Alan Jones and Reimagining Christianity
Alan Jones and Reimagining Christianity Believes the Cross of Jesus Christ is a vile doctrine
"The Church's fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it." Alan Jones, p. 132
other thread of just criticism addresses the suggestion implicit
in the cross that Jesus' sacrifice was to appease an angry god.
Penal substitution [the Cross] was the name of this vile doctrine."p.
Later Jones suggests that the doctrine of the Cross is a myth made up by man. p. 133
by Alan Jones in Reimagining Christianity
"The phrase, 'I am a practicing Christian but not a believing Christian' is extraordinarily wise." p. 16
"Christianity as a set of beliefs doesn't work for me. At the same time, I acknowledge the need for ritual and celebration in my life and find fulfillment and joy in many traditional practices. I light candles and ask for the prayers of the saints.... These disciplines ... do not require me to believe literally in angels and the Virgin Birth." p. 31
"I see the mystical and contemplative as the necessary grounding for social action and involvement in issues of justice." p. 88
Excerpt From Emerging "Christianity"
by Berit Kjos
A flood of mystical temptations are sweeping through churches and culture. They beckon us "let go" of the old inflexible Word and explore the new ways of the world and spirit. Naturally, a growing consensus of "open-minded" seekers claim that God's truth is "too divisive" to fit their new vision of global unity and experiential spirituality.
It used to be that Christian institutions and systems of dogma sustained the spiritual life of Christians. Increasingly, spirituality itself is what sustains everything else," wrote Pastor Brian D. McLaren, a "key figure" in the Emerging Church and author of A New Kind of Christian. "Alan Jones is a pioneer in reimagining a Christian faith that emerges from authentic spirituality. His work stimulates and encourages me deeply.1
Do you wonder what McLaren means by "authentic spirituality"? Or by "reimagining a Christian faith?"
I did. So I read Reimagining Christianity. In it, Alan Jones, the Episcopal Dean (priest) of San Francisco's gothic Grace Cathedral, offers some provocative clues:
"I am no longer interested, in the first instance, in what a person believes. Most of the time its so much clutter in the brain.... I wouldn't trust an inch many people who profess a belief in God. Others who do not or who doubt have won my trust. I want to know if joy, curiosity struggle, and compassion bubble up in a persons life. Im interested in being fully alive. There is no objective authority...."2
Wrong! There is an objective authority: our Sovereign God, Creator of the universe. He has revealed His will and authority through His Word! But, as in Old Testament days, today's masses "love evil more than good!" (Psalm 52:3) Despising His authority, they deny the only Truth that can set us free! Their earthly destiny is summarized in 2 Timothy 3:7: "...always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
In Reimagining Christianity, Jones explains that "Any journey toward belief must begin with the task recognized by mystics throughout history. They realized that merely knowing about things (science) wasn't enough. In fact, it was a distraction."3 Then he points to a major goal of mystical insight -- one that is emphasized in Purpose-Driven as well as emerging churches:
"They realized that there was a deeper and potentially frightening task of self-knowledge. Knowledge of God and knowledge of self were sides of the same coin. It was a knowledge that had no end.... Those on a spiritual path share this vision of the universal and unending character of our Journey to and in God. The principle is that all things are lights guiding our wayeven a stone or a piece of woodbut they are not what we seek. What stops our drive for facts from going haywire? The discovery of a higher form of knowing."3From Gnostic Roots to Occult Revival, by Berit Kjos