The McLaren Lectionary

BMac’s new book comes out today. I had the opportunity to give it a close read last winter and to provide feedback on it. My endorsement reads,

“This is Brian McLaren at his best, and I think this is what so many readers want from him: Deeply rooted in scripture, yet offering fresh, even radical, readings. WE MAKE THE ROAD BY WALKING will surely be a benefit and blessing to many.”

I stand by that. Over the years, I’ve read all Brian’s books and heard him give dozens of talks. He’s good at so many things, but I think he is absolutely on his game when he’s interpreting the Bible. His approach is both pastoral and radical, a difficult mix to maintain. He brings fresh and often unexpected interpretations.

What Brian is not is an unredeemed liberal, bent on demythologizing the text. He takes the text seriously and doesn’t get hung up on historical-critical arguments. Astute readers will see the influence of René Girard, whom Brian has immersed himself in over the last couple years.

I did lobby for a new title, The McLaren Lectionary, knowing that Brian was far too humble to agree. But that’s really what this book is: Brian taking the reader on a journey from the beginning of the Bible to the end, in short, digestible chapters. It can be read straight through, as I did, or better yet, on the bedstand as a nightly or weekly devotion.

If you’ve been influenced by Brian’s past books — I’m guessing that’s just about all of you — I encourage you to get ahold of this one to see a comprehensive McLarenesque hermeneutic of the love-and-redemption story of the Bible.

Book Update

 

I write on a MacBook Air, just like this guy.

Some authors have the luxury of holing away and writing full time. Fellow Edinan, the late Vince Flynn, went to a rich guy’s pool house every day and wrote for 8 uninterrupted hours (this was before wireless, and he’d jammed a screwdriver into his laptop’s ethernet port to fight the temptation of the internet).

I, however, am not such an author. Like most authors, I write in fits and starts between my several jobs, grading papers, coaching a baseball team (we won last night!), and other commitments. As such, I haven’t looked at the manuscript in a week. But today I revise chapters 3-5.

[Read more...]

How’s Your Atonement?

Marc Chagall’s “Yellow Crucifixion,” which hung on Jürgen Moltmann’s wall as he wrote The Crucified God.

As you may know, I’m completing a book on the atonement. It’s called Did God Kill Jesus?, and it will be released on March 17, 2015. The first draft of the book is off to the publisher and a few friends for reading. Edits will happen over the next couple months, as will decisions about subtitle, cover, interior design, endorsements, etc. All pretty exciting stuff.

I’m currently teaching a reading seminar, “Theologies of Atonement,” at United Theological Seminary, and still reading and thinking about atonement. And I’m not the only one.

My first foray into wring about the atonement came with my ebook, A Better Atonement, published a couple years ago. Now Jason Micheli has done me the great honor of publishing an accompanying ebook, Preaching A Better Atonement. Therein, Jason lays out some of the versions of atonement in church history and gives sermon illustrations for each. It’s a great resource for Lent and Holy Week, all the proceeds go to the Guatemala Toilet Project, and it can hold you over until next March.

And just think, you can get Jason’s book and my A Better Atonement for less than 5 bucks!

See You in the Big Apple

 

I’ll be in NYC this weekend for three events with Phyllis Tickle, Jon Sweeney, and many other friends. You can find more info here. If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you.


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