Guest / Limited Access /
Reviews

/

A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith
Our Rating
2 Stars - Fair
Book Title
A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith
Author
Publisher
HarperOne
Release Date
February 1, 2011
Pages
336
Price
$12.61
Buy A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith from Amazon

Brian McLaren has grown tired of evangelicalism. In turn, many evangelicals are wearied with Brian. His most recent book, A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith (HarperOne), must be understood as his latest iteration of a project of deconstructing the old and reconstructing a new kind of Christian faith. In it, he poses a question that this review will seek to answer. It is a question he asks of himself: "How did a mild-mannered guy like me get into so much trouble?" Or, as he asks one page later, "How did I get into this swirl of controversy?"

As a friend and a chronicler for two decades, I have watched Brian's work. Generous Orthodoxy gave us a critique of both sides and some glimpses of a third way, even if the book frustrated to no end by leaving too many loose ends dangling. I thought both The Secret Message of Jesus and Everything Must Change provided us with what could become an evangelical social gospel. Along the way, Brian has poked evangelicals in the eyes and chest by fixating on sensitive spots that bedevil them—not the least of which is the uneasy connection between the "spiritual" gospel and the "social" gospel. If evangelicalism is characterized by David Bebbington's famous quadrilateral—that is, biblicism, crucicentrism, conversionism, and activism—then Brian has poked and, to one degree or another, criticized, deconstructed, and rejected each.

Some of the pokes, if we are honest, have been deserved. He keeps on poking in A New Kind of Christianity—harder than before, in fact. For example, the chapter on how evangelicals defended slavery skewers a problem in their biblicism. In his (unsatisfying) chapter on homosexuality, McLaren writes about a movement ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Browse All Book Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Robert Park's North Korea Mission
A 28-year-old missionary was reportedly inspired by the martyrdom of Robert Jermain Thomas.
Current IssueOur April Issue: Mystically United in Christ
Our April Issue: Mystically United in Christ
All we are is his. And he is ours. What a glorious mystery.
RecommendedStop Calling Everything a Bible Study
Subscriber Access Only
Stop Calling Everything a Bible Study
Why it matters what churches call their classes.
TrendingRussia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom.
Editor's PickThere’s No Crying on Social Media!
There’s No Crying on Social Media!
Young adults are desperate not to let peers see any signs of weakness or failure.
Christianity Today
Brian McLaren's 'A New Kind of Christianity'
hide thisMarch March

In the Magazine

March 2010

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.