A Reader Writes: not wanting to be like that

A reader writes:

This is an encouragement for Brian.
Many years ago I was one of several leaders in an evangelical church, which had many good points. But I was disturbed at how several people were hurt, in part due to what came out of theology and how some folk were treated in pastoral care. It gave me a personal crisis – not wanting to be like that but still wanting to minister in a hopeful church.
I came across several of Brian’s books, first from ‘a generous orthodoxy’ later to ‘a new kind of Christianity ‘ and the trilogy. Brian’s thinking and practice, read alongside Tom Wright gave me a new exhilaration.
I know Brian has had a hard time from some evangelical groups. This is meant to redress that in a small way.
In one of his books, Brian cautioned care in bringing this to churches. He was wise. Once I preached along the lines of what he has to say about new creation and genesis, but avoiding his phrasing. One of the leaders, a strong critic of Brian’s theology really liked it. I told him I had just reworded Brian’s thoughts – which then caused that leader to think more deeply too.
Thank you Brian.

Thanks for this encouraging note. The process of change is slow, painful, slow, painful, slow, painful … and then breakthroughs occur. I think it was Gandhi who said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you … and then you win.” I think that in the kingdom/commonwealth of God, “winning” is different, because there is no desire to make others losers. I think we’re reaching a moment where many of us who have been calling for change for a long time, often suffering in the process, need to start acting like gracious winners and finding a way to help those who have opposed us to become allies for greater and higher purposes. Again, thanks for your encouragement.