I just began Brian McLaren‘s book Everything Must Change.
I had not realised he was so accomplished until he listed all his achievements for me (how kind). My favourite was his being considered the son of Satan.
The book starts well. Apparently by the time I finish I will understand some highly complex material. Fermat’s Last Theorum perhaps, that one’s always stumped me.
Sailing through happily on my own, enjoying the lilt of his narration and rhythm of his reasoning, I hit a grey box. A grey box with numbered discussion points. I falter.
Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a little group activity. Keeping one’s own company can get monotonous, and lead to muscle strain. But there are certain activities that don’t lend themselves to a group dynamic.
…cinema trips on a first date, for instance. Two hours in a confined space, radiating heat and expectation and nerves, while trying not to laugh at the wrong moment, jump in orchestrated fear or need a lav break. Much better to plan watching the film separately in the week before and then meet up to share thoughts and reflections…
I feel Brian is unfairly discriminating against those without Christian friends. Or those who choose to fly solo with their theological reading matter. Especially the highly complex stuff.
Committed types more trusting than myself might suggest this would be a good time to revisit the commuter church idea. After all here is a book with easily digestible explanations of very clever thinking for liberal Christian people. With questions all pre-written in case you get off track. Me, I’m a cynic, and I think this is Brian’s contribution to the recession by encouraging more people to buy his book.
I also think that perhaps the crazy gold filling teeth phenomenon is God’s contribution. Mine those fillings, people. Don’t take photos and pray!