Sunday, April 08, 2007

A New Kind Of Christian

Another Book Review.

This book is an eye opener, an easy read as it is a dialog between two people, one asking many of the questions the reader will struggle with. As a solid Christian when reading it you will struggle with the middle chapters, but to stop there will only lead to frustration with McLaren. Read the whole book then think it over. McLaren admits that he is trying to define something that is not yet completely defined. Thinking about it this book is from 2001 and is getting out of date.

What is the purpose of the book. It is to open eyes. It is to realize that the way we worship God, the traditions we have, etc. Well they worked in the modern era, but they will isolate non-Christians in the future. The world is changing, for the past 400 years it has been a modern world. Defined as very scientific, structured, organized. Great for an engineer like me. But the post modern world is different. It uses the systems of the modern era but also relationship are much more important. One thing to realize is that the post modern era is not settled, it is still being defined. Look at the HighSchool generation now to get a glimps of the future.

Like I said last time Churches will have to change to relate to the world post modern. While I think Saddleback and Willow creek (Churches I have never been too) were on the path, McLaren thinks not, he thinks that churches will have to change even more than them.

What is good, McLaren thinks that the current idea of Christianity is wrong. He sees it as being selfish, and limited in sight. The idea of getting to heaven is wrong. He thinks Christianity is more about bringing God's intended world into fruition here, now.

I think I agree, God created a world, he allowed us to have free choice. In the start I think the angels had a lot more direct relation with humans Genesis 6:2-4. [A source for the stories of the Greek and Hindu Gods?] So God started over with Noah and Humans, then the tower of Babel... I digress will write that all down later. What I want to say now: God created a perfect world, it is even perfect today, with exception of the sin of man. God loves and lives in his perfect world. That ugly spider you hate, God sees perfection. Nature is perfection. God also gives us a lot of rules in the early Bible to live in the world the right way, in harmony with the perfect world he intended. For thousands of years the Jewish people tried to live by the rules but could not. So then The Holy Spirit comes and is inside us to help us do those rules.

Let me digress, it is not rules that are important but the spirit of the rules. Think about what Jesus said He did not come to abolish the law but fulfill it. The law is there to show us our sin, so we realize we need God, as Jesus to help us live in harmony with the perfect world. Jesus even made the rules more strict, it was do not commit adultery, now it was don't even imagine undressing the woman walking down the street. We can not live the way God wants us to without help. We need to understand not the rules the yes and no's but the why's. The great news is that life will get a lot simpler then.

So in the end acceptance with God is not just about the doorway to a happy eternity. It is about returning this world to perfection. The perfection that only Adam and Eve have experienced. Jesus was sinless, but he did not live in a perfect world. Everything I have of in the Bible describing Heaven is a return to the Garden of Eden, but with a lot more people it will be a city.

So saying that, in the perfect world, many of the things Christian Americans do is wrong. They should actually live more like American Indians. But while they worshiped the great spirit and talked about lesser gods, we understand GOD and his Angels and troublesome Demons. I do wonder again, many of the traditions that Hindu's use to worship, can they be used to worship God? I mean even modern Christian traditions really are realignment of worship of things not God to God. Can a Hindu do the same?

They have sacrifices to gods, so explaining to them that Jesus is our sacrifice would work. They try to live in harmony with Nature. I think that is what is missing from modern Christianity, somehow it became a goal to get into a sheep pen of heaven to just sit around. But like I said in my description of the blog, the building we enter is not a Church but a train station, after been there for a while we need to go out to the tracks and go on an adventure! But we do not go alone we have a guide with us.

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