REVIEWS: Naked Spirituality
by Brian McLaren
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What would the practice of Christian spiritual formation look like in a New Kind of Christianity, for A New Kind of Christian practicing a Generous Orthodoxy? The answer - Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words. Brian D. McLaren acknowledges the breadth of spiritual traditions interested in life with God and offers an encounter with God in the Christian Scriptures.
Many will confuse McLaren’s reference to the breadth of interest in spirituality across human experiences as a flaunting of the Christian vision of life with God in Jesus. Yet, Naked Spirituality opens the reader up to spiritual practices growing out of life with God narrated in the Bible and expressed in the Christian tradition. McLaren encourages the reader to put off the idea we may contain God in our practices and instead practice the habits found in the Christian Scriptures, modeled in the life of Jesus, as a means to acknowledge human finitude and the need for God beyond G-d.
Brian draws out the implications of C.S. Lewis’ charge to avoid the danger of assuming we know more about the God we address in prayer than we actually know. He writes, “In so doing, we may falsely assume that our idea of God is identical to God, that the real God “out there” is no bigger and no different from the idea we have “in here” in our heads.” From there McLaren’s agenda is to guide the reader through the stages of Christian spiritual formation – Simplicity, Complexity, Perplexity, and Harmony.
One day Christians may look at Naked Spirituality in the same way a previous generation of Christians will have viewed Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, as a classic.
PURCHASE: Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have read this book and have a review which you’d like to share, please feel free to post your review in the comments below.