30 September 2007

It's Funny...

It's funny how trends can start with just a remark.

I've just started rereading Steve Chalke's The Lost Message of Jesus. I actually read it when it first came out in 2004 but I gave my copy to a friend and I needed to get my hands on the book again.

The reason that I needed to get my hands on it again is because I'm working on a paper about theologies of atonement.

Anyway what's 'funny' about Chalke's book is that in 2004 it opened a whole can of worms in the UK on the subject of 'the correct theory of atonement'. But, as I break open the cover again for the second time, I'm reminded that the book really isn't primarily about atonement theory at all. I'm not actually certain what it is, perhaps actually a follow-on to Dave Tomlinson's Post Evangelical.

Certainly, Chalke's book is a plea to recover the teachings of Jesus as central and important to what it means to be a Christian. I also think that Chalke's book is what is now the recognisable post-evangelical plea for church communities to be safe places to struggle with faith-issues. Something that, in my experience, is not possible in church communities that take a hard line on any doctrinal issue, be it penal substitutionary atonement, resurrection or 6-day twenty-four hour creation.

Anyway, I've just cracked open the book again for the second time, so more later.


Sally said...

Good points here Pam- interesting isn't it how much attention was centered around a few words!

As for the need for grace filled churches- Amen to that!

Turbulent Cleric said...

I found Chalke's book to be very helpful.