This last volume in the trilogy that began with the award-winning A New Kind of Christian tells an intriguing fictional tale that raises urgent questions about hell--and about our view of God. What God do we believe exists? What kind of life should we live in response? How does our view of God affect the way we see and treat other people? And how does the way we see and treat other people affect our view of God? As Pastor Dan Poole and his friends and family grapple with these pressing questions, readers will find themselves moving beyond the tired rhetoric of denominational and theological categories to a view of their relationship with God that is more truly biblical, more faithful, more inspiring, more sensible, more evocative, more robust, more healing, more global, and more transforming.
For all those seeking more authentic ways to hold and practice Christian faith, Brian McLaren has been an inspiring, compassionate—and provocative—voice. Starting with the award-winning A New Kind of Christian, McLaren offered a lively, wide-ranging fictional conversation between Pastor Dan Poole and his friend Neil Oliver as they reflected about faith, doubt, reason, mission, leadership, and spiritual practice in the emerging postmodern world. That conversation widened to include several intriguing new characters in the sequel, The Story We Find Ourselves In, as Dan and friends continued to explore faith-stretching themes from evolution to evangelism, from death to the meaning of life. Now, in this third installment of their adventures, Dan and his widening circle of friends grapple with conventional Christian teachings about hell and judgment and what they mean for our relationship with God and each other. Is there an alternative to the usual polar views of a just God short on mercy or a merciful God short on justice? Could our conflicted views of hell be symptoms of a deeper set of problems – misunderstandings about what God’s justice and mercy are about, misconceptions about God’s purpose in creating the world, deep misgivings about what kind of character God is and what the Christian gospel is for?
Brian D. McLaren is a speaker, author, activist, and networker exploring the intersection of Christian faith and contemporary life. He has written or co-written over a dozen books, including A Generous Orthodoxy, The Secret Message of Jesus, and Everything Must Change. For twenty-four years he served as the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in the Washington-Baltimore area. He was named by Time magazine as one of America's twenty-five most influential Evangelicals. He is a founding member of emergentvillage.com. See www.brianmclaren.net.
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