I finally finished McLaren's "The Secret Message of Jesus". As a primer on Kingdom theology it is amazing. In fact I think it is a lot more accessible than Derek Morphew's "Breakthrough". And McLaren does cover a lot of ground. The chapter on reading Revelation was particularily good and very strongly influenced by N. T. Wright. It is the kind of book I will recommend to my parishoners. But it is not the book I was hoping for.
McLaren is not really writing in an academic way. He is proposing a lot and following some ideas to great conclusions. I can tell there are a good number of influences that have gone into his insights, but I really want these to be spelled out so that I can trace them. But, I have a particular need for works that do this and Brian didn't write this book to help an academic understand the Kingdom. He wrote this so that a popular audience can wrestle with the implications of a Kingdom message.
McLaren is candid and a decent story teller. He approaches these ideas in a very practical way, which makes this book a very valuable contribution to the Church.