Tuesday, December 08, 2009

ReJesus - Question 1

ReJesus: A wild Messiah for a Missional Church, by Michale Frost and Alan Hirsch.

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.
  1. What ongoing role does Jesus the Messiah play in shaping the ethos and self-understanding of the movement that originated in him?
Obviously, Jesus should play the ultimate and pivotal role in shaping the ethos and self-understanding of movement that originated in him. This is Alan and Michael’s major claim through out the book, Jesus should be central to everything.
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.


Pastor Michael said...

It all hangs in this question: do you believe that Anabaptist theology is the most biblical?

Ben said...

Michael that is a good question. However the point is not what is most biblical but what is our starting reference point. Do we begin by focusing on Anabaptists or on Jesus? Now this might seem like a small point (especially if we believe that our theology is the most biblical). But it is important. Because no one has prefect theology. Jesus is ultimate reference point - who corrects our theology. And our goal is to be like him, not to be a good Anabaptist.

Pastor Michael said...

I still say its the same question. By ascribing to a certain set of theological principles you are saying (I hope) that you believe those principles are the most true to scripture as far as you can discern.

If your reference point is Anabaptists, I hope that is because you believe that they were the most Christlike of all believers in their time.

I am not really a fan of self-applied labels. I have too many theological convictions that cross different streams.