I have been reading Brian McLaren’s book Everything Must Change and it has sent my head into a spin! It’s a fantastic analysis of where the world is today (despite it having been written in 2006 before many of the latest troubles) and full of real challenges to those who follow The Way and those who don’t about how we as a planet steward our resources. But that summation doesn’t really come close. It is a book that reveals something of the true gospel: the real reason why Jesus came; the heart of who God is and what his plan is for our world today. It is a book that calls world leaders to listen and take on board the message of Jesus, regardless of their own personal beliefs!
Many of the things under discussion were new ideas to me: the image of society as a Suicide Machine was a difficult one to get to grips with initially; the idea that the Kingdom of God, the Garden of Eden and the New Jerusalem might be one and the same place (according to some interpretations) is not one I’d come across before, though does make some sense to me. There were also one or two parts that I didn’t necessarily agree with or feel was helpful: in particular his comparison of ‘Conventional’ Christianity to ‘Emerging’ Christianity. I didn’t really recognise his description of very straight-laced Conventional Christianity despite having been brought up in a very traditional Baptist home and church life.
However I did recognise many key themes that I have had lurking in the back of my mind: the radical nature of the message of Jesus; the need for a break-through of the Kingdom of God that is present in Christians living out their faith; the view of society that says much of humanity is being taught a lie about what life should be like and the subsequent picture of ‘church’. These are all things which cause me to want you all to read this book, and why I will be sending a copy to our Prime Minister, although this last one is more because I think I heard God tell me to!