I haven’t read the book yet, but I have had this title on my mind sometime. It’s the work of Brian McLaren with the emerging church. This is the church that has embraced the postmodern movement and it’s quite anathema to the Christian ideal. However, I’d like to call the title into question.
Why do we need a new kind of Christian? In fact, I think we need an old kind of Christian.
We need a Peter who’s willing to stand up to an angry crowd and tell them the truth and that they need to repent.
We need a Stephen who is willing to suffer martyrdom at the hands of his persecutors simply in testifying to the truth of Christ.
We need a Philip who’s willing to go into unchartered territory and who is willing to speak with the individual even in the hopes of reaching one more convert.
We need a Barnabas who is ready to encourage those Christians who need support and help them on their way.
We need a Paul who is willing to travel the world and speak and write if he can do anything to win a soul to Christ. (Incidentally, this is why all in ministry definitely need to be blogging.)
We need an Apollos who is able to stand up to those in public who disagree and face them in debate to prove that Jesus is the Christ.
We need a Timothy who is not ashamed of his young age but is willing to follow the path of a leader and learn how it is he is to change the world.
We need a John, who is willing to turn from being a son of thunder (meaning someone with a temper) to one who is able to write passionately about the love of God in such beautiful language.
We need a Luke who will be accurate and thorough in his accounts of what is going on to remind us of where we have been before and where we are to go in the future.
We need a Polycarp who would rather die than blaspheme the Lord who saved him.
We need an Augustine who is a master at rhetoric and writing and is willing to come up with the newest ideas to fight the newest heresies.
We need an Aquinas who is able to take the thought of the greatest thinkers and show how it can be integrated with Christianity without destroying Christianity.
Now naturally, there are many heroes in church history who I could name. I haven’t even got to the Reformation and there are many there, but the point is the same. We do not need a new kind of Christian. The old ones did the job just fine and we need more of them.