Category Archives: New Kind of Christian

Contemplating Death Forces Each Person to Consider God — A Quote by Brian McLaren in “A New Kind of Christian”

“The reality of death gives us an important gift every day: it reminds us that we can’t keep putting off the work of becoming. It tells us to prepare to meet God then by entering a relationship with him now.”

— Brian D. McLaren, “A New Kind of Christian”, p 91

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God Redeems Everyone He Can, But We Make Important Choices, Too — A Quote by Brian McLaren in “A New Kind of Christian”

“I believe with all my heart that God is not willing for even one person to miss out on the joys and glories of heaven. I believe with all my heart that if there is any way for individuals to be rescued from their wrong choices in this life, I believe they will be rescued and redeemed. But I also believe that we have the sober responsibility of realizing this: that, as Pascal said, we are embarked. We are becoming on this side of the door of death the kind of people we will be on the other side.”

— Brian D. McLaren, “A New Kind of Christian”, p 91

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Defending the Status Quo Risks Failing to Follow God’s Ordained Change — A Quote by Brian McLaren in “A New Kind of Christian”

“The dangers of transition are real. But are the dangers of the status quo less real? The risk of digging in our heels and resisting change… [is] the highest risk… The lowest available risk that I see is the risk of journeying on in faith. You see, I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe Jesus meant it when he said the Spirit of God would be with us, guiding us, to the very end… I believe that he is the wind in our sails, leading us into the change, because that’s his way. He always moves ahead. He’s not taking us back into the past… He has a purpose he is working toward, and I want to keep up with him. I suppose that’s my greatest fear, not that I’ll go too fast or too far but that I’ll lag behind.”

— Brian D. McLaren, “A New Kind of Christian”, p 42

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Think and Talk about Salvation Differently — A Quote by Brian McLaren in “A New Kind of Christian”

“The way conservative Christians talk about ‘personal salvation’ seems to me to try to persuade by exclusion. In other words, the argument says, ‘You, the “unsaved”, are on the outside and I’m on the inside. I’ll tell you how to get inside if you want.’ I think we would be more in line with the spirit of the gospel if we invite by inclusion, saying, ‘God loves you. God accepts you. Are you ready to accept your acceptance and live in reconciliation with God.'”

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The Church Should Bless, Serve, and Change the World — A Quote by Brian McLaren in “A New Kind of Christian”

“The world doesn’t exist for the benefit of the church, as if the world were a mountain that we strip-mine to get ore to process in our spiritual factory, for the church’s enhancement. No, the church exists for the world — to be God’s catalyst so that the world can receive and enter God’s kingdom more and more… ‘God so loved the world that he gave it his only Son…’ The kingdom… is where the historical and eternal come together.”

— Brian D. McLaren, “A New Kind of Christian”, p 84

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Would Heaven Feel Like Hell to Someone Who Doesn’t Love God? — A Quote by Brian McLaren in “A New Kind of Christian”

“Could it be that the very light that seems beautiful to you would seem blinding to him? Could the very warmth of the love of that place that to you is so perfect seem to him horrible? Could the acceptance and love and trust and openness that welcome you seem to him disgusting, weak, terrifying, insipid, or repulsive? Sometimes I wonder if we have it all wrong. Maybe it’s not that there are two places beyond the door of death, heaven and hell. Sometimes I wonder if hell is just what heaven feels like for those who haven’t learned in this life what this life is intended to teach.”

— Brian D. McLaren, “A New Kind of Christian”, p 91

Note from Tim: I realize that there are a number of Scriptural passages that would tell us that heaven and hell are not in the same place. That’s why I titled this “Would Heaven Feel Like Hell to Someone Who Doesn’t Love God?” Even the book author posed it as a question (and it is by a fictional character). The main reason I included this quote is that universalism has become a lot more popular these days in Christian circles, in part due to Rob Bell’s book, though Rob Bell perhaps was simply reflecting what is going on in the Christian culture. And the underlying issue that makes universalism appealing to many people is their trust in God’s love. I certainly trust God’s love (though I do not believe in universalism). Traditional Christian views tell us that God’s justice balances God’s love, but that doesn’t always sit right with people. God is love, Scripture tells us. That is who He is. God is just — that is a characteristic. So the idea that people that have chosen to reject Jesus would feel miserable if they were in heaven is a thought worth considering. Is it even God’s love for them that prevents them from getting into heaven?

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A Challenge to Adventurous Faith During Culture Change — A Quote by Brian McLaren in “A New Kind of Christian”

“‘Will you continue living loyally in the fading world, in the waning light of the setting sun of modernity? Or will you venture ahead in faith, to practice your faith and devotion to Christ in the new emerging culture of postmodernity? I want you to invest your lives not in keeping the old ship afloat but in designing and building and sailing a new ship for new adventures in a new time in history, as intrepid followers of Jesus.'”

— Brian D. McLaren, “A New Kind of Christian”, p 38

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Faith Conversations are Good News ‘Wins’ with Postmoderns — A Quote by Brian McLaren in “A New Kind of Christian”

“‘[As for] evangelism in the postmodern world… I would say to stop counting conversions, because our whole approach to conversion is so… mechanistic and consumeristic and individualistic and controlling. Instead… count conversations, because conversation implies a real relationship, and if we make our goal to establish relationships and engage in authentic conversations, I know that conversions will happen. But if we keep trying to convert people, we’ll simply drive them away. They’re sick of our sales pitches and formulas.'”

— Brian D. McLaren, “A New Kind of Christian”, pp 108-109

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