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Brian D. McLaren, 2006, The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything (Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group)

Book review by Alex Tang

I must admit I approached this latest book by Brian McLaren with a little apprehension. When the title denotes that the author has a secret message of Jesus Christ, one cannot but think of the many heretic, Gnostics books that hit the bookstores lately-each claiming to have discovered a long lost message of Jesus.

McLaren was writing about Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God. In an attempt to translate ‘kingdom of God’ into contemporary terms, McLaren suggested the following six metaphors:
(1) The dream of God
(2) The revolution of God
(3) The mission of God
(4) The party of God
(5) The network of God
(6) The dance of God


Each of these metaphors has much to offer but personally I feel it does not give the same dimensions as the kingdom of God. The key to the kingdom, was as McLaren puts it is interactive relationship. Other metaphors offered by Dallas Willard (divine conspiracy) and Tom Sine (mustard seed conspiracy) are also inadequate.

What I read in McLaren me surprised me.

I consider myself as a
brethren
charismatic-brethren
pentecostal
baptist
reformed/presbyterian
missional
catholic (small c)
english educated
malaysian chinese
unfinished
Christian

My understanding of the Kingdom of God is that it is the rule of God in our lives, starting now and extending into eternity, involving all spheres and dimensions of our lives as we follows our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Basically, McLaren said the same thing. What surprised me is that from the way the book was written, it was assumed that other Christians who will be reading his book do not share the same understanding of the kingdom of God as I do. How do these other Christians understand the term, kingdom of God, I wonder? Would I have understood the kingdom of God differently if I am not who I described above. Would it be a secret message then?


|27 January 2007|
 

               

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