Back to the Beginning

Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch have hit another homerun as far as I am concerned.  Their most recent volume ReJesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church takes a step back from their other recent books on the missional church.  It seems that they have realized that the church needs to be missional but that without Jesus at the center, the church will be perpetually distracted from her mission.  Everything flows from Jesus.  As Blaise Pascal aptly puts it:

Jesus is the center of all, the object of all, whoever does not know him, knows nothing aright, either of the world or of himself.

Frost and Hirsch demonstrate how our Christology determines our missiology and how that in turn determines our ecclesiology.  Their book makes it clear that when the church is talking about being missional we often assume what that means without referring to Jesus.  They hope to push the church to be radical, to go back to the roots, the source.

Now with most any discussion of Jesus, the difficulty lies in reaching beyond our thoughts about Jesus to Jesus himself.  Schweitzer, in his quest for the historical Jesus, wasn’t the first to seek the true and living Christ behind the veil of church history and doctrine. Many others have sought to discover Jesus afresh.  There are a whole raft of books currently in print on the subject: Chalke’s The Lost Message of Jesus, Cavey’s The End of Religion, Kinlaw’s Let’s Start with Jesus, McLaren’s The Secret Message of Jesus, Morgan’s The Wild Gospel, and Wright’s The Challenge of Jesus, just to name a few.  The question I have about each of these books is: how well do they bring the real Jesus to light?  Now I think ReJesus does well pointing out the many Jesus’ of our own making.  Hirsch and Frost present the diverse images of Jesus spanning culture and history.  You’ll have to read their book to see how well they shed light on the true and living Christ.

One thing to be said is that the journey is worth it.  Necessary. More than that, it is indispensible for the development of the church and her mission.  Where can I begin?  Start with the gospels.  Read the text and first take what it says at face value.  Allow a portrait of Jesus to begin to emerge as if for the first time.  Ask and trust the Spirit to guide your thoughts and bring those images into focus.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandy on July 18, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Trusting the Spirit to show me more of Jesus.


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