I’ve started to do what I’m coming to call as “dangerous” reading. I say dangerous, b/c I’m reading some books that are really challenging to my way of Christian living and are making me do some deep thinking about my walk with God. This comes in the form of challenging my beliefs, bringing some needed rebuke to my lazy-arse way of following God, exposing some assumptions I’ve always had about my faith that may not be correct, exposing some of my predjudices that I unknowingly live with, etc. All of these are “dangerous” to my current way of living now (all in a good way).
The two books that I’m reading right now are “The Barbarian Way” by Erwin McManus and “A New Kind of Christian” by Brian McLaren. One was referred to me by my best friend, sir George Thomas Moore, and the other by my wife and a few close friends of mine in my small group at church. For those who are familiar with these 2 books, you’ll know that some of the content is much debated, especially McLaren’s book, but I’m not here to address that or what’s right and wrong, I’m just reflecting on how the books are challenging me. I could write a whole lot, but here’s just a few snippets from my thoughts.
In regards to “The Barbarian Way”, I really like this book and I subscribe to a lot of what he has to say. I like how he is challenging my laziness and my excuses that I have and pushing me to really being a follower of Christ, and not just a Christian who is religious. One of my favorite quotes is when he says on pg 65 when he says, “How is it possible that, for many of us, being a good Christian is really nothing more than being a good person? Then entire focus of our faith has been the elimination of sin, which is important but inadequate, rather than the unleashing of a unique, original, extraordinary, wonderfully untamed faith.”
However, as a side note, I do not jive with the view that true christianity is all about living on the edge, forging rapids, base jumping and rescuing a damsel in distress. That is not to say that God is not an adventurous God and a christian life characterized by boredom (like mine) is probably not a dedicated life. I’m just saying let’s not take it too far. Example, McManus describes his daughter as knowing what it means to be a barbarian and the story he tells to prove it is about her ATVing in a crazy way that is full speed and ends up in a crazy awesome wreck. Ok, whatever.
In regards for “A new kind of Christian”, I’m enjoying this book much more b/c in some ways I find myself really relating to the character in the story who is a pastor but is finding himself questioning a lot of things about his current way of “doing” the Christian walk. As I read his introduction, I realized that I was feeling some of the same things and therefore became immediately intrigued about the journey of this character in the book whom I assume mirrors his life in some way. Now I could probably write for hours about some of my thoughts but I can’t do that now b/c I have my little girl is about to wake up from her nap. But, I definitely hope to blog about it soon b/c this is just a good way for me to process what God is teaching me. Suffice it to say, the book is really challenging me to think and I can tell God is using it to draw me closer to Himself, and not to a religion. It’s helping me seek out Christ, and not just find a new way to abdicate sin in my life and live more morally. Does that make sense? Plust, it poses some great questions and thoughts that we as followers of Jesus really need to wrestle with. So, here’s to continuing the process of joining God in working out my faith with fear and trembling as I seek Him out.