From Publishers Weekly
Many Christians, argue McLaren and Campolo, have missed-and keep missing-the point of the very Gospel they are called to proclaim. They mistake the Bible for a simple answer book. They mistake salvation for political liberation or celestial fire insurance. They mistake worship for feelings of personal intimacy. But the emerging postmodern culture provides an opportunity and an impetus for the church to revisit some of these topics and discover again what the Gospel is all about. In this volume, McLaren (A New Kind of Christian) teams up with Campolo (20 Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid to Touch) to opine and stimulate thought and discussion among their conservative colleagues. They take turns writing chapters about a variety of topics that are sometimes mundane (sin, culture, seminary) and sometimes more controversial (homosexuality, the Bible). Not every chapter includes an actual "missed point," and several contain straw men. Sometimes a favorable uptick on the accessibility meter is matched by a corresponding downturn in the one measuring theological depth. Still, the book offers much sharp insight, is solidly biblical and is helpfully illustrated by stories-it's easy to see why both authors are sought-after preachers. The writing is lively, and the back-and-forth between Campolo and McLaren is often quite interesting. They aren't afraid to disagree with each other, which encourages the reader to think a bit harder about being a Christian today-which is probably the point.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Liberal evangelicals McLaren and Campolo share chapters on topics related to, as the three section titles indicate, "God" (religious philosophy), "World" (society), and "Soul" (personal spirituality). In each chapter, one man offers his perspective on a topic, and the other briefly concurs, dissents, or differs. Never is there sharp disagreement, since McLaren and Campolo always agree that too many evangelicals miss the Christian point involved in the topic under discussion. For instance, on evangelism McLaren opines that most people don't know how to evangelize, so he offers some do's and don'ts; Campolo endorses this advice but regrets McLaren's failure to emphasize that the most important element in evangelizing is personal testimony. Such a thumbnail description may make the dialogue seem drier than it really is, and on such subjects as the kingdom of God, prophecy, homosexuality, women and ordination, sin, worship, doubt, and truth, McLaren and Campolo's exchanges are so compelling that anyone interested in contemporary American Christianity might profitably take them to heart for their own reflections on the issues. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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