IT'S REMARKABLE how many books there have been over the past 18 months about the shape the Christian faith will take in the 21st century—especially in the face of swift global changes and amidst an apparent resurgence of fundamentalism. Can Christianity survive as a living and vital faith?

For example, Harvard's Harvey Cox called his book The Future of Faith. Historian Mark Noll has written on The New Shape of World Christianity. And now, among other books, we have Brian McLaren's A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith. And it's not just curiosity about those questions that's persuading people to reach for this book; it's interest in where McLaren comes from. Not only did he pastor a nondenominational church for 25 years, but he taught English at the college level, earned a doctor of divinity degree in Canada, is a musician and songwriter, and the father of four grown children.

The first boost to McLaren's reputation as a religion writer came with A Generous Orthodoxy (paperback, 2006) and A New Kind of Christian (paperback, 2008), in which he explored new ways of being Christian in the postmodern era. As a result, he began receiving speaking invitations from many different denominations, including Christian leaders in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. This confirmed his ability to speak across theological, cultural, and national boundaries, always moving comfortably in a spiritual environment that is never confined to a community of ancients found in books.

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Testimony of Healing
August 30, 2010

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