Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Key Christological Beliefs and Challenges

Jewish Jesus

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In your opinion, what are some of the key issues and challenges regarding our faith in Christ in the contemporary world? What are some the the key beliefs about Christ that you are not willing to negotiate? What are those that you can imagine negotiating?

Here are my responses to those questions. I would love to hear your thoughts as well.

A key challenge in our day is too many look at Jesus in an ahistorical manner. When the Jesus of faith is separated from the Jesus of history, it makes following him in our context untenable.

Another challenge today is that some who call in Lord focus solely on his death. We need to maintain a focus on the cross, while at the same time recognizing that we are to imitate his life, and believe that through his resurrection we can live spirit imbibed lives in hope of our eschatological communal future.

The most basic beliefs about Christ would include his identity, his mission, his priority, his grace and his example. In regard to his identity, Jesus is the Son of God, God the Son, Savior and Lord of the Universe, who was born of a virgin and exists co-eternally with the Father and Spirit. His mission was to inaugurate the kingdom of God and earth, and he calls us to follow him in the renewal of all things. His priority and creed was to love God and people, especially the least of these. His grace is extended to us in many ways. Through his incarnation, he is our priest and can identify with our weaknesses, through his death he makes it possible for us to reconnect with our triune God, through his resurrection and ascension he gives us power through the spirit to live godly lives and through his return, he gives us hope of a new heaven and a new earth. Finally, through his example, he demonstrates what it means to be fully human and calls us through the power of the Spirit to follow him as the liberator of those who have been oppressed by the system, lover of those who have been rejected by society and deliverer of those who have been seduced by consumerism.

I can negotiate how I understand his work in those outside the church.

8 Responses to Key Christological Beliefs and Challenges

  1. Kimberlee says:

    Reading these Key Beliefs was like listening to perfect harmony…thanks for sharing.

  2. JR Woodward says:


    Thanks for the encouragement. Glad it brought music to your life.

  3. daveyfc says:

    This is a really crucial question especially as we advance missionally to ensure we take take an accurate picture of Jesus out with us..

  4. Lee Wyatt says:

    I believe that until we recognize Jeses as a “problem child” none of the other ties for him have any teeth. He unsettled and problematizes everyone and everything he touches and cannot himself be controlled.

  5. JR Woodward says:


    I love that “He unsettled and problematizes everyone and everything he touches and cannot himself be controlled.” A word to think about.

  6. Lianne says:

    Thanks for posting this!

    I feel like the key issue I see/face is that the words “Jesus” and “Christianity” seem so abstract in today’s world, and so loaded with connotations (most of them negative) that, like you said, they have no historical or spiritual meaning. What they call to mind (crazy religious people, a corrupt institution) and what they essentially are (a way of life, a way of love) are so divided that it’s difficult for me to find a way to relate to those words both within myself and with other people.

  7. CO Fines says:

    Good question. For self-identified Christians I would put “Jesus is Messiah” at the top of the list. I am not fond of the Nicene essentials, don’t believe there is any but surface agreement as to what they mean and never was, recognize them as perhaps the most agreed upon meeting place but also recognize that they divide as much as they unify.

    In general I would put “God is good” up there as a point of good fellowship. Up a step would be “God is”. There is probably one more step up but I’m not sure it can be put into words. Or Word.

    I don’t require any of this to be friends with someone. And I’m used to being the odd man out with those who find a comfortable theological fit with others. Anyway, I’m not so sure that doctrinal belief has very much to do with what we like to call salvation.

  8. JR Woodward says:


    You are so right in the difference between what they call to mind and what they essentially are.


    I’m definitely speaking from a position of a self-identified Christian, and think Jesus is Messiah, God is good and God is are good essentials. Thanks for your words.

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