“Where do you work? What do you do for a living?”
When that question comes up when I meet new people, honestly, I cringe.
It seems most folks immediately assume I’m going to “condemn” them. Thus, they either start telling me why they don’t go to church or, they go the complete opposite direction and start in on how religious they are and how all the “non-Christians better change because the end is near.”
The word “Christian” doesn’t exactly convey love in today’s culture. (And rightfully so) Which is really sad, because the one that the religion was founded after was nothing BUT love.
In 2010, Brian McLaren released the book A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions that are Transforming the Faith.
Simultaneously, a group of 40 folks were trying to release a movement that enabled all people to find a pathway to God through the Christ. Those 40 people recognized that many have experienced rejection, ridicule, and scorn by “religious” people and they wanted to provide a safe pathway for all to explore a relationship with Divine Love/God.
Flash forward 12 years. The little movement of 40 folks became a legit church.(One called West). While it has been full of struggles along the way, it also is full of stories of life-change and ways of seeing God at work in our midst.
McLaren’s questions 12 years ago greatly impacted our ministry as a church because they were the questions we were asking as we were trying to find a new way to offer people faith.
How do we make sense of the Bible?
Who is Jesus? How do we understand the nature of God?
Why is sexuality something we are so hyper-focused on?
Tomorrow afternoon I have the rare opportunity to do an 1:1 interview with McLaren. It’s crazy because we had already planned on doing a series around his book “Do I Stay Christian?” this fall.
As I finish preparing for this interview, I want to know . . . do you have any questions you’d like me to ask or have him explore?
Here’s a synopsis of his new book . . . email me or text me today if you have any thoughts/questions. Take care!
Dubbed “a heroic gate-crasher” by New York Times bestselling author Glennon Doyle, Brian D. McLaren explores reasons to leave or stay within the church and if so how…
“Any thoughtful Christian has been asking the questions McLaren tackles here, but many of us are afraid to voice them aloud. In Do, I Stay Christian? we’re gifted a gentle guide who opens ideas and voices the questions we cannot, naming our frustration, fear, and hesitant hope.”—Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, former Senior Minister, The Riverside Church; Founder, Invested Faith
Do I Stay Christian? addresses in public the powerful question that surprising numbers of people—including pastors, priests, and other religious leaders—are asking in private. Picking up where Faith After Doubt leaves off, Do I Stay Christian? is not McLaren’s attempt to persuade Christians to dig in their heels or run for the exit. Instead, he combines his own experience with that of thousands of people who have confided in him over the years to help listeners make a responsible, honest, ethical decision about their religious identity.
There is a way to say both yes and no to the question of staying Christian, McLaren says, by shifting the focus from whether we stay Christian to how we stay human. If Do I Stay Christian? is the question you’re asking—or if it’s a question that someone you love is asking—this is the book you’ve been waiting for.
Grace and Peace,