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Finding Faith: A Search for What Is Real Paperback – Bargain Price, February 1, 2007

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From the Back Cover

There have been times when you’ve felt that if there isn’t a God, there ought to be.

Swept up in the mystery of the night sky, you’ve felt the closeness of its designer. Nature’s extravagant diversity, unfolding in living color, has made you long to know the artist who dreamed it all up. Imagine what that might be like—to actually know God in a way that fills your heart and whispers tremendous value and purpose to something deep within you.

But how can you experience a being you’re not even sure exists? Religious jargon and games can’t satisfy such a longing. It’s got to be real … or nothing at all.

A Search for What Is Real helps you sort through the questions, objections, and concerns that arise when you consider God not as some theological abstraction, but as someone you can actually connect with … and want to connect with, perhaps more than you know.

FINDING FAITH

The Finding Faith books A Search for What Makes Sense and A Search for What Is Real don’t try to tell you what to believe; they are guides in learning how to believe. If you think the spiritual journey requires turning your back on honesty and intellectual integrity, these two companion volumes will speak to both your mind and your soul.

About the Author

Brian D. McLaren (MA, University of Maryland) is founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church, an innovative, nondenominational church in the Baltimore-Washington region. He's also a senior fellow with emergent (www.emergentvillage.org), a growing generative friendship of missional Christian leaders.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031027267X
  • ASIN: B002T451KO
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,436,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, pastor, and networker among innovative Christian leaders, thinkers, and activists. His groundbreaking books include A New Kind of Christian, A Generous Orthodoxy, The Secret Message of Jesus, and Everything Must Change. Named by Time magazine as one of America's top twenty-five evangelicals, McLaren has appeared on Nightline and Larry King Live, and has been covered by The Washington Post and the New York Times.

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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Paula Madsen on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
McLaren does a great job in this book with putting out the options and asking the questions to help people figure out which way they want to go in their faith. He doesn't answer many of the questions - that's for you to do - but he gently prods about church preferences, how you meet God, etc., hoping that in your answers you will find God. It's an interesting approach, and feels fresh. However, this book is geared toward people that are seeking answers to emotional questions about God. His other book in this series is geared for people seeking answers more intellectual questions. I didn't realize this or I would have purchased the other book, given that that's my doubt struggle.

Overall, a good book, and great to get discussion started about how people meet God. It reminded me that my ways are no less valid than my husband's, and that God uses our different personalities accordingly.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Orville B. Jenkins VINE VOICE on June 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
McLaren explores the ways in which people "experience God." In this book he addresses those who have not yet come to belief, who have not yet come to experience God. His stated goal is to help the reader discover how to believe.

This book is not for a person who has decided they have already figured God out. McLaren takes God seriously and leads us to explore God in relational terms that draw us into the actual life of God, not just an easy dogma. McLaren takes seriously the inner turmoil and uncertainty many of us have when moving into faith or progressing in the rich and uncharted depths of the Faith-Life.

This sensitive writer is clear that he has beliefs and that these are basic to his identity. But he understands his task to be not telling others what to believe, how to believe or how to experience God. Rather, he takes the approach of an advocate, a partner in the search, and steps back from his own experience to explore how various people of his personal acquaintance have come to experience the reality of God and to come into relationship with God.

In the process, he shows no fear as he additionally reports on personal experiences, problems and challenges that have led to his own insights and awareness of the reality of God. He speaks of experiencing God in various situations and coming to constant awareness of God's presence and working in his life.

McLaren does not set out to give answers to common problems. This book is not another of those popular books in the vein of "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About God and How to Believe in Him." No, this thoughtful and sympathetic book takes seriously people's inner experience of life and its complexity.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Russ Uhler on April 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
Brian does a great job of thoughtfully and logically addressing basic questions that people face then trying to navigate the maze of "spirituality"in our culture. Like the C. S. Lewis classic "Mere Christianity" which is quoted often in the book it does not attempt supply all of the answers the "life the universe and everything" but offers thought provoking logical arguments for meaningful faith in a real God. His conversational style is easy to read and the arguments are compelling. I highly recommend it no matter where you may be on your spiritual journey.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
Very good for an honest seeker. Very good for believers who need to process a bit more their convictions or presumed convictions. In a way it meets a need similar to that met by C S Lewis' Mere Christianity, but more conversational, more thorough, and definitely more contemporary. Highly recommended for all who care about the credibility of their own faith experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott C. Holstad on May 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is intended to be a guide for those who are seeking something spiritually, no matter what faith, but yes, primarily Christianity. It's a little light (especially for McLaren), but the contents are pretty solid and the book is quite accessible. Some of the chapters deal with experiencing God through doubt (a big one for me), why church is often the last place to look for spiritual guidance, why people don't turn to Bibles in their spiritual search, losing interest, and more. One of the things McLaren writes in the doubt chapter really stood out for me:

"They say that the opposite of love isn't hate; it is rather indifference. And I have to think that the same is true of faith. Doubt isn't a spiritual danger sign nearly as much as indifference would be."

In the final chapter, McLaren writes that Jesus was "scandalously inclusive" and that

"In a world of religious in-groups and out-groups, Jesus created a `come on in' group. The kingdom of God is open to everyone who will come.... It's like a party to which everyone is invited, rich or poor, employed or unemployed, clear or dirty."

That section of the book really stood out for me because when I was growing up, the various youth groups in school and church "rushed" (like the fraternity allusion?) the popular kids with the alleged goal of the unpopular kids following the popular kids to God. Yeah, right. It was a total joke. I rode the fence between popular and unpopular and I didn't like it. As an adult, many churches I've been to seem little different. We want the "beautiful people" -- those in real need don't need to come on in. I hate that about mainstream Christianity. Jesus was all about love and inclusive love.
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