Alan and Michael begin their book by exploring how too many Christian groups have (proclaim) a Jesus that looks radically different from the one found in the gospel.
There are five questions that they suggest Christians should constantly be asking. Over the next couple of weeks I want to explore these questions.
- What ongoing role does Jesus the Messiah play in shaping the ethos and self-understanding of the movement that originated in him?
However, the authors point out that too often the church has allowed others to play the pivotal role in shaping the ethos. That could be the founding fathers of a certain denomination. So for us Mennonites does Menno Simmons or Michael Sattler shape who we are more than Jesus?
I have to confess that I am a strong Anabaptist (a board term for Mennonite). Within my church right now there is a conversation about the emerging church. I tell people I have no desire to be “emerging church” I want to be more “Anabaptist”. Should I rather say that I want us to be more like Jesus? This is not to say that we throw out the theology of the Anabaptists. I really resonate with Anabaptist theology. But our ultimate reference point is not the early Anabaptists, it is Jesus.