Book Review: Getting Jesus Wrong

Getting Jesus Wrong by Matt Johnson is a great book about how the author's understanding of Jesus changed over the years.  What Johnson discovered was that he had created several false messiahs rather than seeing Jesus as He really is. The first part of the book looks at these false messiahs: Life Coach Jesus, Checklist Jesus, Movement Leader Jesus and Visionary Jesus.  Each one ultimately leads to pride (if you are accomplishing what Jesus requires) or despair (if you are failing what is asked of you).

Through humor and real life stories, Johnson helps the reader understand how even though you attend church on a regular basis, you can still have an inaccurate understanding of Jesus.  The book does not come across as judgmental or pointing fingers because the author's honesty and vulnerability shows how he personally experienced each of these false messiahs in his own life. 

The second part of the book looks to the antidote of pride and despair and these false messiahs.  Johnson explains how a discovery of the distinctions of law and gospel throughout scripture led him see Jesus in a completely different light. He writes, " I was using God for his gifts rather than loving him as the Giver." This realization led him to see the cross of Jesus Christ as a "historical event...with ramifications for the present."  Matt shares, "When I go to church, I need the message of death and resurrection over and over and over." 

I highly recommend Getting Jesus Wrong. From beginning to end, Johnson keeps your attention as he highlights several issues within the church.  He also shares insights for how to see Jesus differently and what this looks like for him now.  Johnson does not claim to have it all together, but his understanding of God's love, grace, and mercy toward us will draw you to want to connect with God in a deeper way.

For more information or to order the book, visit your local Christian bookstore or go to

NOTE: I received a free copy of the book for an honest review.


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