Finding Our Way Again - Review
Christianity has a tendency to lose its way. A brief survey of Western culture will reveal a series of mistakes ranging from carelessness to atrocity. Today people find themselves pulled between a variety of religious cultures and are subject to all sorts of religious marketing. Each of these denominations, events or causes focuses on their relevancy to culture and to Christ. But why do they look so different? How can one Bible result in unique Catholic, Orthodox, and Evangelical fellowships? If you take this question one step further you may ask yourself how Abraham is identified as a key character in the story of Christians, Jews and Muslims alike. Someone took a wrong turn somewhere and lost sight of where they were going. Everyone wants to know who is wrong, and more importantly: who is right. Brian McLaren tackles these questions head on with his book titled, Finding Our Way Again. He argues that organized religion has obfuscated the mission of Jesus and that many people are searching for a Christian experience outside of organized religion. McLaren throws out the traditional organization of Christian fellowship and suggests that we peruse spiritual lifestyle that is congruent to the mission of God. This lifestyle is described as the way in part one of McLaren’s book. The second section describes a series of spiritual practices that help us stay tuned to the way. The third and final part of the book connects these practices to their ancient roots.
Brian writes about deep topics in a light way. He is never heavy handed with theological vernacular or academic principles. His works are also insightful and well thought out. It is clear that McLaren is well read and has committed serious thought to his topics. He has appended a series of spiritual exercises to the end of each chapter. This step is symbolic of Brian’s desire to connect with his audience over the topic of spirituality and the Christian way. It was difficult not to notice that McLaren went out of his way to associate Christianity with Islam and Judaism. The point he makes is not one of religious syncretism. He makes this reference on more than one occasion to highlight the tendency of mankind to get off track with God. I feel, however, that McLaren enjoys the prodding of traditional Christian thinkers.
I would recommend reading this book. It is insightful and relatively light. It takes religion head on without coming across as competitive or divisive. It should also be noted that McLaren’s take on religion is not synchronous either. He walks the fine line between comparison and suggestion but remains true to Christian distinctive.