Helpful Tidbits for Organic Church Life                                           February 23, 2009
Kierkegaard: Critic of Religiosity
My Reflections
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Org_LeadIn Frost and Hirsch's most recent book they revisit an extremely important missiological concept: that our Christology should inform our missiology and that our missiology should inform our ecclesiology. Given, then, that it all starts with Jesus, it's imperative that we get hold of an accurate picture of Jesus. If we don't, everything else goes askew.
In this week's excerpt, Frost and Hirsch highlight one of my favorite prophetic voices: Søren Kierkegaard.

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION/TOPIC: Do I have an accurate understanding of Jesus?
Kierkegaard: Critic of Religiosity
Excerpt from ReJesus by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch


Like Jesus attacking Pharisaism, Søren Kierkegaard came out swinging against every phoney form of institutionalized Christianity. "An apostle proclaims the truth, an auditor is responsible for discovering counterfeits," wrote this nineteenth-century Danish philosopher and theologian. He saw it as his mission to be an auditor of Christendom, an institution he charged with sanitizing Jesus and making light of his message. Denmark's state church, he wrote, was "just about as genuine as tea made from a bit of paper which one lay in a drawer beside another bit of paper which had once been used to wrap up a few dried tea leaves from which tea had already been made three times."
One of the fathers of existentialism, this remarkably complex and intelligent man underwent a profound spiritual transformation at the age of thirty-five and thereafter sought to apply some of his existentialist ideas to Christianity and thus reintroduce his nation to Jesus. Individuals, not the state, Kierkegaard argued, needed to make a "leap of faith" in order to enter into authentic Christianity. As a little Jesus, he hoped that his brutal attacks against the banality of institutional religion would anger Danish Christians enough to make them re-examine their relationship with Jesus (2009:52).
My Reflections
One of my life's goals is to reeducate the church on the Yeshua that is, not the Jesus we have come to know. For all kinds of reasons, we've Greek-ified Yeshua and, as a result, have lost much of his message, especially with regard to the Kingdom.
As a modest primer, does it make sense to you that an unchanging God would switch gears between Old (poor translation) and New Testaments, that somehow under the "old" covenant God's people were subservient to the Law (better translation: "the teachings"), but now there's freedom under grace?
I, of course, want to shout from the rooftops, "Not true! Nothing's changed!" It's always been about grace. It's always been about Yeshua! And it's always been about his Kingdom! In other words, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the rest were saved in precisely the same way we post-cross people are, by grace via the blood of the Lamb.
Although to convince you of this fact in such a short space is next to impossible, here's a few things to contemplate/study when time permits.
First, God has always been about 'organic' church. Remember, it wasn't God's idea to build a permanent temple (2 Sam 7:2). It wasn't God's idea to have Moses as a permanent go-between (Ex 20:19). It wasn't God's idea to pen a Talmud (Mt 23:4).
Second, most of your English versions of the Bible are biased. For example, when you read through Galatians you're likely to think Paul is seeking to rid of the Law, but that's not what's going on at all. Instead, Paul is castigating those propagating Pharisaical traditions (Talmud).
Third (and I'll stop here), if we don't obey the Law we simply cannot be like Jesus, Yeshua. After all, Yeshua embodied the Law; he was the epitome of Torah. Now, consider Jesus's life. Does he seem legalistic? By no means! Consider, for example, how Jesus handled the woman caught in adultery. Filled with grace, Jesus lived out the Law as it was intended (a strict Scripturalist, Jesus would probably be considered at Karaite Jew). For more on all this pick up Nehemia Gordon's The Hebrew Yeshua vs. The Greek Jesus and John Howard Yoder's The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited.
Now, before anyone emails me about my wayward theology, first read the suggested books. Study. Then get me. Like you, I'm in-process and still learning. But realistically, if I waited to make statements until I had it all figured out, I'd never get to say anything. So, consider this food for thought. And together, let's ReJesus, shall we? After all, he is the cornerstone.
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty
The Banqueting Table