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Finding Faith: A Self-Discovery Guide for Your Spiritual Quest Paperback – July 1, 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

We are surrounded by evidence of a rising tide in spirituality. We see it in books such as Douglas Coupland’s Life After God; in lyrics from songwriters like Jewel Kilcher, Bob Dylan, and Alanis Morissette; in radio talk shows like those of Larry King and Dr. Laura; in TV shows such as The X Files and Touched by an Angel. The search for a living faith and a spiritually oriented life is alive and well at the dawn of the new millennium.

Perhaps you and your friends are asking important questions like these: Is there a God? If so, what might God be like? What is the relationship between faith and certainty? Can intelligent people believe in spiritual realities without compromising intellectual and moral integrity? Why are there so many religions, and how does one sort through the maze of conflicting dogma to discover a faith that is authentic, honest, enriching, and challenging? Is it possible to experience a relationship with God—and if so, how?

Finding Faith calls you to neither a blind leap in the dark, nor to a cold rationalism that denies your deepest intuitions and spiritual longings. Rather, in the tradition of C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity and M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled, it summons you to reflection and honesty. With logic, passion, and an evenhandedness that the thinking person will appreciate, this book helps you face your obstacles to faith by focusing not on what to believe, but on how to believe.

Whether you want to strengthen the faith you have, renew the faith you lost, or discover faith for the first time, Finding Faith can coach, inspire, encourage, and guide you. And it can help you discover, through a dynamic, authentic, and growing faith, more in life than you’d ever imagined or hoped for -- Publisher

From the Publisher

C. S. Lewis' thoughtful, witty, and unpretentious approach in Mere Christianity was unique in its appeal to secular readers. Finding Faith continues the tradition of speaking to a generation of non-Christians in their own world and language. Using contemporary, fade-resistant language and illustrations, Brian McLaren helps today's baby boomers and busters discover not only what to believe or why to believe, but also how to believe. Finding Faith deals realistically with the questions and choices that confront seekers in our postmodern, pluralistic culture. This is a book Christians can give the skeptics in their lives, confident that it will meet the questions they are asking with intelligent, reasonable, and meaningful answers.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (July 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310238382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310238386
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,134,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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As a rather progressive postmodern recovering-Evangelical I found this book to be a breath of fresh-air. While this book does fall into the category of apologetics, it is most certainly not an "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" or "Many Infallible Proofs for Christianity" style book. It's entire approach is radically different and immensely relevant to today's postmodern culture. Rather than focusing merely on cognitive arguments that are supposed to rationally convince people of the "absolute" truth of Christian beliefs, "Finding Faith" takes an existential approach that deals with the real life hang ups that postmodern individuals will have about Christianity. In other words, McLaren recognizes that postmoderns don't care so much whether Christianity is true as whether it is good.
Of course, postmoderns aren't entirely unconcerned about truth. They're not going to buy into something that is just obviously false. But what is much more important to them is whether our beliefs are livable, workable, and worthwhile. They want to know not "Is Christianity true?" but rather, "Will buying into the Christian faith make me into a better person?" And McLaren is brutally honest about the fact that when most non-Christians look at what Christians are like, what they see tends to repulse them. Too often we Christians present our worst face to the world: our bigotry, our arrogance, our legalism, our lack of cultural and social sensitivity, our tacky art, kitsch merchandise, and bad music, our lack of philosophical depth or intellectual nuance, our sexual or financial scandals, our abortion clinic bombers, our homophobic preachers, our aggressive culture wars and paranoid right-wing conservativism, and worst of all, our lack of visible unity and our inability to even love one another as Christ commanded.
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Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book. But, I warn you -- it'll torque the hell out of traditionalists.
Author Brian McLaren also wrote last year's "Reinventing Your Church" which was the best Christian book I've read since the early 80s.
"Finding Faith" is a very clear, intellectually honest, and non-manipulative book on how to approach the whole subject of faith. It respects serious thought, postmodernism, and doubt. Not once does he resort to traditional arguments, evangelical tricks, or dogma.
It is a very honest and probing book.
For the first few chapters, he really got under my skin (exposing my own traditionalism!). But,I stuck with it. By the time I got to Chapter 13 (a wonderful look at the Bible), I was a convert.
McLaren clearly knows what he's doing here. He has taken a bold leap to present Christ in the open market of ideas. He doesn't assume any kind of Christian consensus and he doesn't try to defend God.
The book is a refreshing, contemporary look at the Kingdom of God.
If you want something to give to non-Christian friends, this is the book. It is very respectful of non-believers; it gives them lots of room.
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Format: Paperback
Finding Faith is rare in that it takes seriously the issues that modern people have with christianity and presents a point of view that isn't tone deaf. McLaren has feeling and sensitivity to issues that educated 21st century people find troubling.
These include doubt, sexism and hypocrisy in the church, abhorrent church culture, postmodernism, atheism, intellectual certainty, are handled respectfully and seriously, without the author descending to smug polemic. McClaren actually allows people to disagree with him and form their own opinions. And he's quite open that the christian church sometimes seems very embarassing.
Ironically, insiders may find this book even more helpful than it's intended audience. His chapters on the personality types of churches, stages of faith and how God might be experienced should be must reading for those who already believe. McLaren is honest about his own struggles in his journey. These chapters alone could give hope to many older christians if only the church at large was aware that there's more depth to the journey with God than conservative christianity usually presents.
Finding Faith is not as highbrow intellectual as some might wish, but that's not it's intention, and will reach a wider audience. It's a good starting point to lead into more heavy-duty works. My only reservation is that Finding Faith occasionally uses christian jargon like "grace" without explanation, and that it's style is sometimes more wordy than needful. But I'm being picky: Until someone writes the perfect "Might belief in God make sense?" book, this is as good as it gets.
I'd also recommend "Why Believe?: Reason and Mystery As Pointers to God" by C. Stephen Evans. It's a little more intellectual, but still very readable and user friendly.
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Format: Paperback
I certainly wish this was the first book I read when I began my spiritual quest (which eventually led me to become Christian). It would have made certain things a lot easier! To someone who is interested in "finding faith" but has no real experience with anything spiritual (the position I was in), I recommend this book. It covers a lot of issues that "beginners" are going to want to explore, and it does so in an open, patient and caring manner.
I would also like to respond to the review "SELF-motivated SPIRITUALITY". The reviewer complains that McLaren says: <They want to know not "Is Christianity true?" but rather, "Will buying into the Christian faith make me into a better person?"> While this is clearly not the proper motivation for seeking God, it is often true that people begin their search for God for these reasons! Mr McLaren is not saying that this is the proper motivation; he points out only that it is common and must therefore be acknowledged. While I now know that this sort of initial selfishness is not right, it can very well lead a person to come to faith ... as it did for me!
In sum, I recommend this book wholeheartedly for all readers: atheists, agnostics, seekers and committed Christians. One of the few books I've read that deserves 5 stars!
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