Not since the last Harry Potter novel have friends I respect so differed on their assessments of a book that I was interested in reading. But whereas everyone could summarize the plot of Harry’s adventures, while differing on the value and effect of the novel overall, here I could hardly believe my friends were even reading the same book. “Whereas McLaren just pushed the envelope a little in A New Kind of Christian, here he abandons almost all the fundamental doctrines of the faith,” warned one. “There is no unbiblical doctrine anywhere in the book; in fact, here lies one of the keys to restoring the unity of the church Jesus prayed for in John 17,” intoned another. “Wow,” I thought, “I’ll be really curious to see what the book actually includes. I’ll probably wind up concluding that the real truth lies about half way in between these extremes.” I was surprised that this was not the case.
I agree with Rogier Bos’s comment in his review under the title A generous spirituality does bring the practical perspective in focus. he says …
“The challenge of McLaren’s proposal is putting it into practice. Spirituality is, to a large degree, learned behavior. Changing external behaviors (introducing candles and substituting synthesizers for guitars) will be hard enough. But the real challenge in our communities is to change the heart behind it. McLaren will no doubt reap much criticism with his proposal – and chances are those who try to introduce his thinking will as well.”