“What I Thought Would be Exile Turned out to be Home … if the Trump Era has a bright side” – a Reader writes:

A reader writes:

I’ll keep it brief - this isn’t a note asking a spiritual question, or requiring your considered opinion. It’s simply to thank you for your writings & ideas, which I’ve encountered exactly when needed, and which have made more generous my approach to faith, mystery, and work over the past twenty years.

You’ve walked a difficult line for a long while. It must’ve been lonely, often. In an age of retrograde Christianity one becomes a target by expressing support for, say, civilization, which is frankly hated by many people I love. Watching the Islamic State blow up cultural sites in Palmyra a few years ago, I couldn’t imagine a Christian analog doing something similar here. Now it feels inevitable. It is happening already. I spent most of my life among those now lighting the fuse.

If the Trump era has a bright side, it’s that many of us felt liberated from a Church we’d stuck with past its ruination. Church becomes an evening beer in the alley with a lawn-mowing neighbor. Or a walk down the creek a few blocks from home. Or receiving an idea for a luminous scene in the novel at hand. Or writing this note to you.

What I thought would be exile turned out to be home.

Thanks for your note. Wow, it strikes me that some readers have walked with me for over twenty years already!

It's heartbreaking to see what so much of (white) Christianity has become in the United States (and some other places too) ... many of us have felt as you have, that we were exiled ... but that became a better way to live. Thanks for writing.



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20 Years since 9/11 – a retrospective and prospective

It's hard to believe, but we're coming up to the twentieth anniversary of a day that will never be forgotten by those who lived through it. My friends Tripp Fuller an Diana Butler Bass invited me to be part of a series of conversations about September 11, 2001, and what has happened over the twenty years since, leading up to January 6, 2021, another unforgettable day for many of us.

How has September 11 affected our Christian communities? What shadows did it reveal among some? What strengths did it evoke among others? What has happened to us in the years since?

Not only are we going to engage in retrospection, we are also going to engage in foresight too, asking ourselves what choices we face in this moment that will set our course going forward.

Here are some of our planned topics:

  • 20 Years of Religious Decline
  • The Rise of Authoritarianism
  • Repentance & Resistance
  • Inter-religious Learning
  • Theology & Spirituality in Times of Rupture
  • Christianity - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

You can learn more and sign up here:


It's offered based on donations ... we don't want anyone to miss this because of funds. We hope you'll invite some friends to participate.

Based on our planning and conversations so far, I think this is going to be truly extraordinary.

Here's Diana and I discussing the event -

PS - after you register, be sure to enter your email here - https://kingsumo.com/g/p5iqot/oh-god-what-now-christianity-20-years-after-911/gjwjg2x


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This Sunday Night: Join Diana Butler Bass and me online for an hour of conversation

Here's the info:

Theology and Memoir:

Why Talking about God Gets Us Talking About Our Own Lives, too


Please plan to join us July 25 on Zoom for a conversation

between Diana Butler Bass and Brian McLaren.

Chat will be open and questions accepted, discussed and answered.


You may have noticed a lot of great theological writing has an element of memoir. Why is that? What might it mean for you, your spiritual growth, and your self-understanding?

Join us and let’s talk about it!


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Wild Goose Festival – Labor Day Weekend!

It's not too late to be part of Wild Goose Festival. In fact, you're not only welcome - THE WILD GOOSE NEEDS YOU! There's an urgent need for volunteers, and if you volunteer for twelve or more hours, you can come for free. Here are the teams where we still need folks:
Youth Team
Water Team
Venue Hosts Team
Studio/Art Team
Stage Team
Sponsor/Partner Support Team
Silent Disco
Rangers Safety Team
Rangers Guard Shack Team
Production Team
Post-Festival Tear Down
Parking Team
Media Team (specifically needs camera operators, production assistants, digital media wranglers, and anyone with experience in video production)
Ice Team
Green Team
Children’s Tent Team
And for more on the Festival - coming up Labor Day Weekend this year -
Hope to see you there!

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If you’re a preacher or Bible study leader …

My friend Paul Nuechterlein is one of our most insightful theological leaders. He leads a weekly online study you might be interested in. The upcoming theme is "Preaching the Gospel of One New Humanity." You'll find more here ... http://girardianlectionary.net/reflections/year-b/proper11b/

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