It's a honor to have Brian McLaren here today, posting at Paradoxology and responding to your thoughts and questions concerning his just-released book: The Last Word and The Word After That. This is a great opportunity to dialog with Brian about his book, so don't be shy (Chris). If you haven't read the book yet, you may want to go and read this excerpt.
Brian McLaren's Initial Posting:
Hi, everyone - it's an honor to be your guest and have a bit of conversation about my newest book, "The Last Word and the Word After That."
One of the discoveries that led to the book came to me several years ago, but I don't remember exactly how. I remember noticing that a number of Old Testament writers didn't seem to believe in an afterlife. It was obvious in Ecclesiastes, but you know - that whole book seems odd. It struck me in some of the Psalms especially. Then I noticed this lack of belief in afterlife in other places, and I realized that Sheol wasn't the same as hell.
Then I began to notice that Jesus talked about hell a lot, which let me know that something must have happened between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New. I was curious about what happened during that time.
I think things basically stayed at that level of development in my mind until I was asked by Todd Hunter to prepare a talk on hell and heaven for a gathering of young Vineyard leaders. I had been thinking that I eventually wanted to dig into the subject; Todd's request forced me to do it sooner rather than later.
That's when I realized that the picture wasn't nearly as simple or neat as I had been taught, and those investigations led to the book.
I'd be interested in knowing what ideas from the book were most helpful or difficult for some of you - if you've read it, and if you have any questions you'd like me to address. I'm looking forward to hearing from several of you!
*Be sure to check out the other sites participating in Brian's blog-tour today:
Tall Skinny Kiwi - http://tallskinnykiwi.typepad.com/
Jordan Cooper's Blog - http://www.jordoncooper.com/
Jen Lemen's Blog - http://www.jenlemen.com
Dwight Friesen's Blog - http://dwightfriesen.blog.com/
Adam Cleaveland's Blog - http://cleave.blogs.com/pomomusings/