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

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,474 Ratings  ·  200 Reviews
A Leadership Network Publication A New Kind of Christian's conversation between a pastor and his daughter's high school science teacher reveals that wisdom for life's most pressing spiritual questions can come from the most unlikely sources. This stirring fable captures a new spirit of Christianity--where personal, daily interaction with God is more important than institut ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by Jossey-Bass (first published February 9th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Eric
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book brings a stage of my journey to a close. I started reading the author's blog about half a year ago, when this book was first getting ready to be released. Because he hyped it so much (what else is an author to do?), I decided that it would be an interesting read. Previously McLaren had been a little taboo to me--he was the "bad" kind of "emergent" that doesn't take the Bible seriously enough. I resolved to read several of his previous books to understand the context in which th ...more
Clark Goble
Jul 06, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In past reviews of Brian McLaren’s books I have always attempted to hold my criticism back a little. This is due in large part to not wanting to harshly judge a fellow Christian in a public forum. After reading A New Kind Christianity I am no longer concerned with holding back. I suppose this is because McLaren is also no longer concerned with holding back. In the past, McLaren has always been hard to pin down. His opinions are vague because he will never make a claim of truth in what he writes. ...more
Scott Holstad
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I finished reading Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christianity, all I could say was “Wow!” It blew my mind, mostly in a good way. And it left me with an awful lot to think about.

Countless people have reviewed this book (some rather viciously), so I’m not going to win any awards with some in-depth discussion of the book, but I do want to write about a few things that stood out for me. First of all, the book is based on 10 important questions to be asking these days. The first five are largely
...more
David
I have found Brian McLaren's books both thought-provoking and challenging, from A New Kind of Christian to the Secret Message of Jesus. Maybe it is not surprising, looking at the trajectory of where his thought has been moving, but this book frustrating and disappointing.

McLaren argues that we are moving into a new age of the Christian faith and this book looks at ten questions which this new kind of Christianity is dealing with. He does not claim to offer answers, but rather responses to the qu
...more
Adam
Apr 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though I'm quite sure he would deny that anyone owed him anything, I owe Brian McLaren a debt of gratitude. Over the years, Brian's writing has breathed fresh life and vitality into my faith. To say that I was excited when Viral Bloggers offered an opportunity to review his newest book would be an understatement along the lines of claiming that Bono is kind of interested in social justice, or that Glenn Beck exaggerates a little.

Reviewing the Reviews

As I was finishing the book, I watched as revi
...more
Rebecca
I read this book and The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller together in a spiritual book club, in order to compare and contrast the authors’ views. This was my first book to read by an author in the Emergence Christianity movement, and I know McLaren tends to be even on the fringe of this more liberal view of Christianity. I plan to read some of Phyllis Tickle's books about this movement next to understand Emergence Christianity better.

This book deeply resonated wit
...more
James Bunyan
Apr 30, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So, so bad, for some solid reasons.

1. Most of the argument is based on "facts" he's made up, like the "Greco-Roman" storyline or the "constitutional reading of the Bible." It's embarrassing to read someone who claims he is making a valuable contribution to a discussion base their whole book on something they've invented.

2. His view of Jesus is really far away from the Jesus God tells us He is in His Bible. He seemingly dislikes the God of the Bible, so has made a new God up, dressing him in Bibl
...more
Craig Terlson
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of McLaren, and I wouldn't count this as my favorite (probably, Generous Orthodoxy or Secret Message of Jesus), but I do quite like the structure of this book. I get the sense that after posing many questions and challenges to modern day evangelicals, there was a lot of pressure for McLaren to answer the, "okay, well what is your theology then?" question. If you are going to criticize the current state of organized religion, then you need to say what will replace it.
Now, it's bee
...more
Thomas Kinsfather
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warning: This book will probably shake you up, get you angry, and make you uncomfortable. Not for the traditionalist who isn't ready to examine how faith is expressed today.

Overview: McLaren begins like about a thousand other books, by examining how Greek metaphysics has corrupted the Christian faith. He then offers Evangelicals ten questions that challenge us to rethink how our faith is expressed. These questions hit on some major topics: the Bible, Jesus, sexuality, the future the gospel. His
...more
Denise
I really struggled with finishing this. I just don't agree. I picked this up on a whim, because I was interested in emergent church ideas. I wanted to understand what this movement is about. While I admit that these questions are valid, I think McLaren is dishonest with his use of scripture, picking out pieces he likes and ignoring or explaining away difficulties. He really likes diagrams, charts, and things like zones with colors to explain history. Some of it made my eyes glaze over and I just ...more
Lynnea
May 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm always hesitant to rate anything five stars (books, films, beer, etc.) but this one gets a five star rating due to its very nature. Obviously, as the title suggests, this is a bok about questions, and I really enjoy books that make me question which is exactly what this one does. It raises inquiries about long-held beliefs and structures and dogmas and turns lots of ideas on their heads. I'm not saying I agree with everything in it, but if you'd like a book to shake up your thinking then rea ...more
Brianna da Silva
This book explores ten questions that many Christians are asking about our faith, and then the author describes his "responses" to those questions.

I appreciated that he called them "responses" rather than "answers". He did not try to imply that he had everything figured out, but rather invited readers to begin a conversation with him.

The humility in that gesture was refreshing.

Nonetheless, while I did feel that the ten questions of this book are important for Christians to be asking and explorin
...more
David Steele
Oct 12, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bad-books
Brian McLaren comes out fighting in his book, A New Kind of Christianity. Indeed, his savvy style and fancy footwork would make Rocky Balboa proud! I suspect that McLaren, however, would not be comfortable with the fighting metaphor. “Dialogue,” “conversation,” and “exchange” would be more appropriate for this emergent leader. So step out of the “ring” and into the safe confines of a comfortable cafe and enjoy a chai tea latte as we dialogue, converse, and respond to A New Kind of Christianity.

F
...more
Jay Miklovic
This is a difficult book to review. The reason for three stars is that it is a well written, and well thought out book, written at a level that is approachable to the masses and yet makes no assumptions that its readers are ignorant. Everything in me wanted to give this book one or two stars because I found myself disagreeing more and more with it at every turn of the page, but the fact that the book was well written, and able to evoke from me a passionate disagreement makes this book worthy of ...more
Tim Beck
Jun 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
if you know anything about Brian McLaren you know that the church has a love/hate relationship with him. some are quick (too quick) to call him a heretic, while others view him to be the post-modern/emergent leader who will bring the church to the place it needs to be.

Brian McLaren is neither.

But his latest book A New Kind of Christianity is certain to further the divide between progressives and fundamentalists. that being said, it was and is a book that needed to be written.

I find myself tryi
...more
Christopher M.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I could critique this book from about a hundred different angles. Like how I've never met a person in my life who believes the things about the Bible that he combats. Or how he uses some of the very methods that his own view of Scripture finds unacceptable to prove certain points. Or how he chooses to answer the questions he wants to answer, not necessarily the ones most people are asking. Or how he ignores almost every Scripture passage which his opponents would likely bring up to debunk his po ...more
Mark Schlatter
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shreve
I don't think I get it. Maybe it's because I'm liberal, but much of McLaren's descriptions fit my current understanding of the Christian faith. His exposition of Romans fits my take on it. His discussion of hearing the word as opposed to just reading it fits what I know of living word in the Lutheran tradition. His take on Exodus as the informing story of liberation fits what I've learned from the works of Daniel Erlander.

McLaren's Christianity is often contrasted with the conservative strands o
...more
Joshua Duffy
In this book MacLaren tackles the evil Greco-Roman mindset, challenging us with the assumption that this view has corrupted the intention of the Bible, which, no doubt, has much truth in it.
I really expected to HATE this book, but was rather surprised to find myself starting out giving it 1 star, then 2, then wanting 2.5, and finally settling on 3 (which means ‘I liked it’). What I ‘liked’ about this book was the questions Brian raised. They have me conjuring up ways (in my head) to make Churc
...more
Justin Pitt
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are a number of things that could be said about this book, most of which are good, but the simplest is this: if you are someone who grew up in, and then away from, the Christian church, but at times in your life miss the beautiful things that Christianity has to offer, you really ought to read this book. This is Christianity for the post-modern person. This is a breath of fresh air for people who could no longer reconcile themselves intellectually or spiritually with the traditional church ...more
Joshua Harp
Apr 17, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition


The author seemed to exaggerate the stereotype of fundamentalist Christian to suit his arguments. One of his epiphany moments was particularly troubling when he (the author) was asked by a friend to communicate what the Gospel is, he (the author) quoted from Romans. His friend then says to him "You're quoting Paul. Shouldn't you let Jesus define the gospel?" I wonder what will happen to our hermeneutic if this type of knee-jerk biblical interpretation is applied. It is as if to say that the wor
...more
Curtis Chamberlain
This book saddened me first, and sickened me later.

It saddened me because of the enormous amount of "anti-Christian, anti-God" sentiment and false doctrine I encountered in my first reading.

It sickened me during my second reading because I realized that there are so many people that will be attracted to and embrace such utter foolishness, thereby putting their immortal souls at risk of suffering damnation.

This book sickened me enough to write a book refuting every one of McLaren's "ten questions
...more
Dichotomy Girl
As a former Conservative Fundamentalist Christian (I would now call my self uber-liberal, unorthodox, and unchurched Christian-ish), there are few Christian authors that I can read and enjoy (so much is the same old judgmental rhetoric), but I love Brian Mclaren, always fresh and not afraid to share his views, regardless of being called "Controversial" and a "heretic".

I especially enjoyed being able to discuss certain chapters (questions) with my Atheist Husband and the cool conversations that r
...more
Carol Griffin
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Having looked at lots of the reviews, this is definitely a 'love it' or 'hate it' book. I found it wonderfully refreshing,not only because Brian McLaren is asking some of the questions I have been asking for a while, but because this is an ongoing conversation without definitive answers. I am sure that it is going to stay with me and that I am going to continue to wrestle with some of the content for a long time to come. Thank you Mr McLaren...what a wonderful challenge.
Kelly Kemp
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of a study group. I don't think I ever would have picked it up otherwise, but I'm glad I did! It's challenging, so it was good that I had other people to discuss it with and a pastor to ask questions. I definitely recommend it if you are interested in learning more about Christianity and have an open mind for more liberal points of view.
Tanya
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are quite a few startling ideas in this book, but I found myself open to every one of them. Not everyone is ready for this book, but I think a lot of people in my life would get great benefit from reading it. This book poses more questions than answers, but that's the whole point. Mostly, this book gives me permission to question things I've always questioned and to seek faith in earnest.
Jake
Mar 10, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
McLaren is a marvelous author and an outstanding communicator, but I can't go with him theologically after this book. The man is certainly a brother, but this book just departed too much from the majority opinion of the Christian church throughout history.
Steve Heyduck
Jun 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
McLaren is good at asking questions and drawing others into dialogue.
Geoff
This is a very thought provoking book, that gives voice to thoughts I have had about church and Christianity form many years. Good job Brian McLaren, for putting this into print.
Hansen Wendlandt
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The argument is rather simple: Christianity has been perverted by certain cultural thinking, real devotion requires us to peel back those layers, and what remains will be the truth capable of changing one’s soul and the world. McLaren offers this fresh, exciting paradigm of the faith (much of which is rather obvious to Christians not cloistered in conservatism), for the most part with accessibility and wit. The devil, of course, is in the details, such as six-line narratives, Greek vs Hebrew tho ...more
Rad
My first introduction to Brian D. McLaren’s writings was a gift of his book Naked Spirituality (NS). While there is perhaps much to that book to be admired from an orthodox Christian perspective, some of its theology struck me as misguided. But before I jumped to any conclusions about McLaren’s beliefs as a whole, I thought it prudent to read another of his books. The titles were certainly suggestive: A Generous Orthodoxy is provocative, begging me (still) to read it. But I settled instead on A ...more
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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...

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“What if the Christian faith is supposed to exist in a variety of forms rather than just one imperial one? What if it is both more stable and more agile—more responsive to the Holy Spirit—when it exists in these many forms? And what if, instead of arguing about which form is correct and legitimate, we were to honor, appreciate, and validate one another and see ourselves as servants of one grander mission, apostles of one greater message, seekers on one ultimate quest?” 5 likes
“when theologians read the Bible through the lens of the Exodus narrative, they are called “liberation theologians,” but their counterparts who read it through the Greco-Roman narrative are never labeled “domination theologians” or “colonization theologians.” Similarly, we have “black theology” and “feminist theology,” but Greco-Roman orthodoxy is never called “white theology” or “male theology.” 3 likes
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