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A Generous Orthodoxy: By Celebrating Strengths of Many Traditions in the Church (and Beyond), This Book Will Seek to Communicate a "Generous Orthodoxy."
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A Generous Orthodoxy: By Celebrating Strengths of Many Traditions in the Church (and Beyond), This Book Will Seek to Communicate a "Generous Orthodoxy."

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  3,977 ratings  ·  215 reviews
By celebrating strengths of many traditions in the church (and beyond), this book will seek to communicate a "generous orthodoxy."
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Published May 18th 2009 by Zondervan Publishing Company (first published February 1st 2004)
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I found A Generous Orthodoxy thought-provoking. McLaren uses honesty and wit to portray hard things with gentleness. I especially enjoyed the following points:

The Seven Jesuses I Have Known - McLaren discusses in detail the different ways Jesus has been manifested in his life. In particular, I identified with the Conservative Protestant Jesus (since I grew up in a Southern Baptist church…); it was the first time I realized that the Jesus of my church life is not necessarily the Jesus of the rest
Karen Mcintyre
Jun 26, 2008 Karen Mcintyre rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Karen by: Anyone wondering how to unite with or accept Christian viewpoint
Shelves: faith
In 1989 I did storytelling at an regional event in PA. The keynote presenter was a Serminary professor Leonard Sweet. What he said resonated deeply with over-simplification was that we no longer live in an either/or world. We live in an AND world. He spoke about paradox and the nature of truth in ways I had not been exposed to and I understood for the first time, why I was uncomfortable with the very conservative Christians who believed that they heard the voice of Jesus in everything in ...more
Dillon Rockrohr
I am tired of reading McLaren with the mindset of an open-minded Christian setting out to defend him from my less generous brothers and sisters. In doing so, I have been holding him at arm's length, racking up the points in his favor, ready to show how he's been right all along and making sure I have explanations for his particularly controversial statements. I'm done with that. I'm done reading him like I'm his attorney before the judges and executioners in our fellow Christian ranks.

I have rea
Oct 08, 2007 Stephan added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any christian or non christian curious about what christianity has the capacity for
this book should not be skimmed, or used to perpetuate further flimsy arguments against the author, but rather digested.
Like traveling around the world, moving through different denominations can nurture in you a sense of appreciation for diversity, unique beauty of each, and awareness of an increasingly larger/whole picture despite the equally increasing tension among the particulars. Such is what McLauren helps us to see through his personal journey of faith, in a very humble, compassionate, and respectful tone that is permeated by the love of God. Much of what he says resonates deeply with my experience and al ...more
I thought this was an interesting read. He writes in a clear and concise manner and adds humor to the book that a lot of theology writers don't have. He makes a good case for why we can be all of those things....why we don't have to choose to alienate one another with our titles and labels.
Victoria Sweatman
If A Generous Orthodoxy is any indication, Brian McLaren seems to be a very nice man. And this is a very nice book. There are plenty of very nice things to say about it. McLaren’s eagerness to embrace complexity is admirable and needed. His self-effacing posture goes some way toward countering the polemical rhetoric of left-right politics. And his critique of a certain kind of Christian fundamentalism is apt, if already a little dated looking back on it from 2014.

As for his prose - well, it does
Josiah Faville
This book encourages one to move beyond "right thinking" to something else, something more generous... more dangerous per the critics (a "radically indeterminate anything-goes gospel that means anything and thus is worth nothing"), but per McLaren, more in line with the narrative story of the Gospel. Is there a "right" way to love God 2000 years after Jesus any more than there is a "right" way to love your spouse? "The biblical witness to Jesus Christ as the unique Savior and hope of the world d ...more
Jul 10, 2008 Pete rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: read my review
Recommended to Pete by: Phil Hudson
The highly scrutinized, non-self-proclaimed manual for the Emerging Church movement.
Pros: I enjoy the thoughtful, stream of conscious, rabbit trail writing that I think McLaren feels at home with. The authors humility and personal pursuit of Christ is evident. I think that the label of "relativistic-pluralist" by some critics is harsh. He is not denouncing the fundamentals of the Gospel, instead is affirming them and encouraging that we constantly grow and mature in our understanding and applic
I enjoy reading books that I disagree with on topics I care about, because I believe that truth can withstand a challenge. I also think it equips me to consider ideas and talk about them with greater care. On that basis, I found this book enjoyable a few years ago when I read it.

What I did not particularly enjoy were McLaren's meticulous and manipulative attempts to be disarming. He's obviously a friendly and intelligent guy who knows the Evangelical landscape like the back of his hand, and he u
Thomas Freeman
This book is an apologetic for exercising a "Generous" "Right Thinking" (orthodoxy). Brian McLaren basically considers every category of Christian view that claims exclusive truth. From denominations, movements and even doctrines Brian will try to persuade you to blur all the lines for the box you fit truth in. However, he never confronts the fact that he feels he has the answer on truth that lead him to blur the lines on truth. I do not recommend this book because it has no true substance.

At ti
Chauncey Lattimer
This book was my introduction to the writing of Brian McLaren and, I must admit, it was not what I expected. Though I do not agree with all that McLaren postulates, I found the book to be very provocative and thought-engendering. If McLaren can be put into any box it would have to be one that opposes almost any 'us/them' distinctions. McLaren fulfills his statement regarding he purpose of the book - i.e., that he is writing "to try to help us realign our religion and our lives at least a little ...more
This is the book where someone has finally put into words all the questions so many people with a large dollop of 'evangelical' in their background, and a brain that does not stop thinking, have had to keep buried. It is desperately sad that the author has had to face such a backlash for his courage. The author knew it would be like that; readers might understand why, or they might be so furious at the 'heresy' that they join the protests. I recognised so much of what is described, have experien ...more
"I've never heard of a church or denomination that asked people to affirm a doctrinal statement like this: The purpose of Scripture is to equip God's people for good works. Shouldn't a simple statement like this be far more important than statements with words foreign to the Bible's vocabulary about itself (inerrant, authoritative, literal, revelatory, objective, propositional, etc.)?"

"As a generously orthodox Christian, I consider myself not above Buddhists and Muslims and others, but below the
Vance Halfaker
Once upon a time, Vance was an angry Calvinist and hated McLaren without knowing why. So a few years later when he found a copy of A Generous Orthodoxy at a used book store for one dollar, he jumped at the chance to read it and find out why angry Calvinists are obligated to despise McLaren. Vance is still scratching his head as McLaren's book, in addition to being funny and winsome, didn't really say anything that pretty much any Christian hasn't already thought but been too afraid to say.
Geoff Glenister
I had been putting this book off for quite a while, and now wish I hadn't. I put it off because I feel as though I've "graduated" from the "School of McLaren" to more difficult and scholarly writers. But McLaren has such a way of cutting right to the heart of issues very directly and simply, but doing it in a gentle and loving way. "A Generous Orthodoxy" is really about why labels are too limiting - and when we accept a label and claim it as defining us, we are almost always selling ourselves sh ...more
Aaron Kleinheksel
Let me state upfront that I disagree w/ much of what the author argues in this book as far as his theological approach is concerned. In addition, I think anyone who reads this book would be well advised to also read "Becoming Conversant With The Emerging Church" by D.A. Carson. This will give the interested reader a more full-bodied understanding of the issues under discussion.

That being said, this book is a best-seller because Brian McLaren is a very compelling and winsome writer. I like the gu
Brian McLaren is a controversial figure for many, but I enjoyed his frankness in this book. It struck a chord with me in a time when I was looking for more balance among contemporary Christian thinkers. And I appreciated that his arguments are well thought out and not complaining and petulant. Challenging and thought-provoking.
Kevin Griffin-Moreno
To say that this book finally helped me realize that I'd become a Christian somewhere along the way would be glib. But I will say that it helped clarify some of my ambivalence over my religious identity. A worthwhile read.
Rena Sherwood
Although considered a crucial book in the development of the emergent church, Brian McLaren’s book is filled with convoluted sentences, lack of organization and perhaps the world’s worst subtitle.

My brother and I do not get along. We were both raised Born-Again Protestant Christians. He still is and is part of the emergent church movement. I’m an atheist. In 2005, my brother send Mom a book that he thought was one of the most important books in the history of Christianity – Brian McLaren’s “A Ge
May 15, 2007 Ryan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The denominated.
Definitelynt a speed read. This is a book designed for slow digestion and though. Brings forth the beauty of the different parts of the Church, and incites a real desire for more unity or at least tolerance within it.
Dec 06, 2007 Jhcuatro rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone that has ever thought about what they believe.
God is way bigger than I. There are people who are challenging the "boundaries" and pushing the "walls" of what it means to be a Christian.

I learned that, "I don't know what I once knew."

Apr 01, 2007 Andrea rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone disenfranchised with modern day "Christianity"
It guaranteed I would "love this book" on the cover, and it was right. McLaren continues to offer a fresh and interesting perspective on what it can look like for someone to be a Christian this day in age.
I'm still reading this. Stopped midway as I started researching the author and finding out if his views (controversial they may be) are seen by mainstream Christian organisations as biblical and legitimate.
This is my favorite McLaren book. He looks at a number of the Christian traditions and basically says what he thinks is good & bad in each. I think his idea is to keep the good & throw out the bad.
Jim Hale
McLaren takes aim mostly at the Evangelical culture and Lord knows we need to get smacked down, but what he fails to understand is how dogmatic, prideful and just plain wrong his spiritually enlightened comrades are on many counts. Case in point is his fawning over environmentalists while he takes hypocritical fundamentalists to task for using scare tactics. I've worked on an environmental issue for four years and daily witness unbelievable slander and misinformation being spread by the leading ...more
I thought the question Maclaren offers are interesting, but I felt like he was trying way too hard to be funny and relevant. Comes off far too arrogant.
Geoffrey Kerns
May 23, 2007 Geoffrey Kerns rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not everyone for once
Has some serious meat in it. However, it's a dry read. Black and white if you know what I mean (rather than his usual imaginitive writings).
i've been working on this book for a long time. so far, it's fantastic. for some reason, the concepts take me a really long time to process though.
It seams like he sometimes just says things to say them... decent read though. It helps explain some of the other things he says in other places.
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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 New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey 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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“I’m sure I am wrong about many things, although I’m not sure exactly which things I’m wrong about. I’m even sure I’m wrong about what I think I’m right about in at least some cases.” 25 likes
“We must never underestimate our power to be wrong when talking about God, when thinking about God, when imagining God, whether in prose or in poetry. A generous orthodoxy, in contrast to the tense, narrow, or controlling orthodoxies of so much of Christian history, doesn't take itself too seriously. It is humble. It doesn't claim too much. It admits it walks with a limp.” 16 likes
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