The Word of the Lord to Evangelicals (by Brian McLaren)

Brian McLaren is a well-respected writer in Christian circles, challenging some of the traditional 'evangelical' viewpoints and practices from a rather more academic perspective than the more popular authors such as Philip Yancey or Adrian Plass.

Although we have one of his books on our shelves, I haven't yet got around to reading it... but I do follow his blog, and was intrigued by the announcement of some new e-books, intended to deliver challenging messages to different groups of American Christians.

So I downloaded the free sample of 'The Word of the Lord to Evangelicals' onto my Kindle, not entirely sure what to expect. It turned out to be a story; the fictional account of some students at an evangelical Christian college in America. Some of them are beginning to question some of what they are taught... and one of them has a strange encounter with an unlikely person.

I was enjoying the story so much that I paid the relatively small price to download the full version.

Throughout the book there are other unusual experiences, and the main characters find they have to adjust their worldview somewhat as a result. Gradually they discover that traditional American evangelical viewpoints are not necessarily in line with what Jesus taught.

As a non-right-wing British believer, I didn't find anything dramatically new in this book. But I did liked the writing style very much and found it quite thought-provoking in places. I imagine it would be very challenging to those who equate right-wing American evangelicalism with Christianity. Unfortunately, it's unlikely to be read by those who could most benefit from it; or, almost worse, it could be read and written off as liberal heresy.

Still, I hope it's widely read and discussed positively.

Only, as far as I know, available in Kindle form (on both side of the Atlantic).

Definitely recommended.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, April 2012

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