Saturday, September 27, 2008

More stuff I am reading: The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLaren

You'll notice that there is alot of McLaren popping up here, I guess I am sort of bingeing.

Okay, the first thing I just have to get out of the way before I say any thing about this book is that the *Secret Message* is not really that secret. Was sort of wondering if maybe this was like a spinoff of the popularity of DaVinci Code sort of stuff where there is this secret message that most people don't see at first and you have to read a book or watch a movie to get it. I watch Alias (the TV show) and that theme runs through that show, we just watched National Treasure which is all treasure maps and whatnot and so I am thinking this just must be a very popular theme--code.

I had to sort of just ignore that aspect of the book, which wasn't too hard. But Mother Teresa knows the secret as do most people who have been Christian and have kind of looked closer at why they believe what they do...or questioned some prevailing cultural norms of the church for the past 50 years.

Beyond that, I enjoyed this book less than most of McLarens books. It was still a decent read and really the guy writes so well, and he is very intelligent that even when I don't agree with him, which is often enough, I just enjoy the conversations he initiates, or the process of thinking about "Why don't I agree?"

True to form, this work is very well organized, which I am noticing is a theme in McLaren's writing, and one that I appreciate. I feel like it is a sign of good writing when the author can organize their thoughts such.

Like most of his books, there are parts that I want to read to someone else and say "This is it exactly,". And there are other parts where I turn the page and think "Um, where is this coming from? How can he justify this point of view?"

Anyhow, I am all for a good conversation, and McLaren never disappoints. If I was going to start reading his stuff though, and I started here, I don't think I would keep reading. I have started the Ancient Practices book that he just published in August, and so far it is showing all the same strengths and weaknesses that I have seen in his other books...

Give McLaren a chance.

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