So I went online to start placing books that were recommended for me on hold. And I decided to look for some other books that I have been contemplating reading for a while now. I was surprised by how many of Brian McLaren’s books were available. I was also surprised that I only had to wait for a day. I got A Generous Orthodoxy, as well as The Secret Message of Jesus.
McLaren is an interesting Author because there is so much stuff that he writes that I love and totally agree with, but there are other things that just infuriate me. And I have been putting off A Generous Orthodoxy because I had a feeling that I would just get angry with some of the things that he had to say. But you know it’s better to read it and find out for myself what he says than just assume that I know.
I initially discovered his books by reading A New Kind of Christian, which was a very enlightening book about Post-modernism and how the church should respond. It was told in the form of a story which was very interesting, because this way McLaren could say things that seemed controversial but it was a Character in a story and not actually a stated position by McLaren. This method of writing can be infuriating because you don’t really know what the author is saying he holds to be true and what he is just floating out there. It ingenious for the exact same reason. I really like this book and found it to be very helpful.
A New Kind of Christian actually became a trilogy of books floating around the same characters.
The second in the Series was, The Story We Find Ourselves In, this dealt a lot with creation and evolution, history and our role and God’s role. It was interesting, but he started to lose me with some of his evolution theories. But what he said about history was very enlightening and I enjoyed it.
The Third was The Last Word and the Word After That. In this book McLaren addresses Eternity and basically says that Hell doesn’t exist. This made me very angry because it attacked one of the things that I have always believed. But it also made me think, that Hell shouldn’t be the driving force for our evangelism.
So now here I am preparing to delve into some more of his works knowing that controversy is just around the corner, and I will be thinking a lot. So that’s always a good thing.
I can’t say that I whole heartedly endorse any of these books, but they are interesting reads, and If you want to think and figure stuff out for yourself then have at it. But if you know that reading them will make you angry the steer clear.