God Loves Jay Bakker (in NY Magazine)

God Loves Jay Bakker (in NY Magazine) November 8, 2010

A nice piece on one of my best friends.  (I’ve read the manuscript of Jay’s forthcoming book, and it’s excellent!)

Bakker is certain that if Christianity actually modeled itself on the life of Christ, then these contradictions would disappear, leaving behind the most basic tenets: Jesus was resurrected, and he died for our sins. “There’s just something about the idea of grace and the life of Christ,” he says, “ that I can’t get away from.” The rest of Protestant Christianity, however, he’s basically prepared to ditch—a stance that pushes him beyond the far liberal wing of the Evangelical Christian community and into what is known as the “Emergent” ministry.

The Emergent movement is not an organized force in American theology; most of its members would probably dispute being members of anything. But it is a way of referring to a growing number of churches and ministers—like the Void collective in Waco, Texas, and the theologian Brian McLaren—who attack the fundamentals of fundamentalism. They tend to be pro-choice and support gay marriage, and they don’t fret over premarital sex. They welcome atheists and embrace doubt. They like to read Nietzsche during services.

And though Bakker is hesitant to use the term himself, Revolution has cohered into one of the nation’s most vibrant Emergent churches. “The reason why traditional Christianity works so well is because it tells people that things happen for a reason,” says Peter Rollins, a pioneer of the Emergent movement. “We don’t want to suffer; we want an easy answer. You can fill stadiums with that. But at a community like Revolution, they don’t have an answer for people who are suffering. They say, ‘We don’t know why this is happening, but we’ll suffer through it with you.’ ” Or, as Bakker puts it, “Faith isn’t answers all the time. Faith is helping you deal with the questions.” His Facebook page lists his religious views as “Changing.”

via God Loves Jay Bakker.

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  • The Emergent Church sounds much like the United Church of Christ – and visa versa. Glad we have kindred spirits in ministry. Peace.

  • I *just* wrote a blog post about similar things (not to advertise). I like his FB religious view. It is simple and mysterious and profound.

  • I’m a huge fan of Jay Bakker. I can’t wait to check out his new book.

  • cjbiggs

    So, we’re not “fretting over premarital sex” anymore either? Sweet! This is getting good.

  • ben

    Tony, that phrase about not “fretting about premarital sex” confused me too, as an emergant-outsider. Have you or others written on this issue? Or if you can just explain what he means, that’d be great.