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Story We Find Ourselves in: Further Adventures of a New Kind of Christian (J-B Leadership Network) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 30. Mai 2008

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"...this is a book you'll want to read at least twice." (UK Christian Bookshops, July 2005) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.


After many years as a successful pastor, Brian McLaren has found, as more and more Christians are finding, that none of the current strains of Christianity fully describes his own faith. In "The Story We Find Ourselves In" - the much anticipated sequel to his award-winning book "A New Kind of Christian" - McLaren captures a new spirit of a relevant Christianity, where traditional divisions and doctrinal differences give way to a focus on God and the story of God's love for this world. If you are searching for a deeper life with God - one that moves beyond the rhetoric of denominational and theological categories - this delightful and inspiring fictional tale will provide a picture of what it could mean to recapture a joyful spiritual life.

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27 von 30 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The Story Continues 29. März 2003
Von Charles R. Wear - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I enjoyed meeting Pastor Dan Poole and his friend, Neo in the pages of A New Kind of Christian, and highly recommend it as a starting point for those interested in exploring the new cultural paradigm facing Christianity in the 21st century.
Brian McLaren's second book, in what is likely to be a multi-book series, spends less time talking about the modern-postmodern shift and spends more time unpacking the new theology that flows from it. Once again, a fictional setting is used to provide the stage. In the preface to The Story We Find Ourselves In McLaren writes: "The more I have written about postmodernity (and so on), the more I have wanted to get to the point where it no longer needed to be written about so much. I wanted to start writing about the Christian gospel itself, from a vantage point within the emerging culture, without always having to defend the vantage point." In this work, McLaren begins the process of describing the "new" ideas, theological frameworks and viewpoints that paint the backdrop for the unfolding drama we are living.
The Galapagos Islands provide the setting for a discussion of creation and evolution and the origins of the universe. Once again, Neo is the prime expositor of the "new" ideas. In this case, his conversations with Kerry Ellison, a biologist working on the islands to study and preserve wildlife, allow Neo to unpack ideas about a Christian's concern and care for the planet.
Other areas of discussion are the authenticity of miracles and Christ's work on the cross. Neo's leadership of a weekly gathering on the yacht, La Ventura, sounds like the kind of church that I would like to join. The unfolding relationship between Neo and Kerry mirrors Kerry's unfolding relationship with God.
I liked the storytelling in Story a little better than the first volume. In New Kind of Christian I sometimes felt that the essay overpowered the story. In Story I think McLaren's skills as an author have given us a book that is as interesting for its plot as it is for its information.
I have a big appetite for stories that tell of the beauty and mystery that moves people toward faith. And for that reason, I recommend The Story We Find Ourselves In. Be prepared to expand your ideas about the Story that God has written for each of our lives.
22 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Bold Brushstrokes from a Humble Artist of Faith 28. März 2003
Von Ken Archer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
It's interesting that the tone of some reviews of McLaren's work stands in bold relief compared to humility brought by McLaren to his works, and the humility that he insists upon from people who agree with him. There is alot in this book to engage as a reader, and thoughtful readers will refrain, as McLaren does, from wholesale endorsements or rejections of complex works such as this. In fact, the only basis for wholesale rejection is the rejection of storytelling, which McLaren clearly stands behind. So allow me to defend McLaren's craft of creative nonfiction below.
Many writers in the postmodern Christian "tradition" call for a turn from abstract theology to theology as story, from the apologetics of argument to the apologetics of storytelling. Few, chief among them McLaren in this book and John Eldredge in Sacred Romance, are actually telling stories. Stories are by there very nature disarming. Perhaps that's why Plato wrote in stories, to be able to say exactly what Socrates was saying, but without being persecuted for it. Stories also enable the storyteller to experiment with ideas without offering endless caveats and "quotation marks" to properly distance himself from his proposal. Finally, stories reflect our day-to-day interior worlds, our thought lives, and are thus much better able to engage us than abstract claims of the Kantian or Schleiermachian ilk.
The most intriguing episodes in The Story We Find Ourselves in are, to me, the creation account given by McLaren and the break that occurs with the medieval synthesis of Christianity with Greek philosophy. It is indeed difficult to think of the creation story without the extraBiblical dualism of material vs. spiritual.
Finally, I think an interesting result of this book, or of the 3rd in the series, would be for others to continue the story that McLaren has begun. I think many would love to work through their questions via the medium of Neo, Dan and the rest.
93 von 119 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Too darn NICE 21. März 2005
Von William Krischke - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
"I believe it to be a great mistake to present Christianity as something charming and popular with no offense in it....We cannot blink at the fact that gentle Jesus meek and mild was so stiff in his opinions and so inflammatory in his language that he was thrown out of church, stoned, hunted from place to place, and finally gibbeted as a firebrand and a public danger. Whatever his peace was, it was not the peace of an amiable indifference."

--Dorothy Sayers

"You can't conceive, my child, nor can I or anyone, the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God." - Graham Greene

Brian McLaren sets out to redefine Christianity as a story instead of a philosophy/theology, and I respect that. The only problem is, he tells a completely BORING story - in five chapters, all starting with C. There is no drama. No tension. No heroes, no great feats, no intricate twists or surprise turns. Basically, it's the story of a nice God and mean people, and all of the nice things this nice God does for the mean people, and all of the mean things these mean people do to this nice God. Yawn.

I hate being called "nice." It's such a sterile, safe, powerless, harmless adjective. Nice is what your parents want you to be. Nice is who your parents want you to marry. I'd rather be called just about anything else. I'd imagine God feels the same way.

For example - McLaren finally, after dancing around it, deals with hell towards the end of the book. Except his hell - the hell of a nice God - is more like a cancer ward or a hospice

than anything (ironic, as much of the book takes place in a cancer ward.) God doesn't "condemn" people to hell per se - He's just unable to save them. Like a doctor to a cancer patient he says something like, "I'm sorry, but there's not much I can do for you. If you'd have come to me sooner..." So it really has to do with nice God's inability to save everyone - the limits of his power. (Don't mistake me here - I'm not a fan of the eternal damnation, implements of torture, Dante-esque and Southern Baptist version of hell. I don't know what hell is, or what it will be like. The Bible doesn't speak of it much. But I do suspect it will have more to do with justice than with God's incompetence.)

Why do we always do this? WHY do we always feel like we've got to dress God up in a new suit, clean Him up, straighten his collar, wipe that smudge off his cheek? "I want you to meet some of my friends - so behave. Be a nice God." We skip over or deliberately fuzz out the UN-nice parts of the story -- God stuffing the ungrateful Israelites with quail until they puke, or giving David three choices of decimation, or Jesus calling his best friend bad names. Come on, God. Be nice. Nice doggie.

And in doing so, we lose the best parts of the story. The heroes. The battles. Incredible risk, incredible cost. The danger, the thrill, the mystery: the utter STRANGENESS of mercy and redemption, of blood sacrifice and blessed suffering. This is a wonderful, intoxicating, story, if we'll remember to tell it right.

Be honest - do you really want a nice God? Does anybody?
47 von 59 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
I loved the first book, but was dissapointed with this one 27. Mai 2005
Von J. Thiessen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I was surprised to be so dissapointed in this book. The previous book "A New Kind of Christian" was great! The previous book asked questions that need to be asked of the church, questions that often lead to shocking answers (and revelations), but the author left them as questions. This was very wise of Mr. McLaren; it leaves the reader to pursue God to find the Truth. Especially in the 'postmodern' world that Mr. McLaren posits, there will not be simple and 'cookie cutter' answers. One-size-fits-all church is a thing of the past, and I wholeheartedly agree with him.

Unfortunately, in this second book we find out that Mr. McLaren's answer to all of the dogma of the past is to create a new dogma for the future. I was especially dissapointed that he hinges his story on evolution- a theory rooted more as a faith than science. C.S. Lewis once said that to anchor any faith in the findings of science is a mistake. All science will be disproven, and your faith will go with it. When our faith and science agree- it should be no more than a curious fact to us, because our faith is based on Truth, and science (by the modern definition) is rooted in materialism.

I suppose what disturbed me most was that I was halfway through "the story we find ourselves in" before there was any mention of the enemy, and then only as a 'metaphor to put a personality on evil." The next mention of the enemy was similary vague, and it was in the very end of the book. I suppose if you remove the enemy from our story, what you're left with is.... evolution to explain evil and suffering.

From the movie "The Usual Suspects: The greatest lie the devil ever perpetrated on humanity was to convince the world that he doesn't exist."

I agree with Mr. McLaren that the conveyance of the Gospel is changing as society changes, but I disagree the we need to change it into some form of unitarian cosmo-love to communicate the love of Christ. There is an enemy, and removing references to him doesn't do anyone any favors except, of course, the enemy.

38 von 48 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Not Worth The Time 30. Juni 2005
Von Phillip H. Steiger - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
In this continuation of Neo and pastor Dan's story, McLaren does not succeed in giving us much that is genuinely insightful or with great impact. Besides a couple of genuine moments in the story line in which characters appear to come to terms with God and their spirituality (even then, though, McLaren is extremely shy of the concept and the word "conversion"), there is not much in either the fiction or the theology to recommend.

One general point of critique would be the postmodern penchant for story and dialogue in which no clear point is made and, allegedly, no side is taken. As philosophers no less than Aristotle and Davidson have pointed out, a good story or metaphor has a plot or makes a point. What is a metaphor or a story but a clever and unique way of saying something fairly specific? Dialogue simply for the sake of dialogue is basically (and maybe literally) meaningless. Christ did not speak in parables in order not to make a point.

As for the theology, most of what McLaren has to say in this second part of his trilogy is wrapped in politics, an obvious adherence to evolution, and his clear aversion things traditionally evangelical. The only "bad guys" in this work are caricatures of traditional evangelicals. At times McLaren seems to toy with Monism, Pelagianism, and a general lack of definition of sin and redemption. The concept of redemption looms large in his book, but it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what needs to be redeemed except white evangelicals and conservative politics. In other words, sin does not play the role it needs to in order for McLaren's version of redemption to be meaningful.

At one point near the end of the story when McLaren is laying the foundation for the third book's plot, his theology hits the surface. Dan and Neo are reflecting on the death of one character and Dan is questioning him about heaven and hell. Neo is talking around the issue and Dan presses him on the point. Neo's, and apparently McLaren's, response is, "Why do you always need to ask that question?" Neo then continues to evade giving a clear or distinct answer to the question. The answer to why the question of heaven and hell needs to be answered is obvious-because it is the one final question every single human being ever born needs to face. Seems to me that a caring and thoughtful response would not be a gloss but an answer.

Unless you are interested in understanding the theology of the emergent church movement, I would not recommend this book.
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