Archive for September, 2009

A Book Review: More Ready Than You Realize by Brian McLaren

September 25, 2009

I found this book while buying text books for my fall classes.  It was on the shelf for another class that after seeing the “text books,” I wish I could take.  Brian McLaren is one of my favorite authors not because I agree with everything that he says, but mostly because he has a lot of really great ideas and I feel as though I have become a better follower of Christ from conversing with Brian through his books.  Brian’s ideas are very challenging.  But I have found them challenging in a productive way.  There has been fruit as a result of the challenges he has issued to me as a reader of his books both in what he says and more importantly how he says it.

In Brian’s book More Ready Than You Realize, Brian invites readers into a dialogue that takes place between him and woman named April he meets at a book signing.  Though the words exchanged at the book signing were few, April read Brian’s book in one night and e-mailed him shortly after meeting him.  What starts as a short conversation turns into a spiritual friendship.  As Brian sees it, “engaging in spiritual friendship will not only help others become Christians, it will help us become better Christians, who love God more than ever…because our concept of God is expanding, deepinging, and growing more glorious through conversation with our seeking friends” (p.58).  If that’s not shocking, he goes on to say, “In essence, the Christians are “converted” first in authentic spiritual friendships” (p.58).

More Ready That You Realize is a breath of fresh air in the aftermath of televangelists and cookie-cutter salvation prayers in that he offers an authentic view of how people can come together and learn from each other and how in that, both those who have met Christ and those who aren’t sure if they want to, are more ready than they realize.  While Brian does not offer a simple system to “do things the right way,” if you have questions like…

How do I share my faith in Christ without being a Bible beater?

Do people really want to hear about Jesus anyway?

What if I don’t feel confident enough in my faith to tell people about it?

How am I supposed to know how to answer questions people ask me about Jesus, God, and the Bible?!?

This book will contribute to your faith journey in ways that are beneficial for you personally, as well as those you encounter on the way.

For more information about Brian and his books and speaking ministry, visit http://www.brianmclaren.net/.

(McLaren, Brian D. More Ready Than You Realize. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006.)

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The Rim of Life

September 4, 2009

A beautiful prayer by Sue Monk Kidd

To be fully human, fully, myself,
To accept all that I am, all that you envision,
This is my prayer.
Walk with me out to the rim of life,
Beyond security.
Take me to the exquisite edge of courage
And release me to become.