A New Kind of Christian: Neo Worries about Keeping up with Jesus

Tommy Tubbs

Chapter four begins with a Q&A session after Neo’s lecture. McLaren uses this to both touch up on points made in the previous chapter, as well as bring up some new ones. Throughout all of his answers, Neo emphasizes the importance on the Church (that is, Christianity overall) being flexible to change. One student questions that Christianity in the form he knows it will change, as it has been growing strong in recent years.  Neo responds by mentioning how in the middle ages, the Church was the most powerful it had ever been in history, yet the Church today is very different form the Church of the Middle Ages.  Just because something works in the current era doesn’t mean it will work in future eras, or has worked in past ones for that matter.

One point that Neo brought up the Q&A section I thought was especially interesting. Looking back, it’s easy to see what direction things went in, while to someone living in that era, the future was hard to see. He demonstrates this by asking a student what vehicle he would buy in 1910, and the student answers a car. Neo points out that in 1910 cars and airplanes had been invented, but buggies still remained the primary mode of transportation. He notes that a smart buggy maker would continue to manufacture buggies, but also start making cars, and rather than consider himself a manufacturer of buggies, he should think of himself of working in the transportation industry.

I feel that as Christians, we should preserve tradition, as well as look forward to the future of our faith, combining the old and the new.  We should be able to embrace the changing world around us without completely changing what makes us who we are.

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