The following are a couple paragraphs from a review by Christopher Benson entitled, “The Messenger Is the Message: How will you obey the Great Commission today?” of Carl Raschke new book “GloboChrist: The Great Commission Takes a Postmodern Turn,” one of the books in Baker Academic’s series concerning Post-Modernism and the Church. I look forward to read it; although “GloboChrist” in the title? Really?
Obeying the Great Commission in the global cosmopolis does not involve a mission trip to “lost peoples at the margins of civilization”; the margins have become mainstream, while the mainstream has become marginalized. Nor does it involve sophisticated marketing campaigns. We make disciples of all nations as the pre-Constantinian church did in the face of “daunting and promiscuous pluralism”: through incarnational ministry, being “little Christs” to the neighbor; through contextualization of the message, speaking the idiom of the neighbor; and through relevance, hearing the needs of the neighbor. Raschke adds that relevance should not be confused with the prosperity gospel, “seeker-sensitive” ministry, the “hipper than thou” emergent church movement, the social gospel redux, or “bobo” (bohemian bourgeois) culture. Relevance is radical relationality…
GloboChrist ought to be regarded as an essential postscript to Lesslie Newbigin’s The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society. Raschke is at his best when he assumes the prophetic mantle, judging the Western evangelical church for “whoring after the false gods of spiritual and material consumption”; uncovering how the religious left is just “a fun-house mirror of the religious right”; questioning if Islamism is “an understandable reaction against the global overreach of the pax Americana”; chiding fundamentalists for idolatrously substituting an “eighteenth-century propositional rationality for the biblical language of faith”; pleading for the Emergent Village to stop replaying “the modernist-fundamentalist debates of a century ago”; and exhorting postmodern Christians to overcome their passivity and “privatized sentimentality” with a witness that possesses “the ferocity of the jihad and paradoxically also the love for the lost that Jesus demonstrated.” [emphasis mine]
The only thing, I really don’t like the term, “GloboChrist.” It sounds stupid, in my humble opinion. The last line of the quoted paragraphs above, along with the term “GloboChrist,” well, I just keep envisioning “RoboChrist” and I don’t like it. If we aren’t careful, “GloboChrist” will be the next rendition of the “Pax Americana” crusade waged by certain overly aggressive, culturally myopic groups in the form of “RoboChrist.” It will happen, you know, and they will completely miss the point.
It is easier believing in a super-being (RoboChrist) that will force everyone to “do the right thing/believe the right thing,” then to die-to-self in order to do a much more difficult form of ministry that involves incarnational being.