Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Wordsby Brian D. McLaren
Christianity is in crisis. Many sincere Christians feel their traditional Christian practices are in danger of becoming irrelevant, empty rituals. In his previous book A New Kind of Christianity, Brian D. McLaren offered new biblical models for how we understand the central ideas of a faith that provides hope for restoring and reinvigorating the power of the/b>… See more details below
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Christianity is in crisis. Many sincere Christians feel their traditional Christian practices are in danger of becoming irrelevant, empty rituals. In his previous book A New Kind of Christianity, Brian D. McLaren offered new biblical models for how we understand the central ideas of a faith that provides hope for restoring and reinvigorating the power of the gospels to transform us and our communities.
In Naked Spirituality, McLaren takes his prophetic work a step further by confronting how the lack of a simple, doable, durable spirituality undermines the very transformation God is calling us to undergo. As a result, our religious structures become tools to maintain the status quo and not catalysts for personal and social change. McLaren presents a four-stage framework for understanding the spiritual life, and he unfolds spiritual practices appropriate to each stage. Each practice is rooted in a simple word: here, thanks, O, sorry, help, please, when, no, why, behold, yes, and silence. Naked Spirituality offers accessible, practical wisdom for living a truly spiritual life. Staying true to Jesus's core message while engaging faithfully with our postmodern world, McLaren presents a proven spiritual program for engaging in and sustaining a meaningful relationship with God.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author
Brian D. McLaren, hailed as one of America's 25 most influential evangelicals by Time magazine, is a speaker, social justice activist, pastor, and the author of A New Kind of Christianity, A Generous Orthodoxy, A New Kind of Christian, and The Secret Message of Jesus. McLaren has appeared on Nightline and Larry King Live, and his work has been covered in The Washington Post, the New York Times, Christianity Today, and many other publications. McLaren and his wife, Grace, live in Florida and have four adult children.
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This is not at all what I expected. This is my first official reading of a Brian McLaren title. I have read tidbits of different books here and there, but have mostly heard about his provocative writing through other people. Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words is good. And pastorly. And [fairly] uncontroversial. Basically he sets up (and revisits) some spiritual practices that can help us at different stages to really connect (stand naked before) God. McLaren writes this book as a way of addressing all people, but particularly to those who are self-described as "are spiritual, but not religious." He writes the book in 4 parts- as 4 stages that faith development typically moves through- and each part, I think, will grab different people because of where they are at with God. Parts I especially love: 1. He sets up his book by helping the reader see the need for spiritual practices (i.e. discipines, but don't worry, he doesn't use the word disciplines). He describes them as a way to stand naked before God- "doable habits or rhythms that transform us, rewiring our brains, restoring our inner ecology, renovating our inner architecture, expanding our capacities." He goes on. It's good stuff. 2. His chapter on worship. One thing he suggests is that it is not for God's good, but for our good, to engage in worship. You'll have to read the whole chapter ("O: Not Just a Word- A Way of Life) to find his whole line or reasoning ;) . 3. His writing. It's not technical or filled with Christian jargon (but it certainly includes its). McLaren writes really well- he uses imagery that actually makes me stop and think about the richness of the words. He writes in a way that makes me feel and experience God. I read a lot of Christian non-fiction. But I haven't came across many people in that genre who have the talent of McLaren to create space for God to work in a book. I do think that if you don't like McLaren's writing, you might not like this book because I'm sure you'll find things that will make you question his theology or intention (but you will have to take it out of context in order to do it). This book is very well-written.it's an easy read, but it's dense in terms of the places it takes you to in your own heart. Thanks, Ooze Viral Bloggers, for the free review copy!