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A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey

April 18, 2008

A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey

by Brian McLaren

McLaren, pastor and author of The Church on the Other Side, proposes that postmodernism is the road to take in order to move on from the current stalemate between conservative evangelical and liberal Christians. His books are part of his activist work to promote “innovation, entrepreneurial leadership and a desire to be on the leading edge of ministry.” Here he has adopted the fictional tale of an earnest, very conservative pastor who has become so burned out in his church life that he is planning to quit the pastorate. Instead, he makes friends with his daughter’s science teacher, who leads him to an enthusiastic embracing of postmodernism as applied to the Christian message. In this fictional conversation, McLaren describes this process as a journey of Holy Spirit-guided faith “through the winds and currents of change.” His conservative pastor character comes to accept the Bible as a premodern text that presents its message in story and does not have to conform to our modern expectations.

The book’s attention-grabbing format is an effective mode of presenting McLaren’s ideas. Recommended for all public libraries. Eugene O. Bowser, Univ. of Northern Colorado, Greeley Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

“…This book is, quite simply, brilliant…” (Faith for Life, 21/12/04)

“This is a book that heightens the depths and deepens the peaks. Like all the best things in life, it is not to be entered into lightly, but reverently and in the fear of a God who is waiting for the church to stop asking ‘What would Jesus do?’ and start asking ‘What is Jesus doing?'” (Dr. Leonard Sweet, E. Stanley Jones Chair in Evangelism, Drew University, and bestselling author of Post-Modern Pilgrims, SoulSalsa, SoulTsunami, and AquaChurch; coauthor of A Cup of Coffee at the Soul Cafe)

“Get ready to wake up your spirit and breath deep. McLaren’s A New Kind of Christian is a street-level, lived excursion into this present millennium-a world where ministry by control, condescension, and smug certainty gives way to incarnational faith.” (Sally Morgenthaler, president, SJM Management Co. and author of Worship Evangelism)

“McLaren’s courageous and honest reassessment of our cherished customs and cliches stimulates creative thinking on these vital issues. A New Kind of Christian is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in preparing the church to be vital force in the next generation.” (Chuck Smith, Jr., senior pastor, Capo Beach Valvary Chapel and author, The End of the World As We Know It)

“…an engaging tale…” (Christianity & Renewal, July 2002)

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