MRTYR - Week 5 Questions

More Ready Than You Realize…” by Brian McLaren

Book discussion week 5 - chapters 11, 12, & 13

Chapter 11:

  • “ Sometimes belonging must precede believing. In other words, unless we let not-yet-Christians enter and participate in Christian Community, many of them won’t become Christians.” Pg. 84.

As Brian talks about further down the page, we need to get past the “motivation by exclusion”. It may have worked in the modern church, but today – most postmodernist would say, “screw it – I don’t need it anyway”. Imagine for a minute what a Christian community looks like with “christians” and “not-yets” participating together. Describe what you see. Do we at Realgrace promote openness to “belonging before believing”? Can this ever really exist in the church or Christian community – because let’s face it, there are things we believe and are pretty set on? Do you agree with Brian’s statement?


  • stories of Chai and Mike on pg. 86-87
  • Brian’s own words on pg. 84, starting with “We are a community…”

Chapter 12

  • “… i’ve felt like i’ve been on the verge of tears (happy tears) since i woke up. thank you for helping me bring about such a change in my life.” Pg. 93. We are more than half way through the book. For the first time Alice is not only truly excited about her spiritual walk, but is also having dreams about it. One particular point of interest to me is that Jesus and forgiveness come up in her dreams without any moral speech from Brian. She realizes that Jesus would have forgiven her friend and that it is good to forgive. As her heart is changing (by the Spirit I believe), so are some of her actions and emotions (like forgiveness and joy). I asked myself as I read this, and now I ask you (this is less of a small group question and more of something to ponder by yourself) – if you’re a Christian, when’s the last time you’ve felt this kind of joy/happiness from your relationship with God? If you’re a not-yet, does that kind of joy/happiness intrigue you? And as you can see, Alice’s “spiritual friendship” is helping her a ton, but what’s different about “spiritual friendships” is Brian - aka “the Pastor” - is getting just as much out of it, if not more.
  • I love this statement made to me by a friend, and I think it applies to Alice’s dream: “You can’t change someone’s actions, until you change their heart. And that’s the work of the Spirit.” – A. McWilliams
  • “In our postmodern world, the simple elements of our Christian belief mosaic are unspeakably precious and profound again”. Pg. 95. Have you found this to be true? in your own life? with other people you talk to? What are the simple elements to Christianity in your mind? How do you feel about theological debates?

Chapter 13:

  • I’m going to throw the whole chapter into a question (it’s so short anyway). Respond to Alice’s dream and to Brian’s response’s. What kind of stories from your life does it make you think of? How does Alice’s journey make you feel so far? Do you like where she’s going or do you wish she would have stayed where she was? or __?

Other thoughts???

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