Naked Spirituality: a review from America’s best bookseller

You can read it here. Quotable:

Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words Brian McLaren (HarperOne) $25.99 I have to admit I went into this with my guard up. I love Brian and yet realize that many think he has gone a bit too far in reconstructing “a new kind of Christianity.” I disagreed somewhat with Scot McKnight, for instance, in his serious critique in Christianity Today a year ago of that previous McLaren book although I share McKnight’s concerns. Still I am wary. I hope that isn’t an indication of a lack of generosity in my reading but just my evangelical scruples reminding us to not take lightly serious deviation from “mere Christianity” (as most of the church has understood it for most of church history.) Some may roll their eyes at my theological concerns, while others have rolled me out the door for daring to suggest that we read widely and host tough questions.
And so, with a small chip on my shoulder and a heart aflutter with anxiety, I started my early preview copy of Naked Spirituality. And was absolutely hooked from the first page. I loved reading it! I read it carefully and with great interest, found it to be one of the most stimulating books on spiritual formation I have read in ages. Mr. McLaren has a rare gift–a considerable and blessed gift–of speaking to those who have not been attracted to church, or to those who have drifted, or been “de-churched” by toxic congregations or have big questions that they feel (rightly or wrongly) are permitted in the religious groups they know. (He had a whole book, now divided into two smaller ones, which was essential a letter and ongoing dialogue with an unchurched seeker he came to know, inviting her step by step, without propaganda or pushiness, to consider what she believed about deep things, about Christ and about the gospel.) McLaren speaks plainly, honestly, with gentle solidarity with those who are “spiritual but not religious.” He makes sense in ways that some of the more obtuse spiritual writers—from contemporary liberal mystics to old Puritan divines–simply don’t. I don’t mean just to say he is easy to read and comprehend (although that isn’t a bad thing in a book, of course.) He speaks about life as most of us experience it, down to Earth and honest, candid about struggles and perplexities and disappointments. He notes in the video promo clip above that this book is really close to his heart. It shows.