The Hoosier Anti-Racism Movement (or HARM) had been handing out literature all over the town letting everyone know of the “bigot’s” arrival. The local law enforcement and media were respectively armed to address what was certain to unfold.
Apparently, everyone knew he was coming except us.
From a city 30 miles away, a white-supremacist and Ku Klux Klan member had announced to his compatriots that he would be coming to our city to protest the gays and the lesbians and the minorities and to champion the white race.
On this Saturday morning in spring, I was walking past our downtown courthouse with my wife now VERY 8 months pregnant. As we strolled, we talked about our plans for our lives and our future: did we still want to name our daughter that? How in the world am I going to finish my paper on “Jesus Christ Liberator” when our baby arrives ? What in the world are we going to do when she gets here?
If you’re familiar with Anne Lamott or have read some of her more intentionally theological pieces like “Traveling Mercies” before, you know that she’s quite the eccentric writer but that, just when you think her story couldn’t have anything less to do with God, she levels you with brilliant spiritual truths.
If you’ve never read Lamott before, she’s dabbled in fiction, has offered great guidance and assurance for novice writers like myself, but she’s at her best in her autobiographical vignettes. Here’s a quick review of “Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith,” a book chock-full of insight, wit, humor and profound spiritual meaning. *warning – “profane” language used throughout*
When I reflect back on my spiritual journey, his words and works couple have often marked milestones or transformative moments. With his gentle spirit and meek words, especially amidst the maelstrom of insults, accusations and libel tossed his way, I have grown to appreciate the man, as well. His works have met me at important points in my life and they continue to today. Time and again, McLaren has proven to speak to the heart of issues, simplify areas of complexity, and making complex that which we once thought simple and “Naked Spirituality” does it as well.
1) What can humans do to please God? 2) What was the mission of Jesus? 3) What does fully human look like? All of these are addressed in inter-related ways.
In an attempt to answer what a “full human” looks like, he takes the beginning of the book and catalogs the theological conditions that have left humankind not “fully human” and the evidential experiences of day to day living. To be honest, I felt like he actually spent too much time talking about what was not “fully human” instead of talking about what was which is where the next 2 questions come into play.