In many ways, all of my previous books are a preparation for this one. It is aimed at a broad audience - including "spiritual but not religious" seekers, members of nonChristian religions, and Christian leaders and thoughtful Christians. It is an exploration of the real "passion of Christ," which is the message of the kingdom of God.
This book completes the trilogy and extends the story of Dan Poole and Neo into some new "hot" territory. Dan struggles with the idea of hell, and does some research to learn about the origins of the idea. He also connects with a faith community that Neo is part of and gains a deeper understanding of the gospel, justice, and Jesus' message of the kingdom of God.
This book, released in late August 04, has elicited a lot of response already. The book turned out to be a confession - as in a confession of faith, not of sin (although some might think ...). The title is elucidated in a wonderful foreword by Dr. John Franke of Biblical Theological Seminary (thanks, John), and the overly long subtitle gives the table of contents of the book: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, anabaptist/anglican, methodist, catholic, green, incarnational, depressed-yet-hopeful, emergent, unfinished Christian. It's my only book to contain a "Chapter 0."
I had the idea for this book - on the relationship of church to culture, and especially emerging postmodern culture - and proposed it to Emergent/YS. I think it will be an important book - helping turn potentially divisive issues into shared concerns.
This was a book I had been thinking about writing for a couple of years. When I brought it to EmergentYS, they suggested Tony Campolo as a coauthor. We divvied up the chapters, and then each of us wrote a response to the other's chapters. Tony disagrees with me on several points, which is part of what makes the book interesting and fun, I think. We've gotten really positive response on this book, especially from people in "the Christian subculture" who feel it kicks some doors down and opens some windows for needed fresh air.
This book, coauthored with Len Sweet and Jerry Haselmayer, is set up like a dictionary: A is for ... B is for ... It's not heavy reading, but attempts to deliver some important content in short chunks of intense (and sometimes light-hearted) prose. Several entries (like "Deconstruction") tackle difficult terms and seek to show their relevance for life and ministry in the emerging culture. It was a blast to work with Len on the content, with Jerry focusing on "epictivities" for groups.
This is the sequel to A New Kind of Christian, second in the trilogy. It is the most important book I've written so far, I think. It's an attempt to tell the Biblical story. One of the most surprising responses I have received about the book is from men who tell me the book brought them to tears. I hope someday to come back to the "seven episodes" explored in this book: if I ever write a "theology," I think it would emerge from this telling of the Biblical story.
This is a book about sharing your faith. It's based on a series of emails exchanged between a bright and sincere young seeker and me, and its goal is to help people learn how/to be "spiritual friends" to others who are searching for a faith that is real.
I started this book as a totally nonfiction treatise on Christianity and postmodernity, but after I got about 100 pages into it, I realized the book was on the road to becoming 500 pages of abstraction - and no one would read it. So, I started over, taking the advice of a perceptive reviewer of "The Church on the Other Side." If McLaren is serious about what he's saying, the reviewer said, he should be writing fiction. So, I began rewriting using a fictional dialogue as framework for the book. The book has made a few people angry, as you can discover by doing a search at Christianity Today (or reading comments at Amazon). But the negative comments have, so far at least, been negligible compared to the affirming ones. I set the book up so that it could be the first of a trilogy.
I wrote this book for my friends who are searching for God, but find traditional Christian "apologetics" more an obstacle than a bridge. Many Christians, including quite a few pastors, have told me it has helped them too. I think it's some of my best writing, and may still be the book that I care most about.
This was my first book (originally entitled - against my recommendation - "Reinventing Your Church"). This book introduces all the topics I explore in my other books, and many churches have used it for group study, finding it a helpful (and gentle) introduction to the conversation about Christian faith-life-mission and the emerging postmodern culture.