Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A New Kind of Christianity--I Quit :(

Sitting in my "drafts" folder is a 2500 word review of Brian McLaren's "gospel question." I get depressed just thinking about it. In fact, reviewing this book has been such a downer that I have decided to quit. I hate quitting projects, but I have to quit this one for the following reasons:
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.


John said...

so he is not the "martin luther" of our time as Phylis Tickle calls him?

or is this the first step in that direction?

Matt said...

If he is Martin Luther, call me a papist.