The Christ of the Emergent Church

Alvin Kimel writes:

By chance I ran across today the Emergent Church site Open Source Theology, and guess what its latest article is about: Is Jesus God? The author happens to think that a correct answer is “yes and no.”

Yes and no? What kind of an answer is that? Yes, I’m well aware as the next shmoe that “Jesus is God” needs to be unpacked by a discussion of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, combined with a reassurance that the full humanity of Jesus is being respected; but c’mon … Check out the comments that attend this article. Are they representative of the Emergent Church?

Emerging views of Jesus have occupied my attention quite a bit of late. In recent conversations with John Morehead I expressed my conviction that contextualization needs to begin with our understanding of Jesus, and furthermore, that in Pagan contexts our explainations of Jesus need to be more bottom-up in style than top-down.

For the record, yes, I believe Jesus is God. But my personally experience is that the descending Christologies so popular amongst contemporary Christian preachers – ones that assert his divinity from the beginning – are way too gnostic for those seeking a more earthy spirituality. Conversely I have found that ascending Christologies that start with the humanity of Jesus are far more useful as a bridge.

But this is only the beginning. I believe we must also explore the relationship of Jesus to the earth, women, ecstatic experience, symbols and myth. An contextualised Christianity must start with Christ not the Church, so moving forward I would like to focus much more on the Emerging Christ than the Emerging Church.

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