The Orthodox theologian Sergei Bulgakov further noted in 1935 that "the concentration of piety on the Christ alone has become a deviation already known by a special term as Jesusism".  Influential Catholic theologian Karl Rahner referred to "Jesusism" as a focus on the life of Jesus and attempts to imitate his life, as opposed to a focus on God or the Christian Church .  University of Melbourne professor Lindsay Falvey noted in 2009 that "the gospel story so differs from Church doctrine that it could well be of a different religion – Jesusism".  Jesusism became the subject of increased academic discussion following its reference by Duke University neurobiologist and philosopher Owen Flanagan in his 2007 book The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World.  Flanagan defines Jesusism as the "message" of Jesus and notes that he "call[s] it ‘Jesusism’ because most Christian Churches do not endorse Jesus’ message truthfully".  Flanagan characterized Jesuism as a naturalistic and rationalist philosophy, rejecting the conflict between faith and science .  Rodney Stenning Edgecombe, a professor at the University of Cape Town , in a 2009 essay titled Communication Across the Social Divide remarks how Christianity shifted away from Jesuism; the moral tenets Jesus preached.  The terms Jesuism, Jesusism and Jesuanism are also referenced popularly on religious blogs and internet groups.
Muller has also argued that the terms ‘Calvinist’ and ‘Calvinism’ are potentially misleading. After all, those who followed Calvin, and were sympathetic to his theology, did not simply echo Calvin’s theology without at the same time making unique contributions of their own. In addition, Muller adds: “if by ‘Calvinist’ one means a later exponent of a theology standing within the confessional boundaries described by such documents as the Gallican Confession, the Belgic Confession, the Second Helvetic Confession, and the Heidelberg Catechism, then one will have the problem of accounting for the many ways in which such thinkers – notably, Amandus Polanus…William Perkins, Franciscus Junius, and Gulielmus Bucanus, just to name a few – differ from Calvin both doctrinally and methodologically.” 7 Carl Trueman echoes similar thoughts: “the term Calvinism is profoundly unhelpful. It was coined as a polemical tool for tarnishing the reputation of the Reformed, and it is of no real use to modern intellectual history. Far better are the terms ‘Reformed theology’ and ‘Reformed Orthodoxy’ as these actually reflect the fact that so–called Calvinists were not those who looked to Calvin as the major theological authority but rather those who looked to the tradition of Reformed confessions.” 8 Conclusion “Reformed” allows for its adherents to be identified with a tradition that was diverse enough to embrace several important confessional documents as well as a number of theologians who, while united for the most part in their theology, differed on certain points of doctrine. It also keeps us from the veneration of a single individual.
While many Christians applaud this effort to transcend labels and history, some also worry that "follower of Jesus" diverts people from the fundamentals. "Two questions constantly come up," says Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary. "The first is Christology. What about the full divinity of Christ? How much can you keep that in the background? Second, what's the role of the church in all this?" Brehm admits, guiltily, that he left his longtime church five years ago and is still shopping. For the time being, he finds communion in regular meetings with fellow followers of Jesus: "That's real church." To accusations that he's letting identity politics overshadow Christian tradition, Brehm delivers what he believes to be his knockout punch: Jesus, after all, said, "Follow me."