measure and transforming who we are is the second and most overlooked aspect. Conceptionally this is a pretty good fit into my own philosophy on what religion is supposed to do and it is the latter which describes the Genius of Jesus (who shows us how to transform ourselves).
The author then makes a bold statement: “Before you were twelve, you were a prodigy.” I think that is quite a stretch to basically say that we all have the potential for greatness … a potential that decreases as we get older when we don’t use the talents given to us by our creator. While the author may be engaging in a bit of fanciful optimism here; I can see what he is driving at and he comes up with some pretty good questions to get you started …
* Have you embraced your identity? Do you know who you are?
* Have you discovered your intention? Do you know why you’ve been put on this earth?
* Are you endlessly inquisitive? Are you asking the right questions?
* Are you expanding the parameters of your intuition? Are you open to the unknown?
* Is your essence grounded in intimacy with God? Do you know the God who loves you?
“Whatever genius is within you, it was not given to you for your personal benefit but for the good of others. Genius is a form of stewardship. To unlock your genius, you must choose to bear the weight of great responsibility.” Which is another way of saying we are called to follow Christ’s example … but do we really understand that example?
McManus then introduces us to the different aspects of The Genius of Jesus:
Chapter 3: The Genius of Empathy
Chapter 4: The Genius of Power
Chapter 5: The Genius of Grace
Chapter 6: The Genius of Good
Chapter 7: The Genius of Truth
Chapter 8: The Genius of Beautiful
I don’t always see his point nor do I always agree with his opinions (and even some of his facts or presumptions), but I can always see what he is trying to say and the is the true essence of communications. This book will help you re-examine your [Christian] faith and hopefully find within it something the will transform who you are … and that is the Genius of Jesus :-)
I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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My Ratings Explained ...
- [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
- [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
- [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
- [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
- [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.