OK. So now you’re in. What do you do next? How do you learn what you need to learn about God’s kingdom? Where’s the syllabus? What’s the curriculum? What’s important?

McLaren argues that the most concentrated teaching from Jesus on this subject is the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).

Jesus’ message is disruptive. Some even argue that we aren’t really expected to do what Jesus teaches here. That would be impossible. Jesus’ message challenges his hearers to go deeper; to go beyond the message they had heard (or at least the way they understood it). But what if it’s not impossible? What if, through God’s power and assistance, we can live a different life, a transformed life?

McLaren asks, “What would it mean if, at this moment, many readers actually began to believe that another world is possible, that Jesus may in fact have been right, that the secret message of the kingdom of God–though radical, though unprecedented in its vision, though requiring immense faith to believe it is possible–may in fact be the only authentically saving message we have?”