"Sadly, in too many quarters we continue to reduce the scope of the gospel to the individual soul and the nuclear family, framing it in a comfortable, personalized format--it's all about personal devotions, personal holiness, and a personal Savior. This domesticated gospel will neither rock any boats nor step out of them into stormy waters. We have in many ways responded to the big global crises of our day with an incredible, shrinking gospel. The world has said, 'No thanks.'"McLaren says that a more global, non-individualistic gospel requires a more robust understanding of the kingdom of God, where the "new heavens and new earth" is best understood as a new way of living within the present space-time universe (rather than a different universe or an abstract "heaven" or "eternity"). Hope for the world is not that the world will be obliterated but that it will be renewed and transformed so that "the forces of injustice are defeated and justice reshapes and transforms the world for the common good."
I resonate with this holistic, more cosmic understanding of the gospel, but I also struggle with it precisely because it's so big. In many ways, it's easier to think of "saving souls" and individuals crossing a bridge to heaven. It's harder to imagine what it means that Jesus came to deliver and redeem the whole world, especially since different kinds of Christians have such divergent views of what Jesus would have us do to transform society. Maybe the way to not be overwhelmed is to keep the big picture in mind, but then to try to figure out on a local level what our particular part of the drama will be.