Monday, February 06, 2006

Appendicies and Final Thoughts: The Secret Message of Jesus

Appendix A: The Prayer of the Kingdom
McLaren does a mediation and commentary on the Lord's Prayer, going through each phrase and looking at it in the message of the Kingdom that he has been portraying through the book. He obviously uses "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven" as the hingepoint of the discussion. He puts a really, REALLY strong political context onto the whole prayer, particularly the "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil," that I'm not sure I agree with.

Appendix B: Why Didn't We Get It Sooner?
I really liked this look at some of the ways McLaren thinks that the centrality of the Kingdom to Jesus' message (and hence the Christian message) got lost. He places a lot of the blame squarely at the feet of Christianity being endorsed by Constantine and that when Christianity became the religion of the government, it lost the ability to honestly critique the government that was giving it its place in society. There's obviously a lot more to it than that, but this was a really interesting part of the book.

Appendix C: Plotting Goodness
This was good too. McLaren gave some good pointers about ways people can get involved. A lot of it iinvolves conversation with people and then moving from that to action in the world. A concept I really like.

Final Thoughts:
This really is a good book. As I said, four weeks ago(!), I'm planning on using a lot of the information and ideas presented in this in the Kingdom class I'm going to teach this summer, particularly the Sermon on the Mount ideologies.

McLaren really does a good job of highlighting the centrality of the Kingdom to the message of Jesus and the message of the Scripture. This is a really important topic for Christians to think about and put into practice, whether they read this book or not. But this book is an excellent resource to mull over and to find out what you agree with and disagree with and I really appreciate the opportunity to get my hands on it early.


Tony Arnold said...

The series of posts reviewing this book is very good. I don't know that I have ever seen as thorough a book review.


Justin said...

I can't wait for your class this summer. It will be my first summer not in memphis, so it will be weird, but I am happy that I'll be able to go to OC all summer. Looking forward

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