Item description for A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey by Brian McLaren & Paul Michael...
Overview A New Kind of Christian's conversation between a pastor and his daughter's high school science teacher reveals that wisdom for life's most pressing spiritual questions can come from the most unlikely sources. This stirring fable captures a new spirit of Christianity--where personal, daily interaction with God is more important than institutional church structures, where faith is more about a way of life than a system of belief, where being authentically good is more important than being doctrinally "right," and where one's direction is more important than one's present location. Brian McLaren's delightful account offers a wise and wondrous approach for revitalizing Christian spiritual life and Christian congregations.
Publishers Description A New Kind of Christian's conversation between a pastor and his daughter's high school science teacher reveals that wisdom for life's most pressing spiritual questions can come from the most unlikely sources. This stirring fable captures a new spirit of Christianity--where personal, daily interaction with God is more important than institutional church structures, where faith is more about a way of life than a system of belief, where being authentically good is more important than being doctrinally "right," and where one's direction is more important than one's present location. Brian McLaren's delightful account offers a wise and wondrous approach for revitalizing Christian spiritual life and Christian congregations.
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Studio: Hovel Audio
Running Time: 480.00 minutes
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 4.95" Width: 5.68" Height: 0.96" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2006
Publisher Hovel Audio
ISBN 1596443162 ISBN13 9781596443167
Availability 0 units.
More About Brian McLaren & Paul Michael
Brian D. McLaren is a Christian thinker, author, and activist. A former pastor with a background in literature, McLaren is the author of over a dozen books, an Auburn Senior Fellow, and board chair of Convergence (convergenceus.org).
Brian McLaren has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey?
A taste of living water in the drought of modern-day Christianity Jan 28, 2007
My hairdresser recommended this book to me. The relationship one has with one's hairdresser means that you often end up talking about quite deep things and my hairdresser and I, both Christians, have done a lot of talking over the last ten years. He was obviously pretty much in tune with where my thoughts were as he told me about a book I had to read, told me its name and I went out and bought it.
"A New Kind Of Christian" is that book. And my hairdresser was right - I really did have to read this book. Why? Mainly because it has given me fresh hope in Christianity in the 21st century when I had pretty much given up hope. Look around you at the people you work with, you travel on the train with. If you stopped and asked one of them randomly to describe what they thought a Christian was they would probably say something like "a nice person, a good person, but also very judgemental, bigoted, brainwashed and a hyprocrite." And I would agree with them. Most Christians I know - well, almost all of them - are really nice people. They can be very hospitable, wonderfully generous, they give up no end of time and money to the Church, they want to invite non-Christians to as many events as possible to convert them (for their own good, of course) and they want to live a faithful, good, nuclear family kind of life. However, this worldview seems so out of touch with the real world - not because any of those things are necessarily wrong (most of them are very good) but because it misses out on a lot of what else is going on in today's culture. Issues of sexuality, scientific study, congruence with the postmodern society that we live in - these are issues that the secular world has a position on and the church is usually far behind. Christians often seem to have an inability to think for themselves but only seem able to parrot the latest words of the pastor/leader, no matter how unloving it may seem to the modern gay person (for example), let alone often requiring belief in things that really shouldn't matter to be a `real' Christian (such as 7-day creation). Young people are often turned off because they feel the church isn't really connecting with them; others are so `into' the church that they don't actually have any real understanding of life outside it, of culture outside it (yes, there is some!) and of issues that affect people deeply every day that they can blithely categorise as `wrong' or `sin'.
Brian MacLaren's book meets these issues head on. Rather than writing a treatise or theology of what he believes he instead presents his views in the form of a conversation between two people - a Pastor who is beginning to wonder if he should become a school teacher instead as he can no longer preach with the certainty that he used to, and Neo, a school teacher who used to be a pastor. Within the conversations between these two men we read a sermon by Neo, hear of conversations between the pastor and his wife and get a little bit of an idea what it might be like for that pastor who is worried about his calling. And every page of this book just drips wisdom - I found myself constantly thinking "yes, that's exactly it!" and was generally able to only read a couple of chapters at a time as there was so much in them I had to go away and think about what I had read before consuming more.
Brian MacLaren puts his case for a new kind of Christian very strongly. The first half of the book is setting the groundwork to his idea - that the Church is "modern" but the world is "postmodern". So much of what the church does we think is vital to Christianity and yet it's far more of a response to the world we have lived in since mediaeval times. The church needs to respond to the way that the world has moved on in terms of communication, global perspectives on individuals' lives and a right understanding of what Jesus started in his church. The second part of the book looks more at what "a new kind of Christian" would be like - how they might evangelise, how they might live there lives (with a strong focus on generosity of financial giving) and how they might live lives as Jesus commanded rather than turning into the narrow pharisaism of so many Christians.
I was really struck by a small thing in the middle of this book, where Neo quotes from 1 John 1 about heaven, referring to Jesus and saying "We shall be like him". I had been going around for weeks saying to people "if being a Christian means being like these people" - referring to Christians in the media, Christians I have come across in my daily life, who spout bigoted and unloving opinions at the drop of a hat and come across as very judgemental - "I would rather not be a Christian". I found it shockingly easy to say those words because I have become so horrified by the state of Christianity that I have experienced in the UK and US. And yet I was reminded that in heaven we would be like Jesus and I want that, very much. I am very happy to be like Jesus, he is the ultimate model of what a Christian should be like, and this huge difference between thinking about being like Jesus and being like other Christians has highlighted for me where Christianity has gone wrong for me - not in the essence of the faith but in its expression by people around me. It doesn't have to be like that, and Brian MacLaren's book shows a way in which we might become more like Jesus in today's postmodern world - this is a brilliant book and I strongly recommend it to anyone who despairs of modern-day Christianity, who fears they may be losing their faith, who finds it difficult to reconcile their God-given intelligence with the strange stuff being fed to them from the pulpit. It gives hope again to the message of Jesus, as relevant today as it has always been.