Recently, a friend of mine asked me to read A New Kind of Christianity by Brian McLaren. If you don’t know who McLaren is, he is probably the most prominent voice of the Emergent Church – a rather varied and often misunderstood group. You can read his biography from his website here.
My personal journey with McLaren began when I read his probably best known book, A New Kind of Christian (notice the difference – Christian vs. Christianity) back in 2006. Along the way, I’ve been impacted by two of his other books – Church on the Other Side and More Ready than You Realize.
While I rarely agree with McLaren’s conclusions, his most powerful work is the questions he asks. You might say that Brian does not have all the answers, but at least he is working on the questions.
So when my friend Ian asked me to read A New Kind of Christianity, McLaren’s most recent work, I told him I would. I knew that McLaren’s work is highly controversial, and he is often easily misunderstood.
A New Kind of Christianity is subtitled “Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith.” The ten questions are:
- The Narrative Question: What is the overarching story line of the Bible?
- The Authority Question: How should the Bible be understood?
- The God Question: Is God Violent?
- The Jesus Question: Who is Jesus and why is he important?
- The Gospel Question: What is the gospel?
- The Church Question: What do we do about the church?
- The Sex Question: Can we find a way to address human sexuality without fighting about it?
- The Future Question: Can we find a better way of viewing the future?
- The Pluralism Question: How should followers of Jesus relate to people of other religions?
- The What-Do-We-Do-Now Question: How can we translate our quest into action?
In this series of posts, I will journal some of my impressions, thoughts, issues and comments on McLaren’s exploration of these questions. They probably won’t be rapid fire posts. I imagine there will be one a week for the next few weeks since it takes awhile to really sort out McLaren’s intentions and direction. Bear with me, and we’ll get through this together.