If you have followed the StraightUp blog for any amount of time then you know I have been talking about and warning about the Emergent Missional Church movement and those connected with it. Two of the names I have mentioned over the past couple of years are Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost, the two world wide experts on the missional church and unfortunately they have quite the influence on evangelical churches in the United States. Any church, pastor, leader who is using or promoting anything from these men is a huge red flag!
This is an updated re-published book it was originally published in 2008. There are SO many issues or red flags with this book, however, if you don’t really know your Bible you might be led to think this is really good because for once they actually do say some good things, but the unbiblical ideology out weighs the good, so it is rubbish.
When I saw that they were re-publishing this book due to the things going on socially, culturally and politically over the recent years, I knew I needed to read it…curiosity. Ugh! It is exactly what I figured it to be… from just the fact that Christine Caine wrote the forward (she is apart of the New Apostolic Reformation and a huge social justice activist) and is apparently quite connected with Alan Hirsch and his wife (so if you don’t understand that she is someone to stay away from this should hopefully help with that.) Then I looked over the many names of those who endorsed the book… lets just say it’s a train wreck! A whose who of social justice activist, contemplative prayer practitioners /promoter’s, progressive “Christians”… THIS IS WHAT EMERGENT CHURCH IS!!! It is not dead so open your eyes and wake up Church!
So, after seeing the endorsements I didn’t really need to go any farther, but again curiosity got the best of me. The Preface…wow…or better yet…YIKES. They talk about all the different “movements” that have happened within the Church over the years and basically how they have left a trail of disappointment. I find it a bit funny that they mention the “emergent” as well, when that is EXACTLY WHAT THIS IS! They talk about how this is a time that they feel the need to reground their faith around Jesus and thus call others to do the same. Now, this sounds like a good thing, right? However, you have to understand who their Jesus is…very important! The “missional” Jesus, the Jesus of these two guys, is a social justice, ecumenical Jesus. That is NOT the Jesus of the Bible. They use Eph. 1, Col. 1, Rom. 5 to support their understanding of the “uniting of all things in Christ”… that through the “rejesus affect it will not just involve our celebrating Jesus as our Savior.’ In their thinking this is the “great evangelical reduction of the gospel” and they go on to talk about the need to pattern our lives after Jesus the “holy” human, but again, you have to understand which Jesus they follow…it is not the Jesus of the Bible. I will come back to this. I want to mention some concerning things in the Preface beyond their “Christology” ideology…yes, I’m still on in the Preface! That’s how bad this is. I could have burned the book at this point, but curiosity.
One thing I have been warning about regarding these people and all of those in their camp, is the teaching and practicing of contemplative prayer practices, which is no different than New Age, Eastern mysticism so you have to pay attention to wording and phrases. They quote some questionable people in the Preface like David Bentley Hart who is a promoter of Universalism, The SBC theologian Russell Moore who is a progressive, Sarah Bessey who is a progressive. Then they go on to say that what they are actually doing with this book ReJesus is practicing what Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar (who Hirsch seems to love) calls “trinitarian Christology” the idea that the Trinity must start with Jesus because it is he who introduces us to the Trinity… Um, this is heretical and just stupid. Also, why are we trying to get evangelical churches to follow the theology of a Catholic theologian? Wake up Church!!! I beg you.
As you can see this will get rather long so I am going to condense it. As I went on reading through the book there is the continual use of quoting Catholic theologians, contemplative practitioners, and progressives. So, maybe you are wondering what Christology is? Well, it is the doctrine of focusing on the works and nature of Jesus. The entire point of Rejesusing the Church (they are talking Evangelical and Catholic – ecumenism) is to move away from the doctrine of salvation (which is the mission of the NT Church) to Christology. This is not biblical. They follow a social justice Jesus and in order for the Church to be authentic that is what all of us need to follow….um, no thanks! I will stick with the biblical Jesus that called people to repentance, who flipped tables in the synagogues and warned about false teachers.
To be the Church that Hirsch and Frost are longing for is to ignore sound biblical teaching of the whole Bible, to be a Church that is into social justice activism (like them), to be ecumenical (which will lead to universalism), where progressive Christians are not apostates, where we should give all our money away (they actually say this in the book – both of them are worth over a million dollars so maybe they should start)… this is NOT a biblical NT Church, this is what would cause apostasy in the Church – this book truly is the handbook for the apostate church. Wake Up Church. Time is running out. That’s it. StraightUp!