MRTYR - Week 7 Questions

More Ready Than You Realize…” by Brian McLaren

Book discussion week 7 - chapters 16, 17 & 18

Chapter 16:

  • “but I still have one nagging thought – so does all that you said mean that God DOESN’T have a plan for all of us? are there certain things he wants us to do individually, or is it just that he wants us to be loving, just, respectful, etc? i don’t understand.” pg.119. (to reference back to what alice is asking brian in the start, read his e-mail response on pg. 118.) Brian responds to Alice’s question (further down the e-mail) with an analogy about his own daughter and what it might look like between God and us. What would you write to Alice’s question? Does Brian’s analogy help or make sense in answering that question? Why (either way)? What do you think God wants from us or has for us?
  • “…Christian spiritual friendship is always about encouragement, empowerment, believing in people, whether we do so from “up ahead” as mentors, from beside as peers, or even “from behind” as students ourselves.” Pg. 123. I love this thought. I wish we did this all the time, I wish I did this all the time. Encouragement, empowerment, believing in people – what a beautiful way of helping each other grow, I think! And I also love Brian saying that whatever stage we’re in (up ahead – beside – from behind), each spot has a distinct and important role of helping everyone else grow. And wherever you are in that place – you are just as valuable to the friendship as anyone else. So, what are your thoughts about this quote? Would you or do you like a spiritual friendship to have these elements in it? how do you see it working in your own lives, if at all? To me, as Brian points out, Jesus seemed to practice the “believing in people – thing”.

“Jesus believes in people.” pg. 123.

Chapter 17:

  • Read Alice’s e-mail to Brian on pages 126-127. Respond to her e-mail. I think she brings up a lot of things. Here are some phrases that made me think: “I have faith…I’m not kidding!” – “…not like I’ve been on a crazy emotional high for the past few weeks, because I haven’t.” – “…that spirit that you talked about with me before is really starting to grow a little bit in me. Very small, but present.” – “I think for the first time in so long, I don’t feel this overwhelming disdain for everything inside of me. It’s because I feel a little of God’s love.” – “…realizing that God is so far beyond all that petty logic and knowledge.” Was there a statement or two that really spoke to you, or made you cringe? Why?

Chapter 18:

  • Take a look at the “eight factors” Brian has compiled to kind of summarize what we’ve gone over in the book (pgs. 135-143). Are there any that have really stood out and made you say “hmmm”? (C&C Music Factory, “Things that make you say hmmm” – I bet you haven’t thought about them in a long time, if at all… anyway…). Is there one point in particular that you like? dislike?
  • “You are a story in progress surrounded by stories in progress, and at any moment, your story could intersect with the story of someone else, and as a result, both of your stories will take a novel turn. In the process, both of you will find yourselves part of God’s unfolding story too, because God’s story intersects with ours at every turn, in every breath, pulsing in every heartbeat." To some this might be beautiful to imagine, to others - not quite. How does this quote stir your heart (joy, beauty, love, anger, resentment, bitterness, etc…)? why do you think it stirs up those emotions or thoughts if that’s the case?

Other thoughts?

A quick note: thank you for being a part of this with me. You are great and I appreciate your openness and willingness to read this and to help us grow by sharing your thoughts, words, and feelings!!!

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License