Synopses & Reviews
When four religious leaders walk across the road, it's not the beginning of a joke. It's the start of one of the most important conversations in today's world.
Can you be a committed Christian without having to condemn or convert people of other faiths? Is it possible to affirm other religious traditions without watering down your own?
In his most important book yet, widely acclaimed author and speaker Brian McLaren proposes a new faith alternative, one built on "benevolence and solidarity rather than rivalry and hostility." This way of being Christian is strong but doesn't strong-arm anyone, going beyond mere tolerance to vigorous hospitality toward, interest in, and collaboration with the other.
Blending history, narrative, and brilliant insight, McLaren shows readers step-by-step how to reclaim this strong-benevolent faith, challenging us to stop creating barriers in the name of God and learn how affirming other religions can strengthen our commitment to our own. And in doing so, he invites Christians to become more Christ-like than ever before.
"McLaren (Naked Spirituality) argues that Christians can respect other faiths while not diluting their own Christianity. He calls this 'strong benevolence,' a way of remaining firmly Christian while honoring other religious and nonreligious traditions. The goal is communication, not conversion, and relationship, not repression. Using stories from his life and what he has gleaned, sometimes creatively, from theologians, McLaren focuses on ways Christians can reconfigure concepts such as Christology and the Trinity to build a robust emergent Christian faith that repudiates violence, coercion, and domination. Although he claims to reject a sugary Coke commercial version of interfaith 'harmony,' McLaren's utopian vision, however, might strike even his followers as overly sanguine in its downplaying of the problem of evil. Further, some of his personal anecdotes read more like Save the Children infomercials than slices of real life. Ultimately, McLaren remains worth reading, lively and passionate at translating progressive theology into a popular idiom. Agent: Kathy Helmers, Creative Trust. (Sept. 11)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Brian D. McLaren
is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. After teaching college English, Brian was a church planter, pastor, and networker in the Baltimore-Washington DC area for over 20 years. He is a popular conference speaker and a frequent guest lecturer for denominational and ecumenical leadership gatherings in the U.S. and internationally, and is Theologian-in-Residence at Life in the Trinity Ministry.
Brian's writing spans over a dozen books, including his acclaimed A New Kind of Christian trilogy, A Generous Orthodoxy, and his most recent titles, Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words (2011) and the eBook prequel to this title, The Girl with the Dove Tattoo (June 2012). A frequent guest on television, radio, and news media programs, Brian is also an active and popular blogger, a musician, and an avid outdoor enthusiast. Learn more at his website, www.brianmclaren.net. Brian is married to Grace, and they have four adult children.