Books by Brian McLaren
The Christian story, from Genesis until now, is fundamentally about people on the move—outgrowing old, broken religious systems and embracing new, more redemptive ways of life.
It’s time to move again.
The Great Spiritual Migration argues that— notwithstanding the dire headlines about the demise of faith and drop in church attendance—Christian faith is not dying. Rather, it is embarking on a once-in-an-era spiritual shift. For millions, the journey has already begun.
Drawing from his work as global activist, pastor, and public theologian, McLaren challenges readers to stop worrying, waiting, and indulging in nostalgia, and instead, to embrace the powerful new understandings that are reshaping the church. In The Great Spiritual Migration, he explores three profound shifts that define the change:
∙ Spiritually, growing numbers of Christians are moving away from defining themselves by lists of beliefs and toward a way of life defined by love
∙ Theologically, believers are increasingly rejecting the image of God as a violent Supreme Being and embracing the image of God as the renewing Spirit at work in our world for the common good
∙ Missionally, the faithful are identifying less with organized religion and more with organizing religion—spiritual activists dedicated to healing the planet, building peace, overcoming poverty and injustice, and collaborating with other faiths to ensure a better future for all of us
With his trademark brilliance and compassion, McLaren invites readers to seize the moment and set out on the most significant spiritual pilgrimage of our time: to help Christianity become more Christian.
Brian’s 2014 release, We Make the Road by Walking, offers 52+ chapters that give an overview of the biblical story and a fresh introduction or re-orientation to Christian faith. Each chapter is written to be read aloud in ten to twelve minutes, and is accompanied by a set of Scripture readings, reflection/discussion questions, and liturgical resources – so the book can be useful in a variety of ways for classes, small groups, new faith communities, and churches. And of course, it’s an inspiring and formative read for individuals too.
The title comes from one of Brian’s heroes, Brazilian educator/activist Paolo Freire. He used this title for a published dialogue between Freire and another seminal educator/activist, Myles Horton, who was an important figure in the Civil Rights Movement in the US. Freire may have derived the quote from the great Spanish poet Antonio Machado:
“Caminante, son tus huellas el camino, y nada más; caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar. Al andar se hace camino, y al volver la vista atrás se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar. Caminante, no hay camino, sino estelas en la mar.”Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road– Only wakes upon the sea. ― Antonio Machado, Campos de Castilla
The title suggests that Christian faith is still “in the making” (as Dr. John Cobb has put it). It continues to grow, evolve, learn, change, emerge, and mature … in and through us. What we will be as Christians in the 21st century, for better or worse, will surely change what Christian faith will be in the 22nd century and beyond.
You can see several short videos about the book at Brian’s Vimeo page.
Can you be a committed Christian without having to condemn or convert people of other faiths? Is it possible to affirm other religious traditions without watering down your own?
In Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World, Brian McLaren proposes a new faith alternative, one built on “benevolence and solidarity rather than rivalry and hostility.” This way of being Christian is strong but doesn’t strong-arm anyone, going beyond mere tolerance to vigorous hospitality toward, interest in, and collaboration with the other.
Blending history, narrative, and brilliant insight, McLaren shows readers step-by-step how to reclaim this strong-benevolent faith, challenging us to stop creating barriers in the name of God and learn how affirming other religions can strengthen our commitment to our own. And in doing so, he invites Christians to become more Christ-like than ever before.
“A rich, brilliant and important book: wonderfully readable and personal, filled with insight and wisdom, it invites us into practices that can transform our lives.” —Marcus J. Borg, author of Speaking Christian
“Brian McLaren is a bridge builder. In these simple yet profound spiritual practices he perfectly marries his evangelical heart and contemplative soul, and we are all richer for the union.” —Cynthia Bourgeault, author of Centering Prayer and The Wisdom Jesus
In the same way he revitalized our faith in A New Kind of Christianity, church leader Brian McLaren reinvigorates our approach to spiritual fulfillment in Naked Spirituality—by tearing down the old dogmatic practices that hamper our spiritual growth, and leading us toward the meaningful spiritual practices that can help transform our lives.
We are in the midst of a paradigm shift in the church. Not since the Reformation five centuries ago have so many Christians come together to ask whether the church is in sync with their deepest beliefs and commitments. These believers range from evangelicals to mainline Protestants to Catholics, and the person who best represents them is author and pastor Brian McLaren.
In this much anticipated book, A New Kind of Christianity, McLaren examines ten questions facing today’s church—questions about how to articulate the faith itself, the nature of its authority, who God is, whether we have to understand Jesus through only an ancient Greco-Roman lens, what exactly the good news is that the gospel proclaims, how we understand the church and all its varieties, why we are so preoccupied with sex, how we should think of the future and people from other faiths, and the most intimidating question of all: what do we do next? Here you will find a provocative and enticing introduction to the Christian faith of tomorrow.