Sweet, Leonard. Viola, Frank. Jesus. A Theography. Thomas Nelson. 2012.
By any other author this would be called a biography; Sweet comes up with an original, “Theography”. To be tolerant, the authors have taken the subject beyond a simple biography hence the new term is probably warranted. I found the material instructive, inspirational, and certainly edifying. It has been a while since I have picked up a Sweet book (pun intended) and my read was quite enjoyable.
“The end product of biblical Christianity is a person.” (intro) “The Bible is the narrative of Jesus- the Christ, the Savior, the living Lord, and our all.” (conclusion)
As part of the Godhead, Jesus Christ is eternal. “God (Jesus Christ) finished all things before he began all things.” (9) There are no time limits with him. Logos gives a special meaning to who he was (is).
When God declared, “Let there be light” (the first day of creation), “Jesus was born.” (20) Each successive day represented major events in Jesus’ life. The ‘separation’ of day two represented his death. Day three represented resurrection with the appearance of dry land. The forms in the heavenlies represented ascension. The creation of higher life forms of day five represents the indwelling Christ and Adam’s creation (day six) represents Christ’s rule. Day seven- rest-: ‘mission accomplished’.
The image of Christ finds a representation in both the Garden of Eden and the Temple. Christ was revealed by the declaration of light. He was heralded by the star of Bethlehem. We are not just the benefactors but also the custodians of creation.
Very little is known about Jesus’ childhood and early adulthood. Some ‘speculative’ material is presented about this time of his life.
Jesus’ ministry was inaugurated with his baptism and time of temptation. In his temptations Satan was refusing to acknowledge the humanity of Jesus. They were a ‘playback’ of the temptations of Adam and Eve in the Garden and Israel’s temptations in the wilderness.
When Jesus chose his disciples he broke the tradition of disciples choosing their master. The number twelve was symbolic of “Reconstituting the kingdom of Israel.” (132) Jesus had a radical view of women.
An important part of Jesus’ ‘theography’ was his healings, miracles, preaching, and teaching. He was totally human while remaining divine. He was a protector of children. Jesus’ ‘prayer landscape’ involves “mountains, water, desert, and the garden.” (210) His resurrection, ascension, and Pentecost brings his earthly career to an end.
The return of Christ will be marked by the creation (introduction) of a new heaven and a new (renovated) earth. Earth will not be destroyed but rather restored.