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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"1000 Days: The Ministry of Christ" (Jonathan Falwell)

TITLE: 1,000 Days: The Ministry of Christ
AUTHOR: Jonathan Falwell
PUBLISHER: Nashville, TN: Thomas-Nelson, 2012, (240 pages).

This book provides us an intense look at the life, the ministry, and the teachings of Christ. From the moment I read the passion of the mountain climber, I was hooked. The mountain climbing is a metaphor for much of life that is all about restlessness and the effects of it. The purpose of the book is to "showcase the life of Jesus during his 1000-day intensive ministry leading up to the real-life scene where He lays down His life, a life that was characterized all the way through by radical love" (62).

The author, son of the famous right wing preacher, has given readers a powerful motivation to learn more about Christ. Each chapter is passionately written and points consistently to the Person of Jesus, that there is no true rest unless one rests in God. Falwell invites us to read Jesus' life more closely through the gospels, showing us:

  • Jesus' deep concern for the poor, the broken-hearted, the captives, the blind, and the marginalized in society;
  • Jesus' zeroing in on the ordinary person even as the world tends to focus on the rich, the powerful, and the influential;
  • Jesus' calling of ordinary men to be disciples;
  • Jesus' beatitudes are not secrets to happiness, but pointers to live like Christ;
  • Jesus' paradox of life being both going through the storm as well as being calm during the storm;
  • Jesus' radical love that guides His ministry;
  • Jesus' firm criticism of hypocrisy and legalism;
  • Jesus' teachings on heaven and hell, pointing out that hell is eternal separation from God, and that hell is not imposed on people but is freely chosen by people, to their own detriment;
  • Jesus' life that demonstrates after a spiritual highlight, there lurks temptation;
  • and many more....
There are many teaching moments too, with regards to the seven messages from the cross, the teachings on prayer, and many areas of the Christian Life that will edify the disciple of Christ. Each chapter ends with a series of questions for individual reflection or small group discussion. If that is insufficient, there is a more comprehensive "Bible Study Guide" for small groups to use. 

My Thoughts

The thrust of the book is three-fold. First, we need to recognize the futility of climbing the mountain of worldliness. Second, we need to turn around and seek the right mountain. Third, we climb the path of seeking God, through Jesus. This book is a preacher's delight, a unique guidebook to the life of Jesus, and an immensely encouraging way to persuade readers to move from restlessness in the world to restfulness in God. Jesus shows us the way intensely through 1000 days. Falwell shows us a glimpse of how powerful and satisfying it is to let our natural restlessness inside us, drive us to seek God more and more, in Christ.

Written at a lay level, this book is easy to read but challenging when it comes to practice. I recommend this book highly for small groups to use as they reflect, remember, and refresh their passion for Christ, and to be impassioned to witness for Christ.

Rating: 5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by Thomas-Nelson without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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