2nd Apr, 2009

Reviewing ReJesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church

I wish that reading ReJesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church would have had the same effect on me that Jon often had on Garfield, but it didn’t. Instead, ReJesus struck many chords in spite of its simple message.

In a nutshell, ReJesus is a call to the Church to return to Jesus. That seems fairly basic given the fact we call ourselves followers of Jesus and CHRISTians. But Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch make a compelling argument that the modern church has distanced itself from the Jesus of the Gospels. They write that “Jesus is still calling us to come and join him in a far more reckless and exciting adventure than that of mere church attendance.” And they emphasize that this call to an adventure with Jesus isn’t just an adventure of belief in belief; rather, it is a journey of faith with the very real person of Jesus.

The message isn’t new and they don’t try to give us personal applications beyond calling us to return to the Scriptures and to Jesus. Some may find that such a call falls short of what we need, but I find it refreshing and similar to what Paul wrote when he said I came only to preach Christ and Christ crucified. There’s really no need for more. Jesus is the focus. Jesus is the One we are to fix our eyes upon.

So why are there 196 pages to tell us to return to Jesus? Because much of the work demonstrates how we have redefined Jesus to fit the Jesus we want to follow rather than the “Wild Messiah” who lived and died and lived again some 2000 years ago. ReJesus proves that we need not reinvent any aspect of our faith; instead, we simply need to be Jesus where we are and everywhere as we go. But to do that we must KNOW Jesus. And, as you read further into the book, the challenge to follow the Jesus we find in the pages of Scripture will begin to shake loose religious paradigms you may not realize you hold. Rather than continuing to allow our imaginations to be captivated by our culture, Frost and Hirsch ask us to let Jesus be the Lord of our imagination, our dreams, our mission, our lives.

He is the inventor. He is the founder. He is the Center. And as we grow more like Him, He will continue to inspire others through us to follow Him.

I recommend ReJesus. Don’t read it to be told how you personally are to follow Jesus. Read it to be inspired to go to the Scriptures and to Jesus Himself to discover how to become more like Him and how to be discipled by Him. Frost and Hirsch want us to know that Jesus really is alive, really is with us, and really will lead us into life eternal here and now and forever. But they also want us to know that the pursuit of Jesus isn’t a safe and sanitized religious drive on motorway. Journeying with Jesus will be like the life of those first disciples –more like the journey Frodo and Sam found themselves on with Aragorn – a life of complete trust in the provision of God and an adventure in what looks like folly to the world but what feels like a full and abundant life to the one who knows it. You can find two sample chapters of the book at Hirsch’s website here. Be reminded that this isn’t about us; it is about God’s mission – the Missio Dei.

Frank Viola reviews the book here. Eric Wright reviews it here. More great reviews can be found at The Ooze Viral Bloggers.

Responses

I have a feeling that’s why the Lord hasn’t let me read anything but the Gospels and Acts over the last year and a half.

Good review, thanks. I do plan to read the book, but there are several others that are before it right now.

Guy Muse’s last blog post..Calling: What is that all about?

Thanks for letting us know about this important work. I’ll certainly read it.
It is amazing that many in the Christian community think that you can be a professing Christian and still not a disciple. Jesus did have some things to say about what it took to be a disciple and He did leave us some commands to follow.
I’m looking forward to reading it.

Jerald’s last blog post..OFFER OF THE KINGDOM pt II – A Radical Decision

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