I often enjoy reading books and listening to teachers that challenge my paradigm and presuppositions. So, currently, I'm reading Brian McClaren's latest controversial book, Everything Must Change. And his book is certainly not disappointing me in my desire to be challenged, although much of his discussion pertains to topics that often plague my conscience.
I haven't done a book review in a while...actually, I've probably never blogged a true book review, but I have a few spare minutes to start one, so here ya go.
McClaren opens with two questions that have bothered him for much of his Christian life, questions which were the impetus behind this latest book: What are the biggest problems in the world? What does Jesus have to say about these global problems?
He then reveals the inspiration for the book's controversial title. He and his daughter were at a conference in Berundi, along with fifty Christian leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa. There, they discussed what the Gospel meant for Africans, who had experienced years upon years of suffering. They had received a message that God cared about their eternal salvation after they died, but what about their present circumstances--the genocide, the hunger, the famine, the disease, the injustice and corruption? They wanted to know what the message of Jesus had to say about their present life in East Africa. McClaren, along with other leaders, talked about how Jesus' message was one that included the arrival of God's kingdom on earth, not just helping us get to heaven (see: Lord's prayer).
At the end of the conference, a young woman sat motionless. McClaren approached her and she said with wide eyes, "If Jesus' message of the kingdom of God is true, then everything must change."
Subsequently, McClaren asks, "if we were to apply the good news of the kingdom of God to global and societal problems, what could change?"
What could change?
...to be continued