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A New Kind of Question (An Introduction) July 12, 2010

Posted by contrapuntalplatypus in A New Kind of Question, Christianity, Saving the World.
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I’ve decided to begin a new series of posts highlighting a number of excellent books I’ve read in recent years dealing with Christianity as expressed in our contemporary world and our lives. These are all great, thought-provoking reading for people of any background: Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, agnostic, atheist…”non-religious”… None of them are antagonistic, polemic or have as their goal winning converts to Christianity. So keep reading, whoever you may be šŸ™‚

I titled this series “A New Kind of Question” after Brian McLaren’s “A New Kind of Christian” trilogy which has had a large influence on my own way of thinking (and which I’ll cover in a few weeks’ time). More than anything, these books ask new questions – try to open up new avenues of thought and new issues that Christians should consider and apply to their own lives.Ā  (Sometimes they’ll venture possible answers as well, but stating opinions or defending intellectual positions is not at all the point. They want to get conversation going if possible…not shut it down.) As a “recovering debate-aholic” šŸ˜‰ and someone who loves using the Socratic method (ask questions and then more questions!) in both teaching and my own discussions with others, I find this approach an refreshingly open and accessible one.

One could say that all the books I’ll be discussing here present different facets of a single, essential question: How can we as Christians be relevant to our society and our world today? How can we be a force for positive change, both in our own lives and societies and all over our planet? How can we avoid falling into old patterns of disagreement, debate and antagonism and instead work together to create the sort of world in which God’s ideals of justice, peace and love for one another are continually reflected?

So, here goes. Feedback and discussion is, of course, extremely welcome!

– The Contrapuntal Platypus



1. stinathina - July 17, 2010

Hello, since it’s all about questions what do you mean by “We as Christians…” ?
It is not that clear, to me, at least.

contrapuntalplatypus - July 18, 2010

First of all, thank you for reading and replying! Excellent question (and excellent timing to boot, as I just posted a new entry in the series) šŸ˜€
By “we as Christians” I’m writing to/for anyone who identifies themselves as a follower of Christ. (This doesn’t involve going to church every week or having been baptized, let alone belonging to any particular denomination…) As you’ll see in these series of posts, one of the major issues in various Christian churches today is there tends to be a lot of conflict and infighting over who is “really Christian” and who is not, or “who is in” and “who is out.” This is unfortunate.
Personally, my only “definition” of Christian is the literal one: someone who follows Christ’s teachings and tries (to whatever extent) to put them into practice in one’s own life. This doesn’t necessarily mean accepting the teachings of any particular church, or even self-identifying as “Christian” (many of the people I’ve met who most noticeably lived according to what one might call “Christian” principles to their own living were those who felt they had little in common with “Christianity” as such!)
Really I guess one could say that’s one of the major questions this series of posts will explore (and attempt, perhaps, to offer a possible answer to): what does it mean, in a practical sense, to be Christian?

(Yes, unfortunately I tend to answer questions with more questions…I’m hopelessly Socratic that way. ;))

2. The Divine Conspiracy (A New Kind of Question, Part 1) « The Contrapuntal Platypus - July 18, 2010

[…] 1 of the “A New Kind of Question” series. For an Introduction click here. * C.S. Lewis’ novella “The Great Divorce” provides an insightful and compelling […]

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