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Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the…
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Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices (2008)

by Brian D. McLaren

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Regarding the truth: if one has lost their way and strayed from the path, they must retrace their steps and find their way back to the place they had originally mis-stepped. Even though there are a lot of chunks in here that I don't agree with, I like what Brian McLaren was going for with Finding Our Way Again - in the broader sense. Christ's followers don't always follow Christ as closely as they ought to. Making Christ's ways a set of rules to follow makes it worse - in contrast, Jesus seemed to mold his followers through organic relationship.

"Jesus never makes 'Christians' or 'converts,' but he calls disciples and sends them out to continue the process: learn the way so you can model and teach the way to others who will do the same." McLaren follows this with a citation that the term "Christian" only occurs 3 times in the New Testament while disciple occurs more than 250 times. However, he then immediately applies the same logic to Abraham, Moses, and Muhammad stating that all of them, as well as Jesus, were intending a movement as opposed to a religious institution. I'm all for getting away from legalistic religiosity. However, even if one were to choose not to believe that Christ is who he says he is, it's a hard case to argue that Jesus merely wanted a "movement".

Later in the book McLaren lists some practices and exercises. He gives modern examples of people putting some disciplines in action and he gives some tangible suggestions on how we can as well. He stresses that these are not to add to the already unhealthy to-do list, but rather "The purpose of the ancient practices is not to make us more religious. It is to make us more alive. Alive to God." Though I love that bit, I struggle with this book. I am glad that McLaren is trying to help folks grow closer to God. However, I am disappointed by the lack of playing time Jesus is given. For a book centered on getting back to what Jesus did, I've heard an awful lot about what other people are doing currently without a clear connection with Christ. I think McLaren's response would be that God is at work in those people. I believe that too. I just missed Jesus as I read the book.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their rad BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review of the book. The opinions I have expressed are my own. To see this review and others like it please check out the Booked and Convicted blog. ( )
  rickynicholes | Jan 25, 2013 |
This book while abrasive sometimes, which is not necessarily bad, has many excellent insights about renewing ancient spiritual practices. Also, he gives a variety of metaphors to help the reader gain more intuitive insight into what is happening. This book however is not about how to actually do all of the spiritual practices, such as in "Celebrating Discipline". It is mainly about the purpose behind spiritual practices, in particular the three-fold path. ( )
  aevaughn | Aug 23, 2011 |
This is a good introductory book on some of the foundational Christian practices. What I really enjoyed about this book was the removal of theological differences that keep denominations separated. This book has potential for bringing Christians from all over together in love. It's a return to the basics. Even long-time Christians will learn from this book. The only thing I didn't care for was the typical modern-day sermon wit that uses frequent play-on-words to make points. The graphs also didn't follow much logic and could have been better rendered. Also, on at least every other page is a highlighted sentence from the text set aside in a gray box for emphasis, which is a great in workbooks when it's not overdone.

However, this is not a workbook. And despite my annoyances with some of this book, the message is beautiful and clear. There is a lot of love that went into this book.
  Aerow | Aug 15, 2011 |
This book is horrible and is not a Christian book. ( )
  dvdbrumley | Feb 28, 2011 |
The book is about rediscovering our faith as a way of life, not simply as a system of belief. He talks briefly about Abrahamic practices such as fasting, fixed prayers, and etc., and how these ancient practices can be a common ground for all faiths. And like with all things, if we do not practice or make it a way of life, we can never grow. But, he does not go into any real in depth detail on them [ancient practices], perhaps to allow the other books in the series to talk about them more.

One thing I liked about the book was the gist of it was motivational and each chapter had "Spiritual Exercises" at the end of them. The questions were easy to answer, causing the reader to think, and they would be great for group readings.

But, I did not care for how he seemed to go all over the place with his anecdotes, and there were many places I had to re-read the passages again, because I had trouble concentrating on the point he was making.

The book overall was a decent read, but there were several things in it that I did not agree with him on. I suppose that's the way it goes though. I just had higher expectations of the book, and was left unsatisfied in the end. ( )
  TheyCallMeVarmit | Feb 24, 2011 |
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Book description
Why have certain spiritual disciplines been in use for centuries, and why are they so important?

It is questionable if one can ever be exactly the same person waking up on two consecutive days. How are spiritual sojourners to cope with the constant change? Many are beginning to explore the ancient Christian spiritual practices, such as fixed-hour prayer, fasting and sincere observance of the Sabbath. What is causing this hunger for deeper spirituality?

Brian McLaren guides us on this quest for an explanation of these spiritual practices, many of which go all the way back to Abraham and the establishment of Israel. In the midst of contemporary Christianity, we discover the beauty of these disciplines and the transformation through Christ that each can provide.

Includes a foreword by Phyllis Tickle and serves as the flagship for the Ancient Practices, a seven-volume series published by Thomas Nelson Inc. featuring some of the leading writers on spirituality in the world today.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0849901146, Hardcover)

Shines a practical light on the spiritual disciplines that have been in use since the time of Abraham.

In a sense, every day of our lives is labor. It is questionable if you can ever be exactly the same person waking up on two consecutive days. How are spiritual sojourners to cope with the constant change? Many are beginning to explore the ancient Christian spiritual practices that have been in use for centuries, everything from fixed-hour prayer to fasting to sincere observance of the Sabbath. What is causing this hunger for deeper spirituality?

Brian McLaren guides us on this quest for an explanation of these spiritual practices, many of which go all the way back to Abraham and the establishment of Israel. In the midst of contemporary Christianity, we discover the beauty of these ancient disciplines and the transformation through Christ that each can provide.

Why have certain spiritual disciplines been in use for centuries and why is it important?

It is questionable if one can ever be exactly the same person waking up on two consecutive days. How are spiritual sojourners to cope with the constant change? Many are beginning to explore the ancient Christian spiritual practices, such as fixed-hour prayer, fasting and sincere observance of the Sabbath. What is causing this hunger for deeper spirituality?

Brian McLaren guides us on this quest for an explanation of these spiritual practices, many of which go all the way back to Abraham and the establishment of Israel. In the midst of contemporary Christianity, we discover the beauty of these disciplines and the transformation through Christ that each can provide.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:35 -0400)

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General Adult. Explores the spiritual disciplines used in Christianity that have been in use since the time of Abraham.

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