Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words

In Brian’s 2011 release, you’ll get an overview of the spiritual life in a framework of four stages: simplicity, complexity, perplexity, and harmony. Then, in each stage, you’ll be introduced to three practices, moves, or soul-postures that will help you deepen your life with God. Brian lodges each practice in a simple word and then offers guidance for working with each word.
Note: The book includes a Group Discussion and Study Guide on pages 271-280.
In the US, you can order Naked Spirituality from most online booksellers, including
Barnes and Noble
Christian Book Distributors
And in the UK you can order it from most online booksellers including
Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly says:
Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words
Brian D. McLaren. HarperOne, $25.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-0618-5401-9

Christian evangelical author, teacher, and pastor McLaren (A New Kind of Christianity) started his writing career helping nondenominational evangelical churches adapt to the emergent, post-modern, post-Christendom era. His most recent books, however, are directed to those outside the church who identify as “spiritual, not religious” or those who find church lifeless. Using personal narrative, simple language devoid of church-speak, and self-deprecating humor, McLaren’s intimate voice envelops the reader with a sense of safety to match the vulnerability his title suggests. Beginning with a story of St. Francis of Assisi stripping naked before his father to reject his inheritance, and concluding with an invitation to skinny dip in the “river of sacredness,” McLaren presents four spiritual “seasons”—simplicity, complexity, perplexity, and harmony—accompanied by 12 prayer practices. Each practice, described as “simple, doable, and durable,” is rooted in a single word (e.g. here, thanks, sorry, help, why, yes, behold). Conventional Christians may not welcome McLaren’s extravagant invitation to those on the religious margins, but anyone wanting to conserve the spiritual spark in themselves or someone else will find this book a gentle and generous tract. (Mar.)

And here are some of the first endorsements to come in:

“Wise, easy to read, and practical.” (Fr. Richard Rohr, author of The Naked Now )
“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 )
“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 )
“I first discovered Brian McLaren’s writing over a decade ago in the midst of a personal
crisis of faith. The Christianity I’d espoused since childhood no long answered the deep
questions of my mind and my soul. It was a frightening, lonely time—until I found
my spiritual journey reflected in the pages of Brian’s books. Ah, I’m not crazy! Yes, I
can move through this crisis into a deeper, truer faith! Since then Brian has become
a trusted friend whose path I’ve crossed time and again as we advocate for healing
in the Congo, peace in the Middle East, fair trade practices, or respectful interfaith
relationships. As an author and as a friend, Brian continues to challenge me to follow
Jesus more faithfully—more radically.
Reading Brian’s latest book, Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words was
like going on a spiritual retreat. After several years of extensive international ministry
travel—a very outward life—I needed a spiritual retreat! I needed to be drawn inward,
down into the groundedness of quiet, prayerful attention to God. Brian’s twelve simple
words offer a response to God that moves through various seasons of spiritual life:
simplicity, complexity, perplexity and harmony. Though simple, each word captures
a vast and profound meaning. I’ve written the words on note cards which I use every
morning, and the words often come to me in sleepless moments during the night,
guiding me gently into prayer.
Amazingly, my list of people who absolutely need to read this beautifully written book
includes long-time followers of Jesus as well as spiritual-but-not-yet followers of Jesus.
Surely that is an indication of the wisdom and authentic depth of Naked Spirituality.” (Lynne Hybels, author of Nice Girls Don’t Change the World)

“Medicine for the soul. ‘Naked Spirituality’ is filled with uncommon honesty. It is a tonic for all those who yearn for practical help with the development of rhythms of life – free from the stifling tyranny of legalism – that will foster a depth of Christ-centred spirituality.” (Steve Chalke MBE Founder, Oasis Global, Faithworks & Stop The Traffik, UN Special Advisor on Community Action Against Human Trafficking)

Readers can share resources in response to the book here.
You can download a free PDF of study questions for the book here:
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