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A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith Hardcover – February 9, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1 edition (February 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061853984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061853982
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

McLaren's fans and detractors have eagerly awaited this book, which promises to codify the beliefs he introduced in his bestselling A New Kind of Christian and other titles. McLaren, one of the most visible faces of the emergent movement, examines 10 questions the church must answer as it heads toward a new way of believing. McLaren deconstructs the Greco-Roman narrative of the Bible and addresses how the Bible should be understood as an inspired library, not a constitution. He moves into questions regarding God, Jesus, and the Gospel, urging us to trade up our image of God and realize that Jesus came to launch a new Genesis. The Church, sexuality, the future, and pluralism merit chapters, as does McLaren's final call for a robust spiritual life. Followers will rejoice as McLaren articulates his thoughts with logic and eloquence; detractors will point out his artful avoidance of firm answers on salvation, hell, and a final judgment. All sides will flock to this with glee. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“A New Kind of Christianity is a stellar accomplishment, a combination of hard tack fact and unfettered hope, an overview in delightful narrative of the long way of our coming to this time and of the multiform ways of our arriving. In every way, a dispatch from the front.” (Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence)

“Very rarely a book appears that houses the power to change a generation. A New Kind of Christianity is nothing less than one of those moments.”’ (Peter Rollins, Ikon)

“Brian’s writing is brave and honest, vulnerable and courageous, disturbing and unsettling, reassuring and hopeful. Every now and then you come across a book you’ve been waiting for. A New Kind of Christianity is that book.” (Steve Chalke MBEFounder of Oasis GlobalUN Special Advisor on Human TraffickingSteve Chalke MBEFounder of Oasis GlobalUN Special Advisor on Human Trafficking—Steve Chalke, MBE, founder of Oasis Global, UN Special Advisor on Human Trafficking)

“Some books provide us with information about the world, but every once in a while a book appears that enables us to imagine new, more wonderful worlds. The book you hold in your hand is one of these.” (Peter Rollins, Ikon)

“A new reformation is taking place in Christianity. Brian McLaren is one of its leading voices and A New Kind of Christianity is a roadmap for this reformation. This is a very important book.” (Adam Hamilton, author of Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White and Senior Pastor, The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.)

“Now and then gifted people emerge who see the situation from a higher and more helpful level. Brian McLaren is one of those seers.” (Richard Rohr, author of Everything Belongs)

“Brian McLaren is an author, speaker, pastor, and networker among innovative Christian leaders, thinkers, and activists. He is the author of A New Kind of Christianity...[a] bold and imaginative new work.” (Spirituality and Practice)

“These are questions that many in the church, and beyond, are asking. His patient explorations will prove helpful to many who value Evangelicalism’s piety but worry that it has failed to thoughtfully engage hard but unavoidable questions.” (Crosscut.com)

“[When reading] Brian McLaren’s latest - A New Kind of Christianity…one gets the impression we are at a pivot point, a moment that upsets the whole terrain of theological allegiances having to do with the post evangelical emerging church developments of the last ten-fifteen years.” (Englewood Review of Books)

“...A New Kind of Christianity is incredibly well written, engaging, thoughtful and provoking….one of the most significant conversations that will shape Christianity for years to come.” (The Faithful Reader)

“...Reading a Brian McLaren book is not for the theologically faint of heart... McLaren calls the church to a deeper and broader vision of the gospel that makes room for contemporary issues of justice and reconciliation” (UrbanFaith.com)

“Brian McLaren, considered one of the more articulate leaders in the emergent church, has a lot of questions. And he hopes Christians won’t avoid those questions. In his new book, A New Kind of Christianity, McLaren questions conventional truths and calls for a major overhaul of the Christian faith.” (The Christian Post)

“Christians must be unlocked from‘a prison’ of long-held assumptions and have the freedom to ask honest questions, Brian McLaren indicates in his newest book, A New Kind of Christianity. He’s not advocating for a new set of beliefs, he says, but rather a ‘new way of believing.’” (The Christian Post)

“...McLaren is considered one of the country’s most influential evangelicals, and his new book, A New Kind of Christianity, takes aim at some core doctrinal beliefs. McLaren is rethinking Jesus’ mission on Earth, and even the purpose of the crucifixion.” (NPR Morning Edition)

“...A New Kind of Christianity... has lit the fuses of critics in the Christian press and blogosphere.” (Publishers Weekly Religion BookLine)

“A New Kind of Christianity is the book that many of us have been wanting McLaren to write for years. …Sparks hopeful conversation… a beautiful and thoughtful way forward.” (Englewood Review of Books)

“[McLaren] has been hailed widely as one of the most significant religious leaders of our time, compared by some to the leaders of the Protestant Reformation….In articulating this longing and his disquiet with the status quo, McLaren strikes a chord with many.” (The Christian Century)

“McLaren has become an important and controversial figure in Christian thought…. Structured around 10 basic questions about the faith, the book will provoke debate. And it should–these are important questions worthy of our thought and (loving) discussion.” (Relevant Magazine)

“McLaren is advocating a different, perhaps upgraded form of Christianity that takes a more objective view of history and employs a better interpretation of the Bible,... rendering it more applicable and accessible to a modern, educated people.” (Huffington Post)

“...Very thought provoking.” (Greater Than Magazine)

“McLaren clearly has been asking important questions about Christian witness for decades.... A New Kind of Christianity continues McLaren’s project of assessing and reassessing our assumptions concerning the foundations of modern Christian practice by asking ten important questions about the pillars of the Christian faith.” (The Other Journal)

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.

Customer Reviews

I really have to say that this is one of the most frustrating books I've read.
Darryl Dash
He does not believe in hell (or heaven as a place we go when we die) and would rather be an atheist than believe in a violent God.
John
For this reason, I have been very cautious about Brian McLaren's ideas in A New Kind of Christianity.
Jason N Wiedel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

236 of 271 people found the following review helpful By Mort Coyle on February 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Brian McLaren has emerged as a voice that asks aloud the questions that many of us have wrestled with in silence. As a result, he has been lionized (and sometimes idolized) by those who find resonance with his theological ponderings. He has simultaneously been demonized and even slandered by those who are disturbed by his explorations into what it means to follow Jesus in the 21st century. He has become both an antenna and a lightning rod for the light and heat generated by the friction of Christianity's transition into post-modernism.

I have just finished reading McLaren's latest book, A New Kind of Christianity. Having read several of McLaren's other books, I would consider this one to be essential. I mean "essential" in two different ways:

1. "Essential" in the sense that A New Kind of Christianity is a streamlined and tightly focused distillation of ideas that McLaren has explored elsewhere. This book seems to contain the concentrated essence of what McLaren's theological labor has produced thus far. I often found points which he had sketched out in previous books now re-drawn in sharp, clear and muscular form. As a result--at under 300 pages--this book packs a great deal of theological, intellectual and inspirational punch.

2. "Essential" in the sense that A New Kind of Christianity is *the* Brian McLaren book to read, whether you haven't read anything else by him or whether you have read everything else by him.

A New Kind of Christianity is built around the exploration of ten important questions that Christians throughout the world seem to be asking more and more and with greater urgency. These questions are:

1. What is the overarching story line of the Bible?
2. How should the Bible be understood?
3.
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207 of 248 people found the following review helpful By Nathan P. Gilmour on February 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm cross-posting this review from The Christian Humanist Blog, so do forgive any html oddities.

When I praise Plato and defend my teaching Republic to college freshmen, I often say that Plato's excellence lies not in the fact that he's always right but that when he's wrong, he's wrong in compelling ways, ways that inspire me to imagine a better alternative. While Brian McLaren is no Plato, parts of his most recent book A New Kind of Christianity have that Platonic character to them, getting things very wrong in ways that set me thinking about how I'd improve on his points. Other parts of the book resonate quite nicely with things that I try to do as a Christian teacher or realize now that I should try to do. But other parts still, alas, smack of the sleight-of-hand, the well-poisoning, and the other dirty trickery that make me mistrust apologetics literature of various sorts. In other words, A New Kind of Christianity is a complex book, not consistently excellent but nonetheless very helpful in places.

Brian McLaren Gets it Right

As Phil Rutledge pointed out in response to our podcast on the Haiti Earthquake, when I talk about the Bible, I tend to talk not about one unified document but a library, various not only in cosmetic details but in a more robust sense of genre, asking certain questions in this book that lie out of bounds in other books, offering teachings here that seem to stand at least in tension with teachings there. (I should note the obvious, namely that I do not speak for the other Christian Humanists on this point or necessarily on any given point.
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56 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Joshua D. Jones on May 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am not a Calvinist. Like Mclaren I am charismatic and non-Reformed. I gave it 2 stars (instead of 1) because I felt the book, like Tim Keller's "Reason for God", addressed good and valid questions that people are asking today. I gave it 2 stars because I believe the premise of the book is faulty. Please let me explain:

Mclaren basis the entire book on one historical premise: that the Church, at the time of Constantine, imported neo-Platonism into Christianity and Christian faith has been defunct ever since. He says that Platonist ideas such as atonement, hell, just-war theory, a literalistic view of the Bible and the exclusivity of Christ are all ideas foreign to Christianity but were Greek and Roman ideas brought in by Constantine and others. Throughout the book he refers to traditional Christian belief as the "Greco-Roman story line" which he contrasts with his version of Christianity which he presents as true Christianity.

IF Mclaren's understanding of history is correct, then this really is a revolutionary book. Everything I have ever read and learned about this epoch of Church history however, leads me to believe that Mclaren's premise, and therefore all of his conclusions which he extrapolates throughout the book, are incorrect.

Now, that could mean that all the books I have read on the subject are wrong. But if that is so, then Mclaren needs to write a much larger book just to establish his premise as valid. The book does not attempt to explain why other branches of Christianity which grew up outside of the Roman empire or outside of the range of Greek thought (Ethiopian, Syrian, Indian, etc) also held to these beliefs.
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