A New Kind of Christian


Anyone heard of the book “A New Kind of Christian” by Brian McLaren?

A friend of mine thinks very highly of it and he claims it has vastly improved his spiritual life.

From what I can tell, the book doesn’t focus as much on doctine as it does our relationship with God.

(My guess is that the book doesn’t focus on doctrine because it can’t compete with the Church on that level … so it changes the discussion to something more vague. I also have a feeling that my friend, who was raised Catholic, has guilt for leaving the Church and is using the book to rationalize his departure and to check the box that he is doing something spiritual/Christian.)

Anyone have any thoughts on this subject? Thanks in advance.



When people say their “spiritual life” has been improved, they typically mean they’ve found a way or place that gives them the warm fuzzies they think a religion should. The problem with that is that feelings are subjective and can easily be manipulated by the devil. One’s religion should nourish you enough and give you occasional “warm fuzzies” enough that you are equipped to face the world and spread Christ’s love. However, there is a lot more to a well-rounded faith life. You need the intellectual aspects filled in so that when you are just apathetic at mass, your intellectual understanding of the truth of your faith will keep you going on the right track. People have a tendency to think of religion as something that “gives” to you. It does, but in order to keep getting from your faith life, you have to be giving in return. That means stuff your concupiscent flesh balks at, like penance on Fridays not just hand holding worship services with happy songs.
The fact that your friend is focusing on how their spiritual life is improved, too, by focusing on a “personal” relationship with God makes me think they’re in a dangerous place and trying to make their religion more self-serving. He sounds like he’s focusing more on making God into what he wishes he was because some of the Catholic teachings were too hard, or the Mass was too cold. If you wanted to address this as a concern with him, i’d find out more about what he is giving to God to get more out of his spiritual life, i.e. contemplative prayer, meditation, volunteer works, etc. Some forms of meditation can be dangerous if you are opening yourself up to nothing instead of to only God. I’m just guessing, though, on potential problems with his newfound philosophy. Without more info or reading the book, i could be way off base.


dafalax - thanks for the response … what you are saying makes sense

anyone else ever heard of this book or have any thoughts on the subject ?


Normally you can’t judge a book by its cover, but the title says it all.

Heretics down through history wanted to make a new kind of Christian. Luther and his reformers wanted to make a new kind of Christian. The reformer followers of Luther wanted to make a new kind of protestant Christian. Alot of confused kinds of Christians are the result of wanting to make a new kind of Christian.

The author either knows what a true Christian believes in or he is searching for the true kind of Christianity. If the author knows about true Christianity, then there should be many Christians throughout history that share his same belief OR only he has the truth. Since the title is “A New kind of Christianity”, I don’t think there are many, if any, Christians throughout history that share his views so he alone (with some collegues) must know the truth. The choice is…

a. He and his collegues alone knows what the true kind of Christian is. :confused:

b. He is still searching for the truth and therefore not qualified to define what a christian should believe.

Other than that he does seem to have many teaching credentials so it would probably help if I read his work to formulate a complete opinion. Its up to you if you want to take him seriously or not, I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents.


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