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A reader writes: converting Christians to ...

Dear Rev. McLaren:

I was very happy to have a chance to chat with you (too briefly) [on your recent California trip]. Actually, I enjoyed your talk very much and could agree with everything you had to say. I had difficulty understanding why other Christians would have objections, actually. I was not aware that there was a perspective such as yours within the Evangelical Church, and I am quite delighted to learn about it. I bought a couple of your books, and I am looking forward to reading them.

I have been a Baha'i all my life... I often have Baha'i meetings in my home, and the next time you are in Los Angeles, I hope that I can invite you to speak to the Baha'i community.

As I was listening to your talk, I was struck by the story of the fellow who objected to his pastor preaching from the Sermon on the Mount "while our nation is at war." And he said that the idea of loving your enemies was Jesus's weakest teaching! My thought was: Well, the first thing is we need to do is convert this guy to Christianity. Then we can have a conversation.

As I thought about it later, it dawned on my how important and sacred your own ministry is. Essentially, you are striving to convert Christians to Christianity--whole churches, even. It is an overwhelming task, I should think. But it is one that should be enormously exciting, and not a burden, I hope. Anyway, I wish you all kinds of success and offer any help I can. Hope to meet you again soon on some occasion when we can talk and exchange ideas.

One of my mentors said his ministry was "reaching Christians for Christ," and your letter suggests that this is part of my calling too. Thanks for your kind words, and I look forward to meeting again.