Our desire for life is met by Jesus’ offer of it (John 10:10). But we must notice that his offer is “zoe,” not merely “bios.” Brian McLaren gets it in his introduction by naming this life as well-being, shalom, blessedness, wholeness, harmony, life to the full, and aliveness.
It was a transforming moment for me when, years ago, I learned that salvation means wholeness for life now, not just going to heaven when we die. McClaren’s grasp of this makes his Introduction worth our careful attention.
Against the backdrop of God’s desire for us to live zoe-fully, we see the many ways the fallen world drains life away–including many forms of religion. We find ourselves in an age where more and more people view Christians as life-deprived and life-depriving–mean people who say and do mean things. Our children, colleagues, and friends want to have less and less to do with the church. And if we are honest, we have days when we feel pretty much the same, even though we hang on by the skin of our teeth.
McLaren speaks for many when he writes, “So, our world truly needs a global spiritual movement dedicated to aliveness.” This is exactly what I was wanting to say when I wrote ‘Fresh Wind Blowing.’ And like him, I believe we are seeing it emerging.
This is not the first time. In fact, God has chosen in the past to use movements rather than institutions in bringing new life to the church and the world. McClaren identifies some of them, and invites us to be part of a Christianity that has thrown off weights and sins, and is running the race set before it with counter-cultural faithfulness to Jesus.
A key in this is a recovery of catechesis–a sustained formational process in which we let go of obstacles and take hold of opportunities, made possible through the teaching of sound doctrine drawn directly from Scripture.
But this is no passive thing; it is an all-out engagement of our lives–it is what McClaren describes when he says, “We make the road by walking.” This is going to be a good book–and more, this is going to be a transforming journey!