This is my last post on J. Frye’s wonderful book, Jesus the Pastor. I will do the final three chps today, and hope I’ve not said more than I should about this fine book. Chps 10 and 11 deal with the palpable presence of Jesus Christ in our lives and with the gifts of the Spirit.
A theme in this book is one I will not forget: theology, when done right, transcends information, articulation, proposition, and creed. Theology is incomplete until it it becomes worship, obedience, love, holiness — in real life, in real relationships, and in real transformation.
Chp 10, on the presence of God, has to be seen in light of the above theme and the background John had that he relates at times in the book: he grew up cessationist (the gifts of the Spirit ceased after the apostolic age). I don’t think John calls himself charismatic, but he might just as well. John calls cessationism the “vasectomy of the Spirit” (142). A word picture that won’t go away. He deals pastorally with the problems, and I have to admit that this is part of the Church that is simply no longer a part of my experience.
I also believe these two chps reflect the place John was when he wrote this book, but they reflect a path on which he has now traveled in a more emerging direction. There are clear indicators that this was the path he was on: one word I’d use for much of John’s theology about pastoring is wha Stephen Shields calls “transpropositionality.” We’ve got to get beyond being right to becoming good, to living the good and to being the truth in community.
I will leave the last chp to you, the reader: it tells a deeply personal story about John that you’ll just have to read. It would be unfair of me to try to tell what he has told so well himself.
Hey, John, great book. Time for a book called “Jesus the Emergent Pastor.”