Wednesday, April 06, 2005

"The Last Word And The Word After That"

Brian's newest is on sale for an incredibly low price on Amazon.

This is a great book. Where the first in the series was very theological, the second was (to me) more story-driven and big picture, and this third installment is very informative. That's what I thought of: eye-opening and informative. Taking his historical approach, Brian touches on some of the origins of the Christian understandings of Heaven and Hell. I do wish he would have gone a step further (as he seemed to hint at in the second book) to explain the Zoroastrian origins of the Satan character, but he never went there...

From the product description: For all those seeking more authentic ways to hold and practice Christian faith, Brian McLaren has been an inspiring, compassionate—and provocative—voice. Starting with the award-winning A New Kind of Christian, McLaren offered a lively, wide-ranging fictional conversation between Pastor Dan Poole and his friend Neil Oliver as they reflected about faith, doubt, reason, mission, leadership, and spiritual practice in the emerging postmodern world. That conversation widened to include several intriguing new characters in the sequel, The Story We Find Ourselves In, as Dan and friends continued to explore faith-stretching themes from evolution to evangelism, from death to the meaning of life. Now, in this third installment of their adventures, Dan and his widening circle of friends grapple with conventional Christian teachings about hell and judgment and what they mean for our relationship with God and each other. Is there an alternative to the usual polar views of a just God short on mercy or a merciful God short on justice?  Could our conflicted views of hell be symptoms of a deeper set of problems – misunderstandings about what God’s justice and mercy are about, misconceptions about God’s purpose in creating the world, deep misgivings about what kind of character God is and what the Christian gospel is for?

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