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This review is from: A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, ... Emergent, Unfinished Christian (Emergent YS) (Paperback)
Judging by the photo of him on the cover Brian McLaren would probably make a very good Santa. However, unlike our festive father McLaren seems to be a guy with as many enemies as friends. Whatever you might've heard about him good or bad I'd advise you to approach this book with a genuinely open mind. (wasn't it Frank Zappa who said 'A mind is like a parachute - it won't work if it's not open!')
It's fair to say that Generous Orthodoxy will most likely appeal to non-conformists - it begins with Chapter 0 which immediately appealed to the non-conformist in me (how shallow am I?). But seriously, right off the bat this book is full of superb insights for the contemporary Jesus follower. McLaren freely admits to being fairly unoriginal but quite good at collecting other people's thoughts, which is a fair self-assessment. For instance he cites Tom Wright, as follows:
"We best understand something not merely by critiquing, dissecting and doubting it, but by trusting, loving and respecting it. In fact, when critiquing and questioning come in the context of love, they yield even more insight than otherwise."
Take Tom's advice. From the moment you pick up this book make a decision that you're going to love it. If you do, I promise you will. The deeper you dig into this book the more you'll get out of it, don't just skim it, enjoy every word - and that includes the footnotes too!