This week’s reading (chapters 10-13) were very enjoyable reading. McLaren’s message that we are to be God’s agents of reconcilation and fellowship cam through loud and clear. I truly appreciated McLaren’s points that it is “by [our] way of life” (p82) that the Kingdom is promoted and that it is there the difference is made. It is not a Sunday Morning Only thing, but radically, a daily thing, down the littlest jot of life. It’s not fire insurance. It’s a road map.
However, there was an underlying feeling of uncomfortableness that I couldn’t put my finger on that seemed to run through these 3 chapters. Certain phrases, certain concepts made me uncomfortable. Perhaps that was McLaren’s goal. I don’t know. Here they are:
1) McLaren points out that the Kingdom of God is “scandously inclusive.” Yes, this is true. However, that inclusiveness also required/requires a turning away from the life of sin. The hair goes up on the back of my neck because I often hear under people’s usage of the word inclusive that the former life can be continued and even affirmed.
2) I am uncomfortable with his point that Jesus seems to shift the “locus of spirituality from the temple (which He says will be destroyed) to the table of fellowship and reconciliation.” (p 94) I’m not entirely clear what this statement means so my issue is probably due to my confusion and not McLaren.
3) On page 96 McLaren quotes an African theologian name Lamin Sannile who points out that Christianity is easily translatable for other cultures to refer to God in their native language. People don’t need to refer to God in the “language of its founder. In fact, most of them don’t even know what the language of the founder actually was!” I can’t say I’ve ever heard that Jesus was the founder of a new religion. That’s a new one to me. I’ve heard people say erroneously that St. Paul started a new religion. But never Jesus!
4) page 104 McLaren talks about “God’s dream.” I dunno. That just sounds wierd to me.
5) I appreciataed the 5 steps from pages 108 to 113. The need for prayer, fasting, etc. It reminded me a little bit of the 4 Spiritual Laws pamphlet that was so popular in the 70’s and 80’s. Is that thing still around?
Overall, good chapters. Where to next I wonder?