Everything Must Change

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I just picked up Brian McLaren’s new book, Everything Must Change. The title itself is classic McLaren hyperbole.

This from the inside book jacket:

"Status quo Christianity has traded the revolutionary story of Jesus for familiar cliches, pat answers, and domesticated programs. Meanwhile, the world is paralyzed in a complex tangle of crises."

Question: Is the world in fact paralyzed in a complex tangle of crises? Or, is that hyperbole. We all can see the world’s problems. Are they more severe than in the past, though? And, does this do justice to the good going on in the world? It seems to me that one can feel the lostness of the world while simultaneously feeling hopeful because of God’s palpable work in the world.

My other question is…who is advocating familiar cliches, pat answers, and domesticated programs? It seems to me that in order for Christians to come together, we’ll need to avoid caricaturing one another and build on what we all want to see happen.

This from the back of the cover:

"Jesus’ message is more than a ticket to heaven or a formula for personal prosperity. It is an invitation to personal and global transformation. It is a radical challenge to the underlying stories that drive our suicidal systems–social, economic, and political."

While I am quite sure that Brian and I are not of the same political persuasion, I nonetheless welcome someone trying to offer solutions to very real problems. I doubt I’ll like his…but I’m willing to wait and see. Those of you who have picked up a book and read it…all the while knowing it would bother you…you know what I mean here.

It would be fun to have some of you pick this book up and tell me what you think. I’ll begin reading on Monday. I jumped off the McLaren bandwagon a few years ago, but have continued to respect him as a thoughtful critic of Christianity and it’s intersection with the world.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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2 thoughts on “Everything Must Change

  1. Is it possible that there really aren’t that many more crises in the world today, but that we are simply more aware of them due to the media and technology?
    And if that’s true, what impact does that have on a Christian’s responsibility? Has our responsibility increased simply because our awareness has increased?
    And it’s a fair point–perhaps as Christians, our jobs in a world of crises and bad news is not simply to be the world’s Fix-It Men and Women. Perhaps it’s also to shine light on good news wherever it can be found. One caveat, though–it’s not enough to simply be a messenger if being a messenger does not also include being a servant and being present.