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Wholly Jesus: His Surprising Approach to Wholeness and Why It Matters Today [Paperback]

By Mark Foreman (Author), Jon Foreman (Foreword by) & Tim Foreman (Foreword by)
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Item description for Wholly Jesus: His Surprising Approach to Wholeness and Why It Matters Today by Mark Foreman, Jon Foreman & Tim Foreman...

His Surprising Approach to Wholeness and Why It Matters Today

Western Culture Has Largely Reduced Jesus to Being an Other-Worldly Savior of the Soul Pointing the Way to Heaven. But the Messiah was Far More. Ancient Followers Knew Jesus as One Who Came to Redeem Humanity Physically, Mentally, Spiritually and Culturally.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ampelon Publishing
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.75" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2008
Publisher   Ampelon Publishing
ISBN  098177055X  
ISBN13  9780981770550  

Availability  0 units.

More About Mark Foreman, Jon Foreman & Tim Foreman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jan and Mark Foreman live in the San Diego area, where Mark is lead pastor of North Coast Calvary Chapel. Mark is the author of "Wholly Jesus," and holds advanced degrees in Theology, Education and a Ph.D. in Counseling and Pastoral Care. Jan is a gifted teacher, artist, and she also facilitates partnerships with underprivileged women and children both locally and in developing countries. Together they love surfing, sailing, travel and especially being with their family.

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Reviews - What do customers think about Wholly Jesus?

Not Quite Whole  Apr 24, 2009

Jesus is my favorite. Rock and roll, fatherhood, and pastoring are also on the list of things I love (though not in that order). So when Mark Foreman, father of the founding members of Switchfoot and veteran pastor, writes a book on Jesus, I'm primed to love Wholly Jesus as well.

Foreman is out to repudiate what he sees to be the truncated message of a "thin Jesus" (who offers only forgiveness) and replace it with "Wholly Jesus" who, according to Foreman, "offers nothing short of the wholeness and complete humanity so many seek."


Chapters 1-4 introduce the author's idea of humanity's problem and need. Foreman believes we are broken and dysfunctional because we have rebelled against God. He writes, "We are good sailors with a bit of pirate in us." (51) And yet, Foreman argues, still we have a deep longing to be whole.

Chapters 5-8 give the author's idea on what wholeness is and how to find it. Foreman rejects various flavors of the Christian message he finds incomplete (Such as the "pop-Christian Jesus" whose salvation is "escape from sin and this earth", the "socially-concerned Jesus" who is "non-judgmental of everyone except rightwing pop-Christians").

So he asks, "...what is the simple, unrefined messaged of Jesus and the invading kingdom?"

Foreman understands Jesus' repeated message "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" to mean that "[Jesus] was to bring wholeness to all people." (81) Thus to enter his wholeness is, according the author, to make a "decisive response." The Christian life is "a life of complete surrender, knowing full well that only Jesus can make me whole." (87)

Foreman insists that a message only of forgiveness is incomplete. To him, "Salvation is the action; wholeness is the product." (38) He writes,

The offer [to become "fully human" now] is profound when you compare how many people woke today wondering about forgiveness and eternal life versus how many people woke today wondering about the best way to fix their lives. The simple point is this: If the Christian church pivots only on people seeking forgiveness and heaven, then very few will discover the wholeness remedy Jesus offers. (39)

According to Foreman the cross of Jesus Christ is the "Trojan Horse" that wins the great surprising victory over evil and brokenness on a universal scale. There, Jesus won the ironic revenge of love that made wholeness possible.

Chapters 9-13 describe Foreman's vision of life following "Wholly Jesus." After surrender to Jesus, one enters in to the life of wholeness by following Jesus' example in a life of humble, relational, and practical care for the world. This happens by being filled with the "Wholly Spirit" and evidencing its fruits.

The author believes that following Wholly Jesus will make a big difference for the church. He envisions a "church without walls" - a people that engage, welcome, and include unbelievers as the church "returns to the streets" (193) and reclaims its "rightful role as the hub of culture" (177). Foreman wants a church that " at the forefront of caring for the sick, raising up healthcare practitioners, carrying out justice, defending the poor around the world, and practicing green living." (218)

Of Praise:

I appreciated Wholly Jesus for several reasons. Foreman's emphasis on complete surrender to Christ is a needed message. His words ring true: "He [Jesus] will have all of you or none at all." (120)

I am especially thankful for Foreman's insistence on the importance of sanctification and its transformation of all life for the believer. He reminds that God's transformation of the entirety of believer's life is a wonderful promise to be proclaimed to the world along with the message of forgiveness and an essential emphasis for the Christian. The life of the Spirit is the life of wholeness, and we diminish such truth to our peril and irrelevancy.

Foreman's thoughts on the church moving from separation out of culture to a being transformational part of culture are also helpful.

Of Concern:

I'll start with the annoying. Though Foreman is friendly, interesting, and enjoyable to read, the addition of "wholly" to all things divine was overdone. "Wholly Spirit", "Wholly Trojan Horse," God's "wholly will," and "Wholly Jesus" oft-repeated went from making the point to sounding trite in this reviewer's mind.

More troubling was Foreman's handling of the cross. To be sure, he highlighted the cross of Jesus as the definitive victory; for this I rejoice. But the "Trojan Horse" was, to me, nearly empty inside, as the strongest description of the cross given was that it was "an ironic revenge of love." A culture looking for wholeness will have to wonder what this might mean and how it makes anyone whole.

Entering excited, I left deflated. Essential truths about the work of the cross were, while not denied, left diminished and uncelebrated. For instance, justification, the foundation of the sanctifying wholeness Foreman is proclaiming, receives only, "Because we rarely see bodies healed or characters transformed, we place all our weight on forgiveness and justification - two intangibles." (123)

If the church's message of Jesus is thin, so is Forman's portrayal of Jesus' best work.

Finally, Foreman has omitted one of Jesus' main themes - hell and the wrath of God.
No book can say everything. But to talk of "Wholly Jesus" and claim the "simple, unrefined message of Jesus" (81) and leave out Jesus' teaching on God's coming wrath is a surprising omission.

Foreman is right when he says that most folks don't wake up thinking about it. But according to Jesus hell is reality and we should be troubled. The doctor's job to give the diagnosis as well as the treatment. Otherwise the treatment will make no sense.


I love Switchfoot, and I appreciate Mark Foreman and have much to learn from him. But I only liked Wholly Jesus. It has a helpful message, but misses on precious things I would consider essential for a book of its topic.
this book is relevant  Apr 24, 2009
Mark Foreman examines today's zeitgeist and looks at it through the eyes of Jesus. Very relevant for today's confused or ambivalent culture.
Great read, challenging.  Feb 3, 2009
Last week I read Wholly Jesus by Mark Foreman. I want to thank Ampelon Publishing for sending me the book, you guy's rule. As per usual, I just want to write some portions of the book that helped me and gave me a greater understanding of Jesus and how my life should look as a follower of him.

Talking of a current western view of salvation. "But sadly, for many Jesus never makes it out of their hearts. He stays inside while the person passively waits for heaven" Pg. 38

Speaking of relationship. "Ultimately, without intimacy with God and others, I cannot become who I am supposed to be- I cannot become whole." Pg. 64

Regarding living our lives with Jesus. " Automatism is a unspoken heresy built on the misunderstanding of grace. It is the belief that if I sit passively in church, read my Bible for 10 minutes a day and pray at meals, Jesus wil automatically change me. It's his move, not mine. I want to change, but I can't until he changes me. Anything beyond this is my effort, which is work and violates Paul's teaching on grace. I do nothing, Christ does everything." Pg. 141

Regarding all of life involved with Jesus. "Kingdom believers celebrate the forgiveness of our sins and live an increasingly transformed character. In addition, we pray for the sick, feed the poor, speak out about injustice, protect the planet and promise hope for the future." Pg. 208

I enjoyed this book. It challenged me, made me think and excited me about my faith and the responsibility I have to encourage others in their faith. Christianity is not just about believing in Jesus and waiting for heaven, it is about living our lives out of Christs love for us and them. I encourage you to check out this book, it get's a thumbs up from me.
The Real Jesus  Jan 31, 2009
This is a must read for any Christian who is serious about being part of the Lord's work of advancing His kingdom! Or if you are simply confused and have questions about the Christian faith, this book answers a lot of tough questions in regards to why Christianity seems so broken and anemic.
Great book, fresh perspective  Oct 23, 2008
I read Wholly Jesus in a about 3 days, I couldn't put it down. The book explores the basics of what being a follower of Jesus is all about. If we believe that what He said is true, then what does that mean for our everyday life and attitudes? The book explores the idea that the way the church acts, and has acted, might not really be the best path to living with integrity and challenges readers to really think about belief, or lack of it, and how the way we view Jesus can effect the way we act and treat people. Everything we see tells us that the world is hurting, and Foreman talks plainly in this book about how regular people can make a difference. Wholly Jesus is easy to read and avoids the "church talk" that turns off believers and seekers. if you are a folower of Christ, I recommend that you get this book to have a fresh and encouraging view your faith, your life's calling and what it means to be "whole". If you're on the fence about the whole God thing, I recommend this book because the style is easy and non-judgemental and it will make you think and possibly question some long held views and about the way "religous people" act, and maybe the way they should.

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