All posts tagged Trevin Wax

  • From Word of Faith to the Church Fathers

    EngagingOrthodoxyFrom Word of Faith to the Church Fathers

    Trevin Wax is the managing editor of The Gospel Project and an influential blogger through his regular posts at Kingdom People. He’s a reader, a thinker, a writer, and a lover of Jesus.

    I first became aware of Trevin Wax when he did a review of my book Beauty Will Save the World. (You can read his review here.)

    Trevin recently interviewed me regarding my theological journey. I thought you might find the conversation interesting so I’m sharing it with you. (The Kingdom People post can be found here.)

    I like the title Trevin gave his post. I’m glad he didn’t entitle it, “Has Brian Zahnd Lost His Mind or What?”



    From Word-Faith to the Church Fathers: A Conversation with Brian Zahnd


    A few weeks ago, I reviewed a book by Brian Zahnd – Beauty Will Save the World: Rediscovering the Allure and Mystery of ChristianitySome pastor friends quickly connected me to Brian, and in our subsequent conversations, I discovered how interesting his theological pilgrimage has been. One friend said Brian used to preach like Joel Osteen but now sounds more like Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I invited Brian to the blog to talk about his journey and how it has affected his congregation.


    Trevin Wax: Brian, you’ve had an interesting theological journey in ministry – from Word of Faith type teaching to a celebration of Christianity’s core teachings throughout history. First, tell us about your ministry at the outset – what you were about as a preacher of God’s Word and the vision you had for your local congregation.

    Brian Zahnd: I grew up in a Southern Baptist church in the -60s and -70s but was most influenced by the Jesus Movement. I experienced a rather dramatic conversion when I was 15, and within a couple of years I was leading a coffeehouse ministry; it was primarily a Christian music venue with an emphasis on evangelism. By the time I was 22 the coffeehouse ministry had become a full-fledged church (Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri).

    From my earliest days as a teenage Christian leader my passion was to call people into a life of following Jesus. That passion has remained consistent over the years. Because the Jesus Movement was closely associated with the charismatic movement our church took on many of the aspects of charismatic Christianity.

    By the late -90s our church had grown to several thousand, and my primary emphasis in preaching could be described as “faith and victory.” Though I think I can honestly say I eschewed the more egregious forms of “prosperity teaching,” I was certainly identified with the Word of Faith movement. The common thread from the Jesus Movement to the Word of Faith movement (whether I was being influenced by Keith Green or Lester Sumrall) was a deep desire to bring people into a vibrant and authentic Christian experience.

    Trevin Wax: What initiated your movement away from Word of Faith teaching to something more in line with historic Christian orthodoxy? 

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