Review: The Controversial Jesus (featuring Erwin McManus)

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What makes for an engaging DVD-driven study?  To be sure, the topic of the study is a very important ingredient.  Choose the right topic and people will sign up…they may even bring a friend.  The topic is big.

The other ingredient?  There is no question that the charisma of the speaker plays a major role in what makes for a compelling study.  Get the right speaker and you’ve got a winner.  Get the wrong speaker…well, we’ve all seen what happens.

Lifeway’s The Controversial Jesus, a six session DVD-driven study featuring Erwin McManus is that unique combination of a very compelling topic and a crazily engaging speaker.  Great topic.  Who doesn’t want to know more about Jesus.  Throw in a little controversy and you’ve got the kind of thing that will keep members intrigued.  And I know everyone has their own preferences, but McManus is the kind of speaker that grabs and holds your attention for the entire segment.

Taken from a message series that McManus taught at Mosaic, the sessions titles provide a hint about the direction of the study (Co-Conspirators, God’s Conspiracy, Defiance, Defiant Jesus, Sincere Defiance, Subversive Intentions).  Similar to Life’s Toughest Questions, this is a topic that is in the sweet spot of McManus’ capabilities.

At about 15 minutes, the video segments are a manageable length.  A well-written study guide will keep the conversation going.  While a printed daily journal isn’t included, there is a suggested set of ideas to keep in mind during the week ahead as well as an assignment to bring a personal story that set up the next week’s discussion.

If you’re looking for a study that will give your group members some fresh insights into the controversial Jesus…this is a good one.  I think you’ll like it.  I know it grabbed my attention right from the beginning and kept it for six engaging sessions.

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