Saturday, March 29, 2003
By my count, I am two book behind in my continuing quest to *finish* one book per week. I'm not worried - I'm sure I'll catch up with some Dr. Seuss stuff in October or something. But the past two weeks, I've been trying to make time for lengthy readings of the newest NKOC novel from Brian McLaren - THE STORY WE FIND OURSELVES IN - and I finally finished it last night.
In the first book, McLaren introduces us to Dan Poole, a pastor ready to call it quits because he can't stick with the "traditional christianity" that is sucking him dry intellectually, and possibly taking a toll on his personal integrity and walk with God. We also meet Neo, a kindly mentor figure who helps Dan come to grips with some of the new thoughts, new paradigms, new contigencies of the Christian "story."
In this second book, Neo has been around the world, and is coming home. A new friend is very ill with cancer, and everyone is sent to Washington, DC - back to Maryland where our two conversationalists first hooked up. Lots of tears, and a continuation of the dialogue. I liked this book, probably better than the first, because the dialogue drives the story instead of the story driving the dialogue. In the first novel, it's all about laying a groundwork for postmodern christianity, teaching Dan new ways of thinking, etc. In this one, we get to see how the conversations play out. People are "saved" in a way that seems natural and real, not contrived and lacking like we see so much today. I've got a few questions for Neo myself, and Dan never really gets a handle on things from his friend, feeling that there needs to be something a little more solid under this new telling of God's story. But I'm left feeling better about the whole thing - and my own possibilities for being real in a "fictiotious" world (to borrow from Michael Moore).