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A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey
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A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  3,556 ratings  ·  219 reviews
This inspiring and wise fictionalized story captures the new spirit of Christianity where personal, daily interaction with God is more important than rigid belief sys-tems and institutional church str
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published March 28th 2001 by Jossey-Bass (first published January 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Laura Cowan
I first heard the term emergent church years ago, but avoided learning more because the rancor between factions of Christianity just gets me worked up and frustrated with everyone involved for their inability to see their own assumptions. Imagine my surprise, after spending the last 10 years transitioning from an institutionally and theologically based faith to a relational and intuitive one (read: trying to put my faith in God instead of in my ideas about God being right), that this process I h ...more
Adam
An important (if occasionally corny) book that will be seen as eye-opening and challenging by a lot of people and downright dangerous by others...

A little personal background. I first read this book when I was 16 or 17--I'm 24 now--and it was a real eye-opener for me at the time. It was one of a few books I read as a young Christian that taught me that it was okay to have the doubts I was having and still try to lead a life of faith.

A lot has happened since then, of course. Starting around age 2
...more
Douglas Wilson
Appalling. Ick. Poo.
Paul Dubuc
This book is a welcome invitation for modern evangelical and fundamentalist Christians to positively re-think what it means to be a Christian in our time. Trust God and drop your guard when you read it. It won't make a 'liberal' out of you. The more liberal side of Christianity comes in for some good criticism in the book, but I don't think the book is written for them and I doubt they will be helped much by it. One doesn't have to accept all the ideas this book offers to see that many of them r ...more
Benjamin
Postmodern Christianity. This is all a bit new and uneasy for me. It will take more reading and more thought for me to form a reasonable, defend-able position about it. That said, much of what Neo and Dan talk about makes sense.

- Instead of us reading the Bible, letting the Bible read us. Leaving aggressive analysis behind and "trusting God to use it to pose questions to us about us."

- Seeing the Bible as a contextual document.

- Modernity as an era defined by certain characteristics:

Conquest a
...more
Teri
I'm in the minority with my thoughts on this book as related to those people I read the book with and participated in many discussions with. But, that's part of what I think this book intends: discussion with no commitment to resolution for fear of offending or excluding those who don't share our exact beliefs.

The redeeming quality of this book is that it presents ideas worth considering when thinking outside the box of Christian faith. How we worship, is it okay to think outside of what we're
...more
Amber
Now, I think I probably rated this lower than others, but here's why.

1. this book was probably much more profound when it came out in 2001, unfortunately, i am reading in in 2011. some of his "innovative" new ideas are not so profound anymore. I'm not sure if that from the influence of this book though or from the influence of the various sources that influenced him.

2. he is not a fiction writer. i think he could have done just fine in a non-fiction format, but he tried to make it a fiction inte
...more
Joey
This book functions as a Socratic dialogue regarding how our faith could look in a postmodern context. The book tackled a lot of questions that I found most Christians I know would not want to tackle, which is why I respect it. The topics conversed over a lot of Christian subjects that I have been wrestling with over the years. The book didn't solve all of my "problems" or questions, but at least I was able to read something that addressed the questions with humility and fairness.

I only gave it
...more
Lara
I realize that I'm kind of in the minority here, but yeah, I HATED this book. I had a really hard time getting through it, simply because I thought it so poorly written, and I didn't really find any of the ideas all that new or interesting (although I did find some of them disturbing). I understand that a lot of people really connected with it, and, in fact, the reason my husband and I read it in the first place is because people in the new church we were going to thought so highly of it. But, s ...more
Jonathan Anderson
I have no problems with Brian McLaren's theology. This dude seems right up my alley and I'm glad I now have better explanations for a few things that I would've looked like an idiot trying to explain when there was a technical term for it. I have a problem with him as a storyteller though. I guess it says something that, having finished this book not even five minutes ago, I'm frustrated that I didn't get enough closure on a character that I liked, but I'm still frustrated. McLaren explains in h ...more
Johan Haneveld
Even though the Emergent Church movement seems to be over, at least as a singular entity, the concerns that gave rise to this phenomenon, halting and awkward and diffuse as it was, have not dissipated. The culture we live in is still different from the 'modern' world of the twentieth century, and people (at least in the west, which is the culture we live in) still ask different questions. And I do not really think conventional christianity has evolved from 'modern' sensibilities enough to really ...more
David
Fantastic perspective of Christianity from one of the foremost leaders of Post-Modern Christianity. Several of McLaren's conclusions are revolutionary and will appear, to many, heretical. Nevertheless, in an age of condemnation and the depreciation of brotherly love among Christians as a whole, I find McLaren to be both refreshing and honest. I recommend this book to anyone interested in reviewing their own Christianity.
Melissa
This book was my "red pill". I've never been able to look at Christianity the same way after reading this book. The second one was even crazier and I had to put it up for a while, because it was rocking my world way too much. If you are brave, and not afraid for your beliefs to be challenged, examined, tested, then you have GOT to read this book. If not, take the blue pill and pretend nothing ever happened!
Micah McCarty
I was just telling a friend about this earlier this week. It was about twelve years ago that I read it but it was a crucial book for me at that time. It liberated me from the fundamentalism of my youth. I don't know how it holds up over time but I will always hold it dear for what it did for me when I read it back then.
Taylor Storey

I am exactly the audience this book is supposed to connect with. I was right there in the young evangelical circles who were being most affected by the ideas contained in this book. And I was dissatisfied with what I was finding. The book does connect with me to an extent. To be sure, when it was written in 2001 I think yes, cutting edge, very strong, beneficial challenge to mainstream evangelicalism (though I was not ready for it). Since then there has been quite a few groundbreaking books in a
...more
Dave Miller
I've read the whole trilogy. If you are open to questions about Christianity, or you've figured out that your parents religion isn't working for you, these are grea reads and very thought provoking.
Calvin Wulf
Stimulating primmer to the influence of post-modernism on modern Christianity.
Emilie
Not sure how I feel about this, I'm really of two minds and hearts. Part of me was impressed with a rational, academic Christian voice in what would appear to be the mainstream (unlike other Christian books I've read), but the other part thinks it was trite and overly sentimental and tried so hard. I liked Neo's character and he did seem to speak a lot of sense but I remain sceptical about the entire premise - not only in terms of practicalities, but in how this may also serve as a false hope fo ...more
Randy
Brian Mclaren believes that the church, thoroughly enmeshed as it is in modernism, is becoming increasingly irrelevant to a culture that is moving away from modernism and toward a new paradigm of postmodernism. To be able to speak to a culture that is well underway in making the transition, he argues that the church must also embrace this worldview.

The problem is, he never gives us anything close to an adequate description of postmodernism. He doesn't tell us that its main feature is the repudi
...more
David
News flash! We have entered the newest age of history. It is called post-modernity! Anyone who does not get on board will not be criticized, because that might hurt someone's feelings. Instead, the Post-moderns will shake their heards in pity for anyone exhibiting behavior that might be categorized by them as "modern".

What is postmodernism? The author does not define it. It is defined against the negative of modernity. Like Liberation theology and Feminist theology, it does an excellent job in c
...more
Randy
Jul 21, 2011 Randy rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No One
The author said nothing that convinced me his conclusions are correct or workable in today’s culture and faith community – he did have a few (very few) comments that made me think a bit. But he had a poor writing style and was scatter-brained in how he presented his material. Clearly he is coming from a very conservative Christian Evangelical perspective and I can only conclude that his faith experience has been hurtful to him. I think he does further damage to the Evangelical tradition - I am n ...more
Sue
Like Marmite, it appears, people either love this or hate it. Likewise with the author, a controversial figure in the Christian world.

This book is written in pseudo-fiction format. He calls it 'creative non-fiction' in a later work, although I prefer to think of it as 'fiction with an agenda' - and not in a negative sense. A fictional scenario is set up :Daniel, a tired pastor, thinking of resigning, becomes friends with Neo, a Jamaican high school teacher who is a graduate in history and philo
...more
John
My first impression was of this book's title: how pretentious! "A New Kind of Christian"? Really? *Eye Roll* But then I started to read it, and couldn't stop.

First, if you're someone who feels the need to be right all the time, you should probably just stop here. There's nothing for you past this point. Seriously, I'm not kidding. You should move on.

Ok then... I often listen to audio books vs reading them in my spare time. This book is mostly a conversation between two men, a disillusioned white
...more
Dion
I thought this was a helpful book. I think it would've been more helpful to read 5 years ago or so, closer to the time it was written, but still it helped to galvanize some thoughts I've had and reinforce some convictions about the trajectory of the church.

It also addressed me in a more personal way in some of my disappointments and struggles with the current state of the church. It has kept me praying for patience and compassion while I deal with the pains of change.

Two critical notes (and I do
...more
Claus
This is one of the basic books relating to the so-called "emerging/emergent church", which has gained a considerable amount of popularity recently. I'm not sure this popularity is a good thing.

This book is so full of errors it is hard to know where to begin.

There are the factual errors, such as the author's claim that systematic, analytic theology did not exist until after the Middle Ages. The writings of the church fathers clearly demonstrate otherwise.

Then there are the erroneous characterisat
...more
Dwayne Shugert
Excellent story about friendship and change and the church and faith. Excellent critique of our modern understanding of church and what it would look like to live as the church into our new postmodern world. Brain McLaren does an amazing job of showing us where we are, how we got there and a vision of where we are going. Even though this book was written over a decade ago, it is still relevant and timely as we continue to surf this postmodern wave and join what God is doing all around us. Brain ...more
Eric Sundquist
I picked up this book because I wanted to read McLaren's (currently) latest book: A New Kind of Christianity. I figured that New Christian would be a good preface to it. It turns out that New Kind of Christian is actually the first of a three book series. (?) So I'm still postponing New Christianity until I read a few more books.

This is one of McLaren's earliest books, and so I am interested in watching how his thoughts develop over time. Now that it has been out for almost 10 years, I don't kno
...more
Joel
Part dialogue, part novel and part history lesson, A New Kind of Christian refuses to be nailed down to a particular format or set of theological answers. Instead, McLaren attempts to pry apart present systems of assumptions about God and church in order to make room for questions that arise from lived experience, ancient and medieval Christian teaching, and changing society. McLaren’s fictional interlocutors come to the conclusion that much of what are often presented as unchanging Christian do ...more
Joel Wentz
McLaren catches a lot of flak from the evangelical community for being closely associated with the Emergent movement, and unfortunately many of his earlier books (books that were written far before the Emergent conversation was even happening) get swept aside because of his more recent associations. A New Kind of Christian was actually written in '99, and it contains many valuable insights regarding the cultural shifts that are happening in and around Christianity in the West. His breakdown of t ...more
Laura
Refreshing to read McClaren's radical concepts, written in a truly engaging way. I learned so much more via a narrative style rather than just his ideas on paper. The characters were interesting and inspiring. McClaren's book changed my perspective on who God is. Even if I don't agree with everything he conveys, I appreciate his boldness in sharing his ideas, especially facing much criticism. A great read.
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Brian D. McLaren is an internationally known speaker and the author of over ten highly acclaimed books on contemporary Christianity, including A New Kind of Christian, A Generous Orthodoxy, and The Secret Message of Jesus.
More about Brian D. McLaren...
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Metho A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth That Could Change Everything Everything Must Change The Story We Find Ourselves In: Further Adventures of a New Kind of Christian

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