Getting Jesus Wrong, by Matt Johnson

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Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book by Litfuse Publicity to read. All opinions and thoughts expressed in the “My Personal Review” section are all my own and like all my reviews they are 100 percent honest.

Getting Jesus Wrong, a full look and review of Matt Johnson's book.

About the book: 

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 co-opt 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.

My Personal Thoughts and Review: 

First, let me say that Johnson does a great job on sharing personal stories and his own struggles along his journey as a Christian and though I enjoy hearing about his experiences I didn’t necessarily care for his approach. As I began reading this book, I was a little disappointed. I think was expecting a different type of reading. Maybe a little more encouragement and instruction on how we can understand more of who Jesus is to us. However, that is not exactly what I got out of this book. The book included some curse words that I don’t care about using nor do I usually expect them in Christian books but I understand that not everyone will feel the same way. For me, that and a section where the author spoke about discussing views over beers was a little much for me. I wouldn’t say this was a bad book, it just wasn’t my taste. I found it really hard to connect to book and thus it was hard to enjoy.

If you like to read and ponder things from other’s points of view, like Matt Johnson shares here, then I believe you would enjoy this book.  He works his way the chapters of the book explaining the ways some Christians or Churches he has come in contact with perceiving Jesus and his relationship to us. I give the author kudos for stepping out there and writing about something important to him, but for me, I didn’t agree with a few things he wrote about and that cause a little disconnect for me but I feel like everyone interested in this type of book should look into it more.

About the Author: Matt Johnson

Getting Jesus Wrong, a full look and review of Matt Johnson's book.

Matt Johnson is a husband, father to two little girls, and is an armchair student of theology living in Seattle. He is also a freelance writer and editor. Until recently, Matt spent 7 years as an associate volunteer pastor in counseling and recovery ministry.
Find out more about Matt at


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