everything must change – the recap

There is one great step we can take to dismantle the suicide machine and the framing stories that legitimize it: to stop believing in it, and to believe, in its place, a different story, the story of the Kingdom of God.
– Brian McLaren, Everything Must Change

I finished reading Brian McLaren’s Everything Must Change last week, and finally have a couple of minutes to recap it and share some thoughts.

What is the basic idea of the book? We are caught in a societal suicide machine, and the the way we approach the areas of security [war and violence], prosperity [materialism and consumerism] and inequity [widening gap between the rich and the poor] are leading us down a slippery slope. The message of Jesus and His Kingdom offers us an alternative way to live, a new framing story that is defined by a commitment to non-violence and peace, an economy of sharing and community.

I do think that this is an important book, and I am glad that I took my time with it. It would be too much to go into details about its content, so I suggest that you just pick it up and read it for yourself. Not everyone is down with McLaren, nor is his style universally praised, and I can see why people might feel that way. He does borrow a lot of information from other sources, which diminishes his academic credibility a little bit. I like how he is able to restate the issues in a clear and fresh way. He is pretty up front about certain problems and issues in our world today, especially as it pertains to modern Western culture, and I appreciate that honesty. Personally, I wish that he had included more stories from his travels as he was researching for the book. It started off that way and I was pumped, but the book moved away from that. I think the reader would have benefited from more concrete examples of how some of this Kingdom living is being worked out around the world.

In short, I would say that this book is better than his last, but for my money I’ve been impacted more by the New Kind of Christian books that anything else he has written. Having said that, I would suggest that it be read, and think that it would make a tremendous small discussion group book, which maybe I would have benefited from as opposed to reading it on my own.

p.s. I am officially read for the weekend.

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