"Wherever the willingness to rethink has been squelched, wherever that sense of quest has been buried under convention and complacency, the Christian faith in all its forms is in trouble. But even there, something is trying to be born. Even now, right here, among us, inside you, inside me. You may feel it as a curiosity, a desire for better answers than you inherited so far. You may experience it as frustration, knowing that there must be more to faith than you currently know. You may know it as hope, hope that God is seeking humble people whose hearts and lives can be the womb of a better future. . . . In you, your family, your faith community, and circles of friends, among people of peace and faith everywhere, something is trying to be born."
--from A New Kind of Christianity
We are in the midst of a paradigm shift in the church. Not since the Reformation five centuries ago have so many Christians come together to ask whether the church is in sync with their deepest beliefs and commitments. These believers range from evangelicals to mainline Protestants to Catholics, and the person who best represents them is author and pastor Brian McLaren.
In this much anticipated book, McLaren examines ten questions facing today's church--questions about how to articulate the faith itself, the nature of its authority, who God is, whether we have to understand Jesus through only an ancient Greco-Roman lens, what exactly the good news is that the gospel proclaims, how we understand the church and all its varieties, why we are so preoccupied with sex, how we should think of the future and people from other faiths, and the most intimidating question of all: what do we do next? Here you will find a provocative and enticing introduction to the Christian faith of tomorrow.
McLaren's fans and detractors have eagerly awaited this book, which promises to codify the beliefs he introduced in his bestselling A New Kind of Christian and other titles. McLaren, one of the most visible faces of the emergent movement, examines 10 questions the church must answer as it heads toward a new way of believing. McLaren deconstructs the Greco-Roman narrative of the Bible and addresses how the Bible should be understood as an inspired library, not a constitution. He moves into questions regarding God, Jesus, and the Gospel, urging us to trade up our image of God and realize that Jesus came to launch a new Genesis. The Church, sexuality, the future, and pluralism merit chapters, as does McLaren's final call for a robust spiritual life. Followers will rejoice as McLaren articulates his thoughts with logic and eloquence; detractors will point out his artful avoidance of firm answers on salvation, hell, and a final judgment. All sides will flock to this with glee. (Feb.)
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February 08, 2010
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