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Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices
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Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  716 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Shines a practical light on the spiritual disciplines that have been in use since the time of Abraham. In a sense, every day of our lives is labor. It is questionable if you can ever be exactly the same person waking up on two consecutive days. How are spiritual sojourners to cope with the constant change? Many are beginning to explore the ancient Christian spiritual pra ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published May 4th 2008 by Thomas Nelson
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Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, all in all, I loved Finding Our Way Again. Loved it. Been carrying it around, sneaking pages when I could... I think I want to make it the text for our Life in the Way of Jesus theology pub, the one designed to introduce folks in our church to the disciplines. Not because the book itself is an exhaustive treatment of spiritual disciplines, but because in the whole sense of "If you want some people to build a boat, don't give them the plans, give them a love of the sea" this book will, I thin ...more
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, need to go back in again but a brilliant intro to the series.
Mar 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This book has been on my list of "must reads" since it first came out. About a month ago, when feeling particularly disillusioned with this thing we call "church", I finally made it a priority to read it. After the first chapter, I was convinced that God was speaking directly through Brian McLaren's words to me.

I do have one slight disappointment about the book - I had hoped that McLaren was going to help me understand how to DO the ancient practices. This is not so much an "instructional manual
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you haven't read this book yet, you should! It's a reminder to us Protestants to never forsake the ancient paths that were forged before our movement began in the 16th century and a call for us to break the biggest sin of all: pride. The good thing about this book is the questions at the end of the chapters actually make us "faith" what he talks about, try them out. And he moves us away from making dichotomies between denominations, to trying to encompass the good from each other's denominati ...more
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not What I Hoped It Was

I hate to fault a book for what it isn't - you cannot condemn a recipe book for lack of character development or a romance novel for it's lack of discussion about thermodynamics. But, in the case of this book, I was really hoping for an in-depth discussion of ancient Christian practices that have fallen by the wayside but are deserving or a re-assessment.

The title and the blurb on the back cover led me to believe that this is a thorough discussion of certain practices. Ins
McLaren’s name keeps popping up in current religious writing; Garry preached on a recent McLaren book, and Jay Hillstead made some reference recently. I used a central idea from this book for a recent communion meditation: the idea of three parts of the spiritual path, Missional, Communal, and Contemplative.

Apparently this book is the first of a series of books about spiritual practices – others are about prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, tithing and such, by writers like Diana Butler Bass, Scot McK
Mar 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16

The author believes that many people who leave "the church" do not leave because they no longer want to follow Jesus. Rather, they leave so they can follow Jesus. This book does not advocate giving up church; in fact, community is promoted. However, many times we start to depend on church for our spiritual life and as more church-goers do t
Regarding the truth: if one has lost their way and strayed from the path, they must retrace their steps and find their way back to the place they had originally mis-stepped. Even though there are a lot of chunks in here that I don't agree with, I like what Brian McLaren was going for - in the broader sense. Christ's followers don't always follow Christ as closely as they ought to. Making Christ's ways a set of rules to follow makes it worse, as Jesus seemed to mold his followers through organic ...more
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book comes in at a little over two hundred pages and includes a neat little study guide in the back and some questions at the end of each chapter designed to help the reader put into practice what was just read.

The book is split up into three sections, 'Way', 'Practices', 'Ancient'.

The ancient practices are a way to build character, wake up to God (aliveness), and experience God.

The most hard hitting question found at the end of chapter 1 for me was looking at my relationship with God as if
Mar 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Finding Our Way Again" is the opening book in a new series about the ancient practices of faith. Author Brian McLaren has been a leader in exploring the Christian faith in new dimensions often by returning to old dimensions. This new examination interested me, and with the series being edited by Phyllis Tickle - who hooked me in with "The Great Emergence" - I was very excited to dig into this book.

Ultimately I was disappointed with the book as a whole. There are sections of brilliance, yet sect
Kristine Coumbe
The cover art is what first attracted me, but the author's writing style and choice of topic kept me interested. As a practicing Christian, I wanted to read a book about Christianity. The author is well educated on the history and history of Christian practice. I feel MCLaren has valid points about the state of most Christian sects. He is saying that when he travels he sees that people have lost the art of truly living their religion. To quote Brian MCLaren, "Spiritual Practices are about life, ...more
Dec 09, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why should someone look to the ancient practices of the church? Brian McLaren writes to answer this question in the first book of the Ancient Practices Series. McLaren writes an apologetic for why we should look to the ancient practices of the Christian faith. The practices develop character. They help us to be more awake to the work around us. And they help us experience God. All of this happens so that we, as the title of the book states, find our way again. We can find our way back to the roo ...more
Jul 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book being reviewed is "Finding Our Way Again" by Brian McLaren. This was a rough read for me because many times while reading it, I found my mind would wander off. The author brings forward many good points though out his book. If you are one who has strayed from your faith and you are trying to find your way back, then this might be a good book for you to read.

The main problem I had with the book was the author's flowery imagery way of explaining his ideas. The point could have been said w
David Campton
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Post evangelicals
Shelves: spirituality
Brian McLaren is not an expert on spiritual disciplines... but then I've read lots of books by such experts and they have all been depressing in the extreme, as they may have inspired, and inspiring but have rarely had a lasting impact on my daily practice. This book is written by someone rediscovering these things for himself, and is written in such an engaging and practical way that I think it may have a longer lasting impact personally than many of the "classics" because it asks really basic ...more
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a good introductory book on some of the foundational Christian practices. What I really enjoyed about this book was the removal of theological differences that keep denominations separated. This book has potential for bringing Christians from all over together in love. It's a return to the basics. Even long-time Christians will learn from this book. The only thing I didn't care for was the typical modern-day sermon wit that uses frequent play-on-words to make points. The graphs also didn ...more
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: churchy, audiobooks
I really enjoyed this book. It was different than I expected: I'd thought it'd be more historical ritual-oriented, but true to the point, I discovered, it resists restriction by institutionalized practice. The message, I felt, was to help us understand the value of ritual and practices common - in general, if not particulars - to many faiths in helping us grow spiritually. And that was fascinating! The chapter on fasting is one I'd like to keep in a binder for reference whenever the topic comes ...more
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very much like the other books in this series, this book is written to allow the average lay person to take a look back at the way ancient Christianity was practiced.

Sometimes, we need to step back and time to see how things were previously done. And also to see why.

The author also provides exercises for us to do in order to allow ourselves to come closer to practicing the old ways.

I know in our busy lives today, we feel stressed because we run from one thing to another. It is only when we take
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual, adult

Finding Our Way Again is the second book by Brian McLaren that I have read recently. The first book was A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions that are Transforming the Faith. The first book was exactly what I needed in my quest to continue growing my faith.
This second book seemed focused on guiding the reader to a wide variety of early spiritual practices to help tend their souls, show how the practices form character, awaken the life within us and help to experience God to a greater degree.
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like McLaren's style. I found this easy to read and informative - neither too theological or too watered down. The chapters were fairly short which makes it (in my husband's opinion) the perfect toilet companion. Common sense, personal insight, history and practical ways of PRACTICING and LIVING OUT the Christian faith, the Christian walk. I would highly recommend this though I am sure it would ruffle a few feathers. I find McLaren to be very gracious and level headed. I see immense val ...more
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a hard book to review. Did I agree with all of it? No. Yet it has taken me deeper in my relationship with Christ. Is it inspired? Yes, but it is not infallible. McLaren wouldn't claim it was anyway. It reflects Brian McLaren's own search and experiences in trying to find the way again. If you are willing to think, to analyze, and to learn when learning isn't always easy, this is a book for you. There were many ideas in this book that will stay with me for a long time. There are some that ...more
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to love this book, but I didn't. It has some very good stuff in it, but also some things that make me not want to recommend it to anyone at all.

The book is written in a very casual style, which I wouldn't mind so much if it didn't also include so many odd, almost vulgar things.

The author seems to also believe in evolution, which was unexpected.

Also, the author seemed to be trying too hard to appeal to possible readers of all three Abrahamic religions although the book is marke
May 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I think it was good for what it was meant to be--an introduction to a series. It has hints of some of McLaren's usual themes, but I feel he balances it out with his overall intent to introduce the Ancient Practices series.

One thing that I did have an issue with was McLaren's occasional invoking of the Jewish and Muslim traditions. I began to assume that there would be some further development of the faith practices of these traditions. However, this was not so. It's not really a complai
Oct 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm always challenged by spiritual formation books. This was a new author to me, but he encourages adopting 'activist' religious practices to promote spiritual growth. He reviewed practices of praying, fasting, and keeping the Sabbath (one set aside day, not necessarily Saturday). One of the challenges to me was for fixed times of prayer. I think it would be more meaningful to me apart from my regular devotional time. It's something to try. I liked the information on the rhythm of work and rest, ...more
Apr 30, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for an introduction to spiritual practices.
Some good stuff on the history behind spiritual practices and why we should do them, but overall the depth was not there. But it is an introduction to a series of books so I understand that he couldn't go too deep into each practice as that would take away from the rest of the books in the series. I imagine that if one read this book along with the rest of the series it would seem to fit perfectly, but as a stand alone its not worth the current price of the book. But I guess I would recommend it ...more
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first McLaren book I've read and understand that he's an influenetial figure in the emergent church movement. This book is easily read, full of insightful and intentional practices which can help us all on the journey we're on. It lays the foundations for a future series about traditional church practices and reatings a 'big-picture' overview of spiritual disciplines. I was a bit uncomfortable with the alignment with Abrahamic (Islam and Judaism) faiths, but that probably says more a ...more
Andy Mitchell
Brian McLaren does an excellent job providing an overview of the theory and foundations of ancient Christian spiritual practices.

His treatment of katharsis (via purgativa), fotosis (via illuminativa), and theosis (via unitiva) is especially enlightening.

However, this book serves as the introduction to seven others. I prefer the author's original work to this creative implementation of the series editor's outline.
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted a book that would help me re-examine my spiritual practices and perhaps update them. I found the book very readable and the ideas of katharsis, fotosis, and theosis what I was looking for. After each chapter "spiritual exercises" are listed which offer material for reflection and application. This book is for anyone who wants to take their faith journey off automatic and pursue a broader/deeper experience.
Mark Geisthardt
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
McLaren has a way of putting things that makes them so much easier to grasp and get your mind around. For me he has a way of saying the things I've been contemplating about life and faith and making them plain and more approachable. He does that in this book as he pulls some ancient practices off the shelf that had been put there and then forgotten.

A good book from beginning to end, but the end is the best as it all comes together. Thank you Brian!
I skipped around in this book a lot, but the overall takeaway was about a faith in God that is about the upward, inward, and outward examples of relationships with God. I'll probably buy my own copy one day because there were a lot of little things that I wanted to remember or be able to go back to.
Frank Peters
A light and (mostly) well written introduction to the importance of spiritual disciplines. It also contained about 1% politically correct rubbish which was highly unfortunate, but will make McLaren's detractors very happy. Thankfully, it also contained some lovely gems of insight that I will continue to reflect on.
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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.
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“I had to face the possibility that the art of living in the way of Jesus was no longer carried on in a holistic way by any single tradition. ” 5 likes
“Jesus called disciples so He could send them out as apostles. They were called together to learn so they could be sent out to teach and serve.” 2 likes
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