LifeWay Advertises New McLaren Book
Now, I must admit that I haven't read the book, but given his previous works such as Generous Orthodoxy and Adventures in Missing the Point (with Tony Campolo), along with the three book series that began with A New Kind of Christian, I would say that it is a bit early for LifeWay to be advertising the book. Selling this book in LifeWay is really not a problem for me and neither is purchasing the book (which I plan to do), but I think LifeWay, being a Southern Baptist entity should be careful about what they advertise and thus should take seriously their role in shaping the hearts and minds of not only Southern Baptists, but millions of other Christians. Advertising the book in their circular with a very favorable description is, to most readers, at least an approval, if not a outright endorsement. The description found next to the book reads:
Brian McLaren, one of TIME magazine's "25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America," is back, this time to lead readers on a journey that will prove to be as unsettling and groundshaking as it is thrilling and life-changing. Unafraid of controversy or the uncomfortable gray areas of life, McLaren's quest is to find the essential message of Jesus' life-even if it overturns our conventional ideas, priorities, and practices."
"Through the years, I have frequently had an uncomfortable feeling:" writes McLaren, "that the portrait of Jesus I found in the New Testament didn't fit with the images of Jesus in the church" Out of that nagging discomfort arose this book, promising to be McLaren's most revolutionary to date. He writes, "I'd like to share my search with you, and invite you to be a part of it. I don't want to spoil the ending, but I'll let you in on this: the farther I go on this search, the more inspired, moved,
challenged, shocked, and motivated I become about the secret message of Jesus."
In a book that will keep you on your toes, Brian D. McLaren searches for the true Jesus of the New Testament, even if this Jesus doesn't match who is portrayed in today's churches. Join McLaren in his search for the secret message of Jesus.So far I have found McLaren to be the one on the adventure of missing the point of Christianity. If his latest book is like the others, then I think LifeWay has made a grave mistake here in advertising a book that does not accord with the theology of our great denomination, whose history is rooted in the historical-grammatical hermeneutical method, along with the belief in substitutionary atonement -- two things that McLaren seems to reject. I do plan on reading it in upcoming days, so look for my review to be up in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, here is a review by Matt Adair that I think is worth reading.