I hope you've all at least begun reading McLaren's book A New Kind of Christian, and I hope it's provoking some interesting questions and thoughts for you. I'm hoping that you all will email me with some of your thoughts and questions about it soon (if you haven't already). As for this blog conversation, I'd like for us to discuss the whole premise of the book, i.e. that we need a new kind of Christian in the first place. In the Introduction (specifically pages xii-xv) Brian gives a list of experiences he's had that have led him to believe a new kind of Christian is necessary, and in the rest of the book we see Pastor Dan's struggle as he becomes increasingly disillusioned with the theology and culture of traditional Christianity.
My question is this: what experiences have you had that leave you disillusioned with traditional Christianity and desirous of something new and fresh? What makes you feel restless with your faith? What questions have occurred to you that the typical Christian responses fail to adequately answer?
My point is not for us to just start complaining and griping about the things we don't like. But I do think that unless we do feel a little bit of restlessness and discontent with Christianity-as-usual, then we really aren't going to understand why there is any need for a new kind of Christian in the first place. So at least for this post, let's just be free and honest with our discontent, with our longings that our faith could be different, better, than it often is.
Of course, if you are not discontent, if you haven't ever really felt dissatisfied with your approach to faith, that's okay too. Feel free to be honest about that too. However, I would encourage you to listen then. Keep an open mind with those of us who are less than satisfied, and really try to understand where our restlessness is coming from. Try to look at it from a fresh perspective and try to empathize with angst and frustrations that others do feel.
Discontent is not a stopping point, we won't just stay in a negative vein, but it is a good starting point for a journey of rediscovery and reformation.
Let's hear your experiences...