If I had to pick just one book to recommend to a Christian leader who is finding that the "way we have always done it" just isn't working or even making sense anymore it would be this book. Absolutely revolutionary. Yes, there are things that Brian picks up that I may choose not to, but that's part of the point! We need to get back to majoring on the majors and allowing good, healthy dialogue and debate on other things. Wouldn't that be a great witness to a world that is wondering about Christianity to see us dialogue, disagree and still sit in the same pew (or row, or couch) with one another????
We have buried Jesus under a heap of trivialities, and the Church on the other side will begin to dig Him out. As regards betraying the Reformation (as one other reviewer accused McLaren)... In the words of Doug Paggit, an Emergent leader from the Mid-west, "If you want to honor the Reformers, don't say what they said- do what they did!" McLaren starts us down that hard, but very exciting road.
It is obvious that Brian has been doing a lot of reading over the past decade -- reading which has brought about a notable shift in his understanding of "the church." But that's just it: his vision for "doing ministry in the postmodern matrix" is an eclectic soup of strategies borrowed from almost every conceivable field of study making its way into the new century. His reading has incited a revolution in HIS mind . . . but he has failed to consult the most important source we have for truly revolutionary ideas:
Brian never engages the Bible to see what it might say about "doing ministry." There is, therefore, no "word from God" here -- rendering the book "weightless" in terms of its ultimate trajectory. And not worth reading, really. All in all, it is another useless book which is, sadly, typical of this "emerging genre" of Christian books