I had the privilege of being sent a copy of Nick Fiedler‘s new book called the hopeful skeptic a few weeks back and just finished reading it this past week. I had the opportunity to meet Nick in the Bahamas at Soularize in 2007 and we had some great conversations.
What I appreciate most about this book is Nick’s honesty and authenticity when it comes to his journey as a Christian. His book definietly would resonate with a lot of the people that make up the open house here in Vancouver, BC. His book isn’t so much a story of something he did and learned from, but it is more of a commentary on the current culture and its spiritual journey.
I found Nick very generous in his description and not typically negative to other ideas, theologies or methods of christianity, but instead desiring a place to be “for something”, instead of “against something”. I know in my past I have felt the need to say or do something in contrast to the church culture to make a point, but now I am trying to find positives that our community can do together that might strengthen our community and bless our surroundings. Project51, which nick mentions in his book (pages 131-132), was birthed out of our conversation at Sourlaize and it was a spring board for our community to continue to look for things we can be for, instead of doing things against the traditional.
Just as the title suggests, this is a book about honesty and hopefulness; it gives us a breath of fresh air in a time where there seems to be this desire to avoid the big questions and stay safely in a shell. The skepticism is received well as Nick continues to point toward hope and never stays (safely) in the skeptical world many of us do too often.
I am not too sure what the church and Christianity will look like in the years to come, but I think Nick might begin a movement of authors and practitioners toward a truly authentic expression that embraces the questions and moves into hope.
My CP rating is 4/5 for you church planters out there.