MRTYR - Week 3 Questions

More Ready Than You Realize…” by Brian McLaren

Book discussion week 3 - chapters 5, 6, & 7

Chapter 5:

  • “… engaging in spiritual friendship will not only help others become Christians, it will help us become better Christians, who love God more than ever. This occurs because our concept of God is expanding, deepening, and growing more glorious through conversation with our seeking friends.” (Pg. 54). Do you look forward to your concept of God growing, deepening, and expanding? Or does that make you nervous? Do you feel that spiritual friendships will help you grow? Are you excited about seeing others grow?
  • Brian writes about Peter putting himself on common ground with Cornelius (pg. 55). I think one of the most discussed things, especially in our group is the church’s lack of putting themselves on common ground with others. We (the body of Christ) should be saying to others “I’m just human too”, instead of “I’ve got it all together and you need to get there too.” How can we help others with their journey and still remember we are on a journey ourselves, and we don’t have it all together? That doesn’t mean that your relationship at that point is not deeper than your friends, it’s just a realization that you don’t have it all together either.

Chapter 6:

  • “… might it be fair to say that we cannot really call ourselves disciples if we are not following Jesus’ and Peter’s example of being “friends of sinners” – spiritual friends who love, accept, learn with, and teach those who are missed by God, precious to God?” (Pg. 61). Realgrace was envisioned to be a place that was “a friend of sinners” or for another term - a safe haven for “seekers”. I’m not sure we’ve gotten there yet. Comments are still made –looks are still given, whispers are still spoken that could make it an unsafe place for those searching, or for those Christians that are looking for an authentic community. This needs to get better for us to be the kind of community that I believe God wants us to be – one that reaches out instead of one that waits for others to come and then try to change them into our model of spirituality. So how can I, how can you, how can we do this together? Are you willing to try and follow Jesus’ and Peter’s example? How does that look?

“That’s why I say that when spiritual friendship happens, when real evangelism
happens, it is the Christians who are converted first” (Pg. 62)

Chapter 7:

  • On page 63, Brian describes what the “modern version” of God tends to look like. Do you agree with his assessment? Has God been taught like that in the churches you’ve been around? Do other “seekers” that you’re around and have listened to feel that this “version” is a stumbling block?
  • Respond to these statements made by Brian:

—- “…the best place to get an image of God is by looking at Jesus, not at the wordy, windy, systematic explanations of God…” (Pg. 64)

—- “I find it fascinating that Alice’s concern at this point is not about the truth of Christianity, but rather the goodness of it.” (Pg. 65)

—- “A person’s decision to become a Christian is not simply a question of being convinced rationally about the truth of Christianity, although truth is an indispensable element of the decision. No, there is an integration of truth, beauty, and goodness that must come together to give a person confidence to step from relative uncommitment into Christian commitment.” (Pg. 66)

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