We finish up our series of Brian McLaren’s book, Everything Must Change. The last section of this book sums up the whole book and makes an appeal.
The book is an appeal for a revolution of hope.
The most radical thing we can do to face the global crises of our day is to believe — “a new framing story” (278). “Jesus proclaims that simply believing his good news brings salvation. This is ‘salvation by grace through faith’ in a planetary sense: if we believe that God graciously offers us a new way, a new truth, and a new life, we can be liberated from the vicious, addictive cycles of our suicidal framing stories” (279).
Jesus’ radical hope is to offer himself for us. Here are Brian’s own words that I think express a “theory” of the atonement — “Then he stretched out his neck, as it were, inviting them [the dark machinery, the wolves] to pounce, and they did. Ironically, though, as he exposed his own neck, he also exposed their vicious wolfishness and in that way he sabotaged them, defeated them, rendering them ugly and incredible. After all, they could no longer claim to be agents of peace and promise after torturing and killing a good and peaceful man so violently and shamefully” (280).
So, he calls us to both a faith in Jesus and the faith of Jesus.
“Doing so will require one radical, irreplaceable thing in us: faith — faith that the old narrative of domination is suicidal, and that a new story (good news) is available if we will only rethink everything and believe it” (281).