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A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey [Kindle Edition]

Brian D. McLaren
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A Leadership Network Publication

A New Kind of Christian's conversation between a pastor and his daughter's high school science teacher reveals that wisdom for life's most pressing spiritual questions can come from the most unlikely sources. This stirring fable captures a new spirit of Christianity--where personal, daily interaction with God is more important than institutional church structures, where faith is more about a way of life than a system of belief, where being authentically good is more important than being doctrinally "right," and where one's direction is more important than one's present location. Brian McLaren's delightful account offers a wise and wondrous approach for revitalizing Christian spiritual life and Christian congregations.

If you are interested in joining a discussion group devoted to a A New Kind of Christian please visit

Editorial Reviews


This is a milestone in interfaith relations -- a warm hand reaching out to other men and women in this Abrahamic family of faiths. (

From the Back Cover

A New Kind of Christian

Book One in The New Kind of Christian Trilogy

The first installment of Brian McLaren's trilogy recounts a lively and intimate conversation between fictional characters Pastor Dan Poole and his daughter's high school science teacher, Neil Oliver. They reflect together about faith, doubt, reason, mission, leadership, and spiritual practice in the emerging postmodern world. A New Kind of Christian offers a tale of hope and spiritual renewal for those who thought they had to give up on faith, God, and church.

"A New Kind of Christian is a landmark in twenty-first century Christianity. This book has and will continue to provoke conversation, debate, even conversion. McLaren charts a new course for the faith. In short, he is a prophet, and this is a prophetic text."
—Tony Jones, author, The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier

Product Details

  • File Size: 973 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470248408
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 18, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0017T0CN8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,781 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By E. Tung
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A New Kind of Christian is Brian McLaren's introductory work into understanding how the postmodern era--as well as the modern, medeival, and Roman eras--have all shaped our perspectives on Christianity. McLaren argues that current evangelical Christianity is one cultural motif--one modern achievment--in conceptualizing the Christian God. Though many aspects of evangelical Christianity are beautiful, true, and good, many aspects are mere "byproducts" of a modernistic worldview and do not necessarily reflect truth and love of Jesus Christ.

McLaren calls Christians to confront the components of Christianity that reflect human culture more than authentic spiritual encounter, and also confront the current postmodern age.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confirms my "heresy" that I'm not on that road alone February 17, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tired of conforming to orthodoxy that you're not sure is so accurate? Are you being pulled to something different, deeper, more meaningful yet you still want to be a follower of Jesus? If you are, you're not alone and this book confirms it. I personally don't believe you should read this if you're content in the traditional teachings of mainstream Christianity if you're beholden to orthodoxy. But if you're thinking that you want to expand your thinking,to have that freedom of thought in your faith, to truly search for truth then this book helps to confirm that it's OK. You're not a heretic and you're not leaving God. I must say, I was wondering if I was becoming a "heretic" and some may think that I am with this freedom of thought but I truly believe I'm growing into a deeper, richer relationship with my Savior.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shack-like Fiction That Promotes Postmodern View May 10, 2010
The first book of a trilogy written in the style of The Shack, McLaren introduces you to A New Kind of Christian.

Pastor Dan Poole has almost given up on the ministry. He is disillusioned and isn't even sure what he believes anymore. Upon taking his daughter to a homegrown rock concert, Pastor Poole meets Neil Oliver - a High School science teacher.

Dan and Neil begin a relationship that will cover faith, doubt, reason, mission, leadership and spiritual practice.

This relationship isn't without its barbs. Some readers may find themselves identifying with Dan as his foundation of spirituality is reconstructed in the postmodern world.

Have you given up on faith, God and the church?

If you've read The Shack and were impacted by it in a positive way, I believe you will gain much from reading the first book of McLaren's New Kind of Christian Trilogy.

Brain McLaren shares his views on a number of topics via the conversations between two fictional characters. It's amazing how a story can present ideas better than a lecture or even a non-fiction inspirational book.

This book was provided for review by Jossey-Bass Publishing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good thoughts to ponder May 27, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this writer's thoughts and appreciated his views. I didn't love the format - teacher/student. McLaren seems to be intent on raising the bar for Christians - challenging the status quo, by showing us that the Bible has valuable insights when seen metaphorically as opposed to literally. The thought that God is bigger than any religion is appealing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A New Kind Of Christian A Tale Of Two Friends July 9, 2013
By KiteKat
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book very stimulating. My Pastor told me I might read this book and another to help me to understand more. I do believe it has helped me to understand more abo. Life, the Bible and mankind. I at first got upset then begain to open my mind and see what was being said. I started over and kept an open mind and really enjoyed the book. My pastor and I text about the book and my husband and I talked about the book even though he has not read it yet. I will read it again. But now I am reading "A New Kind Of Christian" the second book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think! May 23, 2013
By marcio
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a must for every Christian on a journey to better understanding his faith in these times. Fantastic!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it January 1, 2013
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This book and others like it make me think about what I have always believed without trying to force their beliefs on me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I have more questions than answers.... August 12, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My sense of discontent with religion was magnified after reading this book.....but that is a good thing. This book helped me put into words all of my thoughts about church and moving into a new direction tion. I highly recommend this book for anyone wondering if there is more to their Christian walk.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars 2003, yes. for 2014, it needs an update!
Pretty good. To be sure, When it was written in 2003 I think yes, cutting edge, very good to challenge mainstream evangelicalism. Read more
Published 5 months ago by taylor storey
5.0 out of 5 stars needed
A great way of writing to get the point across about where the direction the church needs to go. A wonderful and thoughtful conversation
Published 8 months ago by kathy smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary to a new life of faith
This series is revolutionary for the faith I so desire to live out as a Red Letter Christian. A group of friends and I have been gathering to study the questions at the close of... Read more
Published 11 months ago by oneaglewings
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This was a journey in the works of Christianity, for me. The interactions between the two protagonists were very informative.
Published 15 months ago by Phil Gilliland
2.0 out of 5 stars Should the Church Embrace Postmodernism?
Brian Mclaren believes that the church, thoroughly enmeshed as it is in modernism, is becoming increasingly irrelevant to a culture that is moving away from modernism and toward a... Read more
Published on July 26, 2011 by Randy A. Stadt
4.0 out of 5 stars Challenging Insights
I really appreciated this book. In it, McLaren begins to address some of the most challenging questions facing the Church right now. Read more
Published on February 21, 2011 by Brent Hendricks
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this story
This book is a wonderful tale of a fundamentalist conservative pastor questioning his faith and what he teaches. Read more
Published on January 10, 2011 by Eric
2.0 out of 5 stars Not overly impressed
This is a novel about a dissatisfied pastor who seems to be a little lost and perhaps a bit tired of dishing out well worn platitudes every Sunday. Read more
Published on November 20, 2010 by Dr. Marc Axelrod
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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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