A Review of ReJesus: A Wild Messiah For A Missional Church

ReJesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church by authors Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch is an exceptionally challenging and inspiring treatise for thinking Christian church-goers of the 21st century seeking to find Christ in every corner of existence. The book is a prophetically refreshing and innovative call to remember that Jesus is the center, object, creator and receiver of the whole enchilada, everything. The authors lead the reader on an expedition deep into the heart of who Jesus is and then invite us to set up camp with them and lodge there for as long as we might. The authors claim the book to be a work of “missional Christology, if there is such a thing…” and the book finds its basis and impetus largely derived from the ideology of Missio Dei. Frost and Hirsch propose that it is time again to reform and recalibrate the mission of the Church around the person and work of Jesus, hence the title, “ReJesus”. They have perceived the Church, and in my opinion very accurately, as having become very ecclesiocentric in the majority of its pursuits and ideas. They adduce that perhaps the Church has put ecclesiology at the forefront of its concentration and has left Christology and Missiology to be infinitesimal afterthoughts. The modern day prophets claim that now is the time to dispose of much of the polluted proverbial bathwater that we have allowed Christianity to lie in for so long and usher in a clean, pure supply of Adam’s ale straight from the original tap, Jesus of Nazareth. Each chapter of the book begins with the authors identifying ways in which Christianity is or has been radically destructive and misrepresentative of the mission and identity of Jesus. For example, the prologue begins with the case of the Ku Klux Klan tyrannizing the south with bibles in hand, attempting to sanctify every appallingly unjustifiable misdeed by claiming the name of Jesus and shouting the words “lord, lord” with much volume and pride. The authors also reminded the reader of equally disturbing exemplars of what Christianity has drug the name of Christ through; including the oppressive reign of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, the Crusades, Christian fascism, the anthropomorphization of God in various ways and times, etc. The authors then explain how each of these historical faux pas with Jesus’ name slapped on it like a cheap bumper sticker are the consummation of fundamental misinterpretations of who Jesus Christ is. As Brian McLaren would say, there have been many times when Jesus has been merely the mascot of the Church, not the Lord of it. The main sentiment of the work can be summed up with the simple phrase “Jesus is not who I want him to be.”  Like the name Yahweh implies, He is who He is and He is going to be who He is going to be. The authors communicate that the Church has effectively lost its way many times because people tend to see God in the mirror, so to speak. And the only way to get back on track is to return to the founder and emulate Him in reforming, healing and ameliorating the Church he has espoused.