Monday, October 17, 2005

New Kind of Christian - Concluded

Well I finished McLaren’s book A New Kind of Christian and have to say it was frustrating to read at times. As I said at the beginning of this I am sure that my reading of McLaren’s journey is tainted by seeing where he has arrived so far.

Instead of spending much time on the last chapters I thought I would summarize my thoughts as best I can. First, I would say that McLaren is reacting to much of what many dislike about the church. Such things as consumerism and a lack of the church living as it preaches are things that I would say are issues that need to be addressed. The problem is that McLaren attributes these issues to Modern mindset and seems to see a Post-modern mindset as the antidote.

Second is that throughout this book it seems that either he is unsure of key concepts as the atonement or instead does not want to be accused of proclaiming some absolute truth. This is no different than when I saw him questioned on Larry King about homosexuality and answered, well non-answered, that any answer he gave would hurt someone so he did not answer.

If a New Kind of Christian is to be of a Post-Modern breed then the sort of double talk of McLaren will seem to be the norm. The other issue is the topic of propositional truths that scripture proclaims. The Post-Modern person dislikes these truths as it places them in a bind and does not leave an alternative and those trying to accommodate this in the end sacrifice the scriptures.

What I also see is that in an attempt to counteract a consumerism that is rampant in the church the New Kind of Christian is in the end just as much a consumer and the church reaching them is driven to provide what is sought after. All in all things are not made better but basically stay the same but in a new format.

I do think it is important that those dealing with today’s culture read something from McLaren, even if it is difficult to digest at times, so as to see the direction that I would guess many seminaries will all too soon head. The seminary of NEO’s dreams is not to far away if it is not hear already somewhere in some form or another.

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