Thursday, 3 March 2011

Read me now!

Have you ever read a book review or been flicking through a book and had it shout, 'Read me right now!' in your mind? Well that's what just happened to me... I've already bought the book in question but I was going to put it on my pile of books to read, not expecting to look at it properly for a few weeks. And then I read the back page:

What is the overarching storyline of the Bible?

Is God violent?

What is the Gospel?

Can we find a way to address sexuality without fighting about it?

At the opening of the twenty-first century, Christianity in the West is more fractured and beleaguered than ever. Groundbreaking author ???? suggests that if we are to get beyond doctrinal stalemates towards the life to the full that Jesus promised us, we need new paradigms for thinking and believing and he invites us on a radical quest for a new kind of faith.

Using ten key questions, ???? boldly proposes what a future Christianity could look like. Radical yet orthodox, outspoken yet generous. This is a wise, compassionate book for all who are looking for an authentic, loving faith.

This is totally where I am right now, wondering whether the western churches have really 'got' what the good news of Jesus is all about. Sure, they've got some of it, but so much of what gets Christians and churches in the news is about how intolerant we are, or how loveless, how unthinking, how hypocritical we are. But... As Rolf Harris would say, can you tell what it is yet?

The book is 'A New Kind of Christianity' by Brian McLaren. I read and enjoyed one of his books a couple of years ago and I've read a fair bit by and about him since then. Suffice to say that I'm massively looking forward to getting into this book of his.

And he'll be speaking at the Green Belt festival at the end of August, along with Rob Bell (who's got another very interesting-looking book coming out soon). And and and – one of my favourite bands, Idlewild, are doing a gig at the festival! It's on 26-29 August at Cheltenham racecourse – who's coming with me?

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