Have caught some sort of stomach virus, so I’m at home today. Though I did leave work early yesterday, I should have taken it off because I felt quite nauseous in the morning. Haven’t had much of an appetite today, so I’ve eaten very little. But I managed to sleep a lot, and I feel a lot less tired. The queasiness has subsided, so I should be ready to go back to work tomorrow.

In between naps, I plowed through a few more chapters of Generous Orthodoxy. I love Brian McLaren‘s writing. He says things that I haven’t been able to articulate or fully explore, but have wondered about from time to time in my experience, learning, practice, and even doubts about the Christian faith. I love the way he thinks, thoroughly, critically, leaving no stone unturned. Being incredibly sensitive to language and its limitations, he cracks words and definitions open in such a way that gets me to rethink and recommit to what is True.

Throughout the book, he offers keen observations on the historical growth, development, and effects of Christianity, some good, some not that good. He attempts to highlight “the best” of what certain major streams (i.e. movements or demoninations) of Christianity and other social phenomena has to offer to the core of being a disciple of Christ. The title of the book reflects this attempt by collocating the many life-giving, but different orthodoxies that necessarily comprise the Christian faith (i.e. necessary because God is so BIG that no one can claim one way of “right thinking” about him and his calling to his people). I appreciate this effort because I found it affirming to much of what I believe following Christ ought to look like and be grounded in.

I also respect the honesty and self-awareness with which McLaren writes. Legitimately frustrated by unthinking and nominal Christians, he writes with a great deal of sarcasm, but tempers that by maintaining an open posture towards people with differing views. In so doing, he demonstrates that he’s all for dialogue. He KNOWS that his book is likely to generate a lot of discussion and reaction. Although McLaren touches on many heady concepts and ideas, his prose is very readable and makes these concepts and ideas quite accessible. The book is peppered with commentating footnotes that are colloquially (and often entertainingly) written, serving as asides or mutters under his breath.

I don’t understand or agree with everything he says, but that’s okay. McLaren’s aim is not to convince people of his views (although I happen to agree with many of them). Am not finished with the book yet, but already, the one thing I’m taking away from this book is realizing my need to do a whole lot more learning and listening, so that I don’t find myself ensnared in a elitist camp. In a nutshell, Generous Orthodoxy is calling for an attitude marked with grace and humility.

Some people (Amazon.com reviewers) think that Generous Orthodoxy is best suited for mature Christians (whatever that means), but personally I think every thoughtful and/or doubting Christian (or anyone dubious about the Christian faith) should read this book! When I finish it, I’ll be sure to post some excerpts to give you an idea of what the book is about or what McLaren’s thinking/writing is like. Can’t do it justice here in this brief review.

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