In many ways Brian Zahnd is like many of Nomad’s guests in that he deconstructed (although he doesn’t like that term) what he came to see as a very narrow faith, and reconstructed something much deeper and broader. The difference with Brian, though, is that he went through this process while pastoring a mega-church. So we asked him, how can you lead a church, or indeed be a member of a church, when your faith is changing and you feel like you’re in a very different place from everyone else.
Interview starts at 13m 25s
Image provided by Zahnd Photography Used with permission.
“I tend to not say that my view of Jesus has changed, I would say that my view of God is more Christlike. So, there would have been a time […] that I perhaps saw God as somewhat different than Jesus. Today I would say I have made the beautiful discovery that God is like Jesus, and God has always been like Jesus. There’s never been a time when God wasn’t like Jesus. We haven’t always known this, but now we do.”
“We can’t view the Bible as a flat text. Let’s say that I love the idea of war. Well, it’s gonna be hard to enlist Jesus in support of that, but if I approach the Bible in a wrong way, no problem; I just need to go find some other verses in the Bible that I can use to counter what Christ has clearly taught; and so that is what I see a lot of people doing… And hiding behind the Bible is the cleverest way of all of hiding from Jesus.”
“I don’t see the Church as a second step, as an option. I see it as the natural outgrowth of following Jesus, and Jesus immediately leads us into his community of other people doing the same thing.”