In Praise of Gentleness Oct 1, 2008
McLaren is a self-described follower of Jesus Christ. In his book he journeys through many of today’s Christian churches. He is both frustrated and hopeful in what he sees. He is both free with praise and criticism. However, foundational to it all is his commitment to the unity he sees that we should and must exhibit as true followers of Christ. He might make you angry but my guess is he will always extend his hand in fellowship and genuine love. If your frustrated with many of your experiences in church but needing encouragement in your spiritual life this is a good book to read.
Make no mistake; McLaren is one who states his belief in Jesus Christ as Savior. However, he quickly moves to that of Lordship and what he believes that should look like. Much of what he argues for is for Christians to acknowledge the distinctive and wonderful gifts that each tradition brings to the table. This is very important and sadly lacking in Christians today as we present ourselves to an unbelieving world.
McLaren is very much left of center in his politics. He claims not to be all that nice of a person. However, he believes that Christ is in the business of changing him and also requiring that he become nicer. He is a genuine proponent of a mature, vigorous and at times somewhat naive unity in Christ; a unity that is much deeper than doctrinal agreement, a unity that lifts up Jesus Christ while showing deference and the need to keep as a goal our requirement for a personal position of humility.
McLaren is not an Erasmus, Chesterton, or Lewis, but he does get it right on how we on a personal level should genuinely treat one another. If you don’t get that right as a Christian you just don’t get it.