Stage 3 and Stage 4 Christian Faith?

A reader writes:

I just finished Naked Spirituality and loved it. I have studied Spiral Dynamics and detect some of that philosophy in your Simplicity, Complexity, Perplexity, and Harmony framework. The 12 words you give to each stage are also wonderful. There isn’t a better book out there for where I am right now. In reading this, I am also starting to understand why the Christian faith is stuck in this political divide. It appears that Simplicity and Complexity (or as Richard Rohr calls is “first half of life” thinking) rule in the public discourse. And yet, in my experience with my largely secular/humanist family and circle of friends, those who are already inclined toward Perplexity in their thinking find it hard to “go back” toward Simplicity and Complexity in their faith (as I have intentionally done). It seems there are few good entry points to attract people to the Christian faith (American version, at least) starting directly from Perplexity. I now see their attraction to the Unitarian church or Buddhism (or in some cases the agnostic or atheist route). In fact, I admit that i’ve often thought, “Wow, I wish my Methodist church could be more like that cool Unitarian church that the interesting people go to.” It’s like I’ve traded “interesting” for “respectful of Jesus” because I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water. What a shame that Jesus is such a divisive figure when He doesn’t have to be.
Well, bless you if you’ve made it through all this psycho babble. Obviously, I have a lot of learning to do. I look forward to revisiting your book and others by you and Richard Rohr. Just so you know, at least two men who I respect have told me, “If it weren’t for Brian McLaren, I might not be a Christian at all.”

Thanks for this encouragement. I think the emergent conversation/movement in many ways has been a portal and refuge for people in Stage 3 Perplexity … and my hope is that it is also opening up Stage 4 Harmony. The big challenge that lies ahead for many of us, I think, is creating faith communities led by Stage 4 people that welcome people at all four stages, meet them where they are, speak their language, and help them move forward into the next stage in the fullness of time.
This, I think, is exactly what Jesus models for us … speaking in parables, being willing to confound his disciples, not being surprised when some of them walk away, challenging them yet accepting them …