The second book in the “New Kind of Christian” trilogy by Brian McLaren. The first book – A New Kind of Christian – introduces the characters, and delivers a stack of different doctrinal ideas, many of which have been picked up by a range of people who have subsequently influenced me.
In this book, we have some new characters, including some non-Christian characters, and some more traditional conservative-theology Christians come in too. The purpose of the book is to deliver a stack of doctrine, and the narrative is to make it easier to digest.
It’s a good story – we have characters that we come to care about (perhaps some of the scenes are a little tough to believe), obstacles are overcome, but not everything goes completely smoothly – I suspect this is how we end up with a trilogy, but a little heavy going if you’re trying to read it for the story itself.
Again, I found some aspects of the book where I could agree: I liked the way that they were interacting with the idea of evolution. My main problems with the theology of the book were around the understanding of where Jesus fits into Christianity, and what happens to people who don’t believe.
Having read it, at least, I can see where the language of “story” and perhaps even “conversation” comes from in the emergent (not emerging) church movement.
Have you read it? What were your thoughts about it?