And to be born again, 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 proposal doesn’t seem like anything new for those familiar with McLaren, who presented A New Kind of Christian nine years ago. But some say his latest book paints a more vivid picture of the emergent church pastor and his beliefs.
“This new book is easily the clearest presentation of McLaren’s theology to date,” Reformed pastor Kevin DeYoung recently wrote in his blog.
McLaren grew up in a conservative evangelical home and became a committed disciple in his teen years. He considered going into the Episcopal ministry but became an English teacher instead, determined that he could “do more good for the spiritual cause outside the institutional church than inside of it.” Without having planned it, he later became a full-time pastor, leading a group of people that had been meeting at his home every week.
Today, after serving as a pastor for more than 30 years, he often sees picketers and leaflets labeling him as “dangerous,” “controversial” and “unbiblical” when he visits churches around the world to speak. He wonders, “How did a mild-mannered guy like me get into so much trouble?”
He feels it may partly be because he’s asking questions – theological ones that are “by and large answered” for most evangelical Christian leaders.
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