Getting Jesus Wrong – Book Review

Getting Jesus Wrong

By:  Matt Johnson

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First Person • NonFiction • Narrative Style • 160 Pages


About the Book (Backcover Blurb):

Jesus is not a life coach, a movement leader, a cultural visionary, or a blessing dispenser but you might not know that by listening to many Christians talk about their faith. Feel-good slogans promote a caricatured Jesus made in our own image who cannot save us and leave us feeling guilty for not saving ourselves. Following the wrong Jesus disappoints us and produces anxiety, pride, and despair.

The first half of Getting Jesus Wrong recounts pastor and author Matt Johnson s personal encounters with a string of false saviors false saviors that many, especially young adults, will recognize. Johnson s humor and transparency in recounting his own painful experiences will appeal to those who have tried a brand of Christianity and found it lacking.

The truth is, we all want something from Jesus. Some are just hoping for a little help to get through life a new direction, a purpose that will get us up in the morning, an exercise plan, a way to get organized. But that approach to Jesus doesn t result in real faith or love.

Whether we’ve followed a false Jesus or attempted to coopt the real Jesus, Getting Jesus Wrong ultimately offers us hope because it helps us see Jesus as he is. Getting Jesus Wrong shows that the message of the Bible is about Jesus coming to us as we are which is good news for exhausted and disillusioned disciples. It shows us that getting Jesus right means a whole new way of thinking (the way up is down) and a whole new way of life (daily dependence on the one who knows the beginning from the end). Getting Jesus right gives us more than spiritual vitamins or a blueprint for living; it gives us a full, rich life spent exploring the depths of gospel love together.

Why I Choose this Book:

I didn’t have a huge reason for requesting this book for review – mostly that it looked like a unique perspective I could learn from.

What I Thought about this Book:

That is a good question, and I spent the entire book trying to figure that out. Getting Jesus Wrong wasn’t what I had expected, and that’s not necessarily a good thing in this case. The author had a way of narrating in a way that left me feeling a bit disheartened.

I really like it when authors are honest and real, and yay for that in this book. But, at the same time, I didn’t exactly feel blessed, inspired, encouraged, or even convicted or spurred on by this book. Instead I had a really hard time connecting. It’s obvious that the author does a lot of introspection with his life, and not something I do naturally. I do introspection because I know (a balanced amount) is good to help me grow. So, to read a book from the perspective of someone who’s naturally introspective? Well, it was really hard to relate to. (Just a note: I’m not saying being introspective is bad, I’m simply pointing out a difference in personalities.)

There were a lot of Bible verses in Getting Jesus Wrong – something I always appreciate in books, so I was thankful for that. The author also used examples from his own life, another thing that makes me happy when I’m reading. And, there were bits here and there of good information. Overall though, I didn’t connect with the book or get a lot out of it.



There were various things I didn’t agree with in the book – theologically and such. I’m not recommending the book, but I don’t un-recommend it.


I’m giving Getting Jesus Wrong 2 out of 5 stars, and 3 out of 10.

*I received this book from Litfuse

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