In the opening of the book’s last chapter Dan asks the hardest question of all for a pastor trying to navigate a church in the transition from modernity to postmodernity: how can he ask people to let go of Christianity as a modern construct when a better alternative has not fully presented itself? In essence, Dan would be asking his church to tear down their house without the materials available to rebuild it. How would you approach this dilemma? Would you?
McLaren speculates (through the messages exchanged by his characters in this chapter) that one mark of postmodern Christianity may be a return to ritual, liturgy and symbol. He also observes that many contemporary churches have painted these things as “wrong or evil” (page 147). How do you feel about these aspects of Christian practice?
Later in the chapter McLaren notes that there are several ways to “kill” the bible. It can be overanalyzed or broken into neat, “sharp-edged principles” or it can be demythologized; stripped of its poetry and stories. McLaren proposes a different way to encounter the bible; as a “pre-modern text emerging from a people who believed that truth is best embodied in story and art and human flesh rather than abstraction or outline or moralism” (page 159). Has reading this book changed your thoughts on how to approach the bible?