"How has it come about that the development of Christianity and the church has given birth to a society, a civilization, a culture that are completely opposite to what we read in the Bible, to what is indisputably the text of the law, the prophets, Jesus and Paul?" So adduces Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch from the introduction of their newest book citing philosopher Jacques Ellul.
In ReJesus, Frost & Hirsch examine the practice of everyday Christian spirituality and ultimately ask if what we practice today is what Jesus passed down to his first century followers. The authors note that many institutionalized forms of Christianity have traded the radical way of Jesus for the stability of outward religious expression. Frost & Hirsch issue a call to the church, therefore, to refocus its spiritual practice upon the true author and Foundation of our faith.
ReJesus asks the following questions:
• What ongoing role does Jesus the Messiah play in shaping the ethos and self understanding of the movement that originated in him?
• How is the Christian religion informed and shaped by the Jesus that we meet in the Gospels?
• How do we assess the continuity required between the life and example of Jesus and the subsequent religion called Christianity?
• In how many ways do we domesticate the radical revolutionary in order to sustain our religion and religiosity?
• How can a rediscovery of Jesus renew our discipleship, the Christian community, and the ongoing mission of the church?
These questions take us to the core of what the church is all about. Rather than reformation, the authors call their task re-founding the church because it raises the issue of the church's true Founder or Foundation. This theme is of particular importance at the dawn of the twenty-first century as many attempt to address Christianity's endemic and long trended decline in the West. The authors feel that a spiritual, theological, missional, and existential crisis looms in the West.
Michael Frost is professor of evangelism and missions at Morling College in Sydney, Australia, and a Baptist minister. He is the author of Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture and the coauthor of The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st-Century Church.
Alan Hirsch is the founding director of Forge Mission Training Network and a founder of shapevine.com. He is the author of The Shaping of Things to Come with Michael Frost, The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church, and The Forgotten Ways Handbook.