Carrots And Sticks

During our discussion this past week about “the Jesus question” in Brian McLaren’s book, we talked about whether Christianity is just all about getting to heaven. I like the comment about how this reflects on Christian maturity, and I think many of us want to accept the simplicity of a “carrots and sticks” approach. But frankly, if it is really just about carrots and sticks, it’s not very effective. I thought I would mix the discussion up a bit more by bringing in a point of view about motivation, and in particular the science of motivation. The subject is motivation within a corporate setting, but I think the message is applicable to life, both with and without God. If the words don’t reach you, perhaps the science will.

The material presented above by Daniel Pink is explored in greater depth by him his book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. You can also watch another video that presents this information in a slightly different way.

Our Questions

A New Kind Of Christianity is structured around ten questions that Brian McLaren says is transforming the Christian church. During our first session we brainstormed and created the following list of questions that may be asked either within or outside of the church.

What’s up with all of the denominations?

So, why is the church so hung up about sin and sex?

Can we live without God?  Have we evolved to the point that we don’t need God?

Is any of this real, or is it all made up?

Specifics about Jesus:  Was he really born of a virgin?  Was he really God?  Did he really rise from the dead?

Why do we need to be forgiven of sin?

Is there such a thing as “Original Sin”?

How do we decide what we are going to stick with from the bible, and what we are going to throw out?

Why do I need to go to church?  Is being part of church necessary to have a spiritual life/relationship with God?

Why are women always treated as lesser than men in Christianity, Judaism and Islam?

Where does the authority come from?

What voice should the church have in today’s secular world?

Is there a heaven?  Do I have to be a Christian to get there?

Is the idea of a hands-on (e.g. interventionist) God inconsistent with a modern, secular worldview?

So, why did the bible stop 1,000 years ago?  Why is there no sequel?