- I am not finding the book to be helpful. McLaren's approach to life and faith are so different than my own that I struggle to find points of commonality. Also, his attitude toward people like me (conservative evangelicals, especially conservative evangelical pastors) has me constantly on the defensive.
- I am not finding reviewing the book to be helpful. I hate being negative. I have tried to put a positive spin on my review of his book, but it's getting tougher. Sometimes negativity and criticism are good, even needed, but I am not really interested in continuing a project that draws out the worst in me. I dread reading the book because I know I will inevitably have to follow it up with a lengthy negative review.
- I am not finding his book to be as influential as I thought it would be. I think McLaren's days of being a lightning rod are over. He's a gifted writer. He is a great thinker. He's visionary and he's not afraid of asking the hard questions. He's an influential leader in his circle. But I think his hostility to his critics has marginalized him and destroyed his credibility to the middle. He has lost his voice as a "third way" or as the middle; he's an extremist. It pains me to write that, but I think it's the case. His books will be devoured by his camp and burned by the opposition.
Anyway, I will finish the book and maybe write some parting words, but I'm done spending so much time on it.