In this episode we welcome back author, activist, and public theologian Brian McLaren. This time we talk with Brian about his new book Do I Stay Christian?, in which he helps us reflect on the pros and cons of holding onto a Christian identity and, more importantly, what kind of human beings we want to be. 

Interview starts at 17m 46s

Image used with permission

WEBSITE

Brian McLaren

BOOKS

Do I Stay Christian?: A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed and the Disillusioned

Faith after Doubt: Why Your Beliefs Stopped Working and What to Do About It

The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian

We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation and Activation

Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-faith World

PODCAST

Learning How to See

QUOTES

“One of the things my Christian faith has taught me is to try to be honest, and if I’m honest about Christian history, I have to say the ugliness of the ways that our faith has been used to harm people – it’s not insignificant. My Christian faith has also taught me to try to look at the boards in my own eye before I look at the splinters in the eyes of others.”

“Being obsessed about our religious identity can in some ways trap us or trick us into not facing the deeper question of our human identity – what kind of human beings do we want to be?”

“If you think of yourself as both superior and innocent, I think you become dangerous.”

“The step that many of us need to learn how to take at this moment is a step of learning how to simultaneously transcend and include. Many times we want to transcend and reject – I’ve moved beyond something, I now reject it, I hate it, I want to destroy it. But that’s where you recently were, and there are a whole lot of people who are still there.”

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  1. Graham Horsley Jul 27, 2022

    Rob,
    It’s been a while since I caught up with you.
    Good to see you’re still being as provocative as ever ( in the right way!!)
    There are large parts of what Brian says that I’m 100% in agreement with, and other parts that worry me. I worry that there’s no discussion of the transcendence of God or that my life was renewed by the Spirit of God in a way that makes walking away literally impossible – that’s definitely my experience!

    I was an early adopter of Brian McLaren but haven’t kept up with his writing because a lot of it was reiterating arguments I was already familiar with. Your podcast has spurred me on to catch up with his latest thinking.

    Thanks!!

  2. Richard Broadbent Jul 29, 2022

    I loved the podcast, re: “am I a Christian” I regard myself as a lover of Truth, and I endeavour to know the truth rather than being right ♥️

  3. Patrick Watters Jul 31, 2022

    My personal reflection this morning after listening in (and reading Brian’s latest book)—

    Dawn—31 July 2022
    Reflections upon society, culture and ancestry—

    In a world dominated by selfish patriarchal societies and cultures, it is essentially divine for devoted men to love and care for their wives and families. This truth applies to brothers regarding their sisters as well. And in the same way this old grandfather senses divine responsibility for his own daughter and her children. In a broader sense compassion and care for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC neighbors as modeled by the Christ of Divine LOVE in the one called Jesus of Nazareth. “Love God, love others.”

    As for ancestry, my own came from matriarchal cultures; Celtic and Lakota, which recognize both equality with and the wisdom of women. Descended from Kingdom Dalriada (Gaelic and Norse) our family are for the most part Irish. Though crofters in the western Highlands and Isles, not English by any means. In fact, replaced by sheep after being burned out by wealthy English patriarchs. Ultimately 2X great grandfather and wife emigrating to America prior to the great potato famine. Yet, we remained people of the north of Ireland even up to now. Irish Catholics and Presbyterians with a shared Celtic origin and history. Even United Irishmen (and women) as English conquest (Cromwell) descended upon the land to conquer and divide. The Dunluce home being savagely sacked resulting in relocation to Bushmills and surrounding farms of the north of County Antrim.

    We with so many others of various faith traditions and cultures are people of hope and eternal perspective. Of God (Divine LOVE) and Their active creating and making all things new, despite the brokenness and violence we all see or experience. We resist narcissistic patriarchs with lives of nonviolence and compassion, in a word—LOVE.

    Let this be my epitaph—“He loved God and all They hath made.”

    }:- a.m.

    Hoofnote: Of course I shared the podcast with many across various platforms.
    Pádraig aka anonemoose monk

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