Item description for More Ready Than You Realize: The Power of Everyday Conversations by Brian D. McLaren...
Overview A book on evangelizing postmoderns by an experienced pastor-writer who is successfully involved in it.
WARNING: This is not just another book on evangelism. It s a simple idea of evangelism through friendship first, and the opportunities to share your faith that follow. It will bring friendships you already have to a new levels, and create opportunities for new, authentic friendships with those you will eventually meet. OUT: Evangelism as sales pitch, as conquest, as warfare, as ultimatum, as threat, as proof, as argument, as entertainment, as show, as monologue, as something you have to do. IN: Disciple-making as conversation, as friendship, as influence, as invitation, as companionship, as challenge, as opportunity, as conversation, as dance, as something you get to do. You re more ready for this than you realize, and so are your friends "
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.2" Width: 4.98" Height: 0.59" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Jan 16, 2002
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
ISBN 0310239648 ISBN13 9780310239642
Availability 0 units.
More About Brian D. McLaren
Brian D. McLaren is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in the Washington-Baltimore area. He is the author of four previous books on contemporary Christianity, including The Church on the Other Side: Doing Ministry in the Postmodern Matrix (2000) and A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey (Jossey-Bass, 2001), which won a Christianity Today Award of Merit for Best Christian Living title, 2002.
About Leadership Network The mission of Leadership Network is to accelerate the effectiveness of the church by identifying and connecting strategic leaders and providing them with resources in the form of new ideas, people, and tools. Churches and church leaders served by Leadership Network represent a wide variety of primarily Protestant faith traditions that range from mainline to evangelical to independent. All are characterized by innovation, entrepreneurial leadership, and a desire to be on the leading edge of ministry.
Brian D. McLaren currently resides in the state of Maryland. Brian D. McLaren was born in 1956.
Reviews - What do customers think about More Ready Than You Realize?
Well-written but disturbing Feb 21, 2007
This is an engaging and readable book. The author is a former college English professor, and his sophistication is evident. He knows how to write and how to structure a book in a subtle, intelligent way.
While I give this book an "A" for style, I must give it a "C" for content. Why? Simply because it reinvents evangelism in a way that is often unfaithful to the New Testament. What do I mean by that?
1. There is no sense of urgency in this book. Evangelism here is a leisurely, almost desultory process. There seems to be no danger of anyone dying in their sins (cf. John 8:24; Mark 1:15). 2. There is, in fact, little or no mention of sin, judgment, or the need for forgiveness (cf. Acts 10:42-43). Evangelism is "influencing all of one's friends toward better living, through good deeds and good conversations" (page 15). McLaren portrays Christianity, in my view, as an improved form of Epicureanism--the art of living well. 3. There is a tendency to reinvent Christianity by making it more tolerant, more pluralistic, more in tune with humanistic secular values. There is no sense of the exclusiveness Jesus himself claimed (cf. John 14:6; Matthew 7:13-14). There is no call to holy living, only a vaguely defined "new way of living" that tiptoes around issues like homosexuality (pages 29-30). 4. There is evidence of a curious self-loathing. McLaren is ashamed of much of what passes for Christianity and Christian evangelism. "I think a lot of us would become a lot better Christians if we spent less time at church" (page 89). He characterizes traditional evangelism as "sales pitch," "conceptual conquest," warfare, argument, threat, and ultimatum. But the apostle Paul was not ashamed to reason and persuade with passion (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; Acts 17:17; Romans 1:16), nor did he hesitate to use military metaphors to describe his ministry (Ephesians 6:10-20). 5. There is no cross in this ministry (cf. Matthew 10:38-39; 16:24). It is feel-good religion and "have it your way" disciple-making. Evangelism is a "relational dance," "a spiritual friendship," a friendly conversation. Paul, on the other hand, talks of "insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities" (2 Corinthians 12:10). Evangelism without sacrifice has little to do with the teaching of Jesus.
While this book is winsome, it is equally worrisome. In an effort to be "postmodern," it deconstructs evangelism and reconstructs it in its own vaguely self-indulgent image. As McLaren writes, "if we see evangelism as relational dance. . .I believe we will find our whole understanding of what it means to be a Christian will begin to change" (page 160). God help us. That is precisely the danger I see in this book.
It's true, they are. Jan 9, 2007
This book was one of my assignments for a seminary class and it was fantastic. McLaren does an excellent job of conveying how to enter someone's journey and walk alongside of them. I actually used this model and joined a non-Christian's journey. The Lord really used it and he has dropped the "non" from Christian.
What a pleasant surprise!! Nov 7, 2006
To be perfectly honest, I was prepared to hate McLaren's book. I think that I'm about as modern as a person can be, so much of the postmodern conversation irritates me. In the past, I have written and spoken about my thesis that it is impossible to be both postmodern and a Christ-follower. Given that context, I expected that McLaren would just irk me throughout the book.
Instead, I thought that his approach to evangelism was engaging, winsome, and compelling. Somehow, it just felt more "right" than much evangelism that I've either experienced or heard about. McLaren just seemed to be more authentic, real, natural, and relational and less hokey, contrived, scripted, sterile, and academic than the approaches with which I am most familiar. I found his story of Alice to be utterly fascinating.
Given all of that surprised enthusiasm for his approach, I see the primary disconnect as the reality that it depends on the initiative of a curious, postmodern seeker. Without Alice initiating all of their contact, I don't know what McLaren would suggest. Does he just get lucky that people are so excited to learn more about his understanding of the faithful Christian life? I loved his answers to her questions, and I loved watching her progress through her new understanding of faith. But what about the individual who doesn't ask questions? Are they to be simply ignored or left alone?
With that caveat aside, I expect that I'll probably reread this book. This is some new territory for me, but it just resonated with how I've been processing some things lately. Maybe I've got a hint of postmodern thought in me after all!!!
Can you say . . . "evangelism"?!? Aug 12, 2006
Can you say, "evangelism"?!? Brian McLaren can! And we better develop that ability ourselves. How do you take somebody who has all sorts of opinions about what Christianity is -- and doesn't want much of anything to do with it, thank you very much -- and encourage that person to explore their deepest questions, guiding and nurturing and trusting that God is doing something here, slowly helping this person to become receptive to a message they might never have heard because of all the baggage that they bring with them to the conversation?
McLaren offers a helpful little book that tells the story, mainly through lots of email conversations, of nurturing one young woman into a transformative faith experience. It's a little synecdoche about doing evangelism in the postmodern world.
Better than I expected May 12, 2006
I've read three books on evangelism this week - two that promote a formulaic hit and run method, and this book.
I expected to not like McLaren's book but I did. I'd categorize it as a "must read."
I was a little nervous when I reached the question "Why did Jesus have to die?" But seeing the question in context relieved any concerns. McLaren handled this question well ans, in context, it was a perfectly orthodox question - and answer.
Giving it five stars does not mean I agree with everything included in th book. It does reflect the level of recommendation.