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Tim Chester on “ReJesus”

March 17, 2010

Tim Chester has recently reviewed ReJesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church. He has some helpful comments which mark the value of the book:

The material is presented with verve. The authors are aware of academic work, but this is a popular book with a strong polemic tone. There is plenty of insight and plenty of challenge. It is full of passion. Sometimes over-stated. But I appreciate the need to be poked a bit.

But where are the cross and the resurrection (mentioned so infrequently they merit no inclusion in the index), the ascension and the parousia of Jesus (not mentioned at all)? And for all their emphasis on the Jewishness of Jesus, there is little on Jesus as the fulfilment of the Old Testament. It may well be that evangelicals have too often neglected the life of Jesus and I suspect Frost and Hirsch are reacting against this. But the answer cannot be to neglect his cross, resurrection, ascension and parousia.

He concludes his review with these remarks:

What is missing is soteriology. Perhaps this is assumed. But it is a dangerous assumption. Christology, we are told, determines missiology which in turn determines ecclesiology. Perhaps, but only if christology includes an account of the saving work of Christ. The danger is that a lifestyle shaped by the pattern of Jesus that does not arise out of gospel grace shaped by the redemption of Jesus will create a new kind of legalism – a new, edgy legalism to replace the traditional legalism Frost and Hirsch decry, but legalism nevertheless….  An attempt to reJesus the church with a cross-less, resurrection-less, ascension-less christology is surely more than a .05 degree misalignment.

You can read the whole thing.

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