Author: Brian McLaren
Review By: G. Stephen Goode
This is the first book in the Ancient Practice Series and by 2010, different authors will write books that cover Prayer, Sabbath, Fasting, The Sacred Meal, The Pilgrimmage, The Liturgical Year and Tithing.
This book is about the rediscovery of Christianity as a way of life and not just a system of beliefs or putting it another way how do we find sacredness in all that we do, everyday. How do we become more spiritual and less religious? How do we tend or care for our souls or how do we strengthen our character? Brian's writing always challenges me to think, to reflect, to listen to God to become all that God wants me to be.
On page 16, Brian writes, "spiritual practices are about life, about training ourselves to become the kinds of people who have eyes and actually see and who have ears and actually hear, and so experience...not just survival but life. " Brian reviews how these practices got started and are practiced by 50% of the world's largest faiths, Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
Brian reflects on what it means to be a follower of Jesus, walking in this new way of life and seeing His Kingdom and how we fit into it. How we become more learners of this way so that we can model it for others. He follows the life of Jesus with the life of Paul and how Paul's life echoed the life of Jesus by being "reconciled with God, one another, and all creation in a global community."
Brian's humility also comes out in his writing, how he has learned these different practices from different friends who come from different backgrounds. These have added richness to his his spiritual journey and have clarified where the destination of this journey is to take us. I will let you discover what the practices are but I have found this book to be practical, raising questions, having a time at the end of each chapter to reflect or to discuss with others various implications through the spiritual exercises. Page 185, "It would be tragic for you to read this book and walk away with a longer to-do list." Page 188, " The ancient way is about joining God in the spending of every day."
This book has been helping me to find my way. Maybe it will help you too.