>MACLAREN Brian: A New Kind of Christianity

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Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith
Harper Collins, 2010
320 pages

Examines 10 questions facing Christianity today, questions about authority, God, Jesus, how to articulate the faith itself, the nature of the gospel, sex, the future and pluralism, in a book that lays out a vision of what the church will look like for its next 500 years.


From Publishers Weekly

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.)


Amazon User Review:

Brian McLaren has emerged as a voice that asks aloud the questions that many of us have wrestled with in silence. As a result, he has been lionized (and sometimes idolized) by those who find resonance with his theological ponderings. He has simultaneously been demonized and even slandered by those who are disturbed by his explorations into what it means to follow Jesus in the 21st century. He has become both an antenna and a lightning rod for the light and heat generated by the friction of Christianity’s transition into post-modernism.

I have just finished reading McLaren’s latest book, A New Kind of Christianity. Having read several of McLaren’s other books, I would consider this one to be essential. I mean “essential” in two different ways:
1. “Essential” in the sense that A New Kind of Christianity is a streamlined and tightly focused distillation of ideas that McLaren has explored elsewhere. This book seems to contain the concentrated essence of what McLaren’s theological labor has produced thus far. I often found points which he had sketched out in previous books now re-drawn in sharp, clear and muscular form. As a result–at under 300 pages–this book packs a great deal of theological, intellectual and inspirational punch.
2. “Essential” in the sense that A New Kind of Christianity is *the* Brian McLaren book to read, whether you haven’t read anything else by him or whether you have read everything else by him.


The 10 Questions:

1. What is the overarching story line of the Bible?
2. How should the Bible be understood?
3. Is God violent?
4. Who is Jesus and why is He important?
5. What is the Gospel?
6. What do we do about the Church?
7. Can we find a way to address human sexuality without fighting about it?
8. Can we find a better way of viewing the future?
9. How should followers of Jesus relate to people of other religions?
10. What do we do now? (How do we translate our quest into action?)
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