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“Whither the Community?

A review of
Naked Spirituality:
A Life with God in 12 Simple Words.

By Brian McLaren.

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

NAKED SPIRITUALITY - Brian McLarenNaked Spirituality:
A Life with God in 12 Simple Words.

By Brian McLaren.

Hardback: HarperOne, 2011.
RELEASE DATE:  March 15.

Pre-order Now [ Amazon ]

For many years now, I have had a deep respect for Brian McLaren’s work.  Over the last decade, I have read the vast majority of his books and found him to be one of the clearest interpreters of Christianity in this postmodern era. Even when his previous book, A New Kind of Christianity, stirred up a storm of controversy by asking some pointed questions about the nature of the church, I thought the questions he asked were sorely needed and on the right track.  With this bit of history in mind, I found myself rather perplexed by Brian’s new book Naked Spirituality: A Life With God in 12 Simple Words.

I should be clear here that I am sympathetic to the premise of the book. There is a growing population of young adults in North America who have been wounded by Christianity and who want nothing at all to do with the church (this demographic has been described in recent years in books such as They Like Jesus but not the Church and UnChristian); Brian has a keen sense of their pain and wants to extend an olive branch of sorts to these young people, re-engaging them in a conversation about faith.  In the early parts of the book, Brian describes the task he is undertaking:

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