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Brian D. McLaren quotes (showing 1-30 of 98)

“I’m sure I am wrong about many things, although I’m not sure exactly which things I’m wrong about. I’m even sure I’m wrong about what I think I’m right about in at least some cases.”
Brian D. McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy
“We must never underestimate our power to be wrong when talking about God, when thinking about God, when imagining God, whether in prose or in poetry. A generous orthodoxy, in contrast to the tense, narrow, or controlling orthodoxies of so much of Christian history, doesn't take itself too seriously. It is humble. It doesn't claim too much. It admits it walks with a limp.”
Brian D. McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, anabaptist/anglican, methodist, catholic, green, incarnational, depressed-ye...
“We’re seeking — imperfectly at every turn, no doubt — an incarnational theology, a theology that brings radical good news of great joy for all the people, good news that God loves the world and didn’t send Jesus to condemn it but to save it, good news that God’s wrath is not merely punitive but restorative, good news that the fire of God’s holiness is not bent on eternal torment but always works to purify and refine, good news that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.”
Brian D. McLaren
“At their best, religious and spiritual communities help us discover this pure and naked spiritual encounter. At their worst, they simply make us more ashamed, pressuring us to cover up more, pushing us to further enhance our image with the best designer labels and latest spiritual fads, weighing us down with layer upon layer of heavy, uncomfortable, pretentious, well-starched religiosity.”
Brian D. McLaren
“You might tell me that you have been engaging in some deep questioning and theological rethinking.1 You can no longer live with the faith you inherited from your parents or constructed earlier in your life. As you sort through your dogma and doctrine, you’ve found yourself praying less, less thrilled about worship, scripture, or church attendance. You’ve been so focused on sorting and purging your theological theories that you’ve lost track of the spiritual practices that sustain an actual relationship with God. You may even wonder if such a thing is possible for someone like you.”
Brian D. McLaren
“The Church has little idea how unorthodox it is at any given moment. If a church can't yet be perfectly orthodox, it can, with the Holy Spirit's help and by the grace of God, be perpetually reformable.”
Brian D. McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, anabaptist/anglican, methodist, catholic, green, incarnational, depressed-ye...
“...learning is not the consequence of teaching or writing, but rather of thinking...so a playful, provocative, unclear but stimulating book could actually be more worth your money than a serious, clear book that tells you what to think but doesn't make you think.”
Brian D. McLaren
“the more one respects Jesus, the more one must be brokenhearted, embarrassed, furious, or some combination thereof when one considers what we Christians have done with Jesus. That’s certainly true when it comes to calling Jesus Lord, something we Christians do a lot, often without the foggiest idea of what we mean. Has he become (I shudder to ask this) less our Lord and more our Mascot?”
Brian D. McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
“There’s a lot of dirty theology out there, the religious counterpart to dirty politics and dirty business, I suppose. You might call it spiritual pornography—a kind of for-profit exploitative nakedness. It’s found in many of the same places as physical pornography (the Internet and cable TV for starters), and it promises similar things: instant intimacy, fantasy and make-believe, private voyeurism and vicarious experience, communion without commitment. That’s certainly not what we’re after in these pages. No, we’re after a lost treasure as old as the story of the Garden of Eden: the...”
Brian D. McLaren
“In the previous few minutes, I had seen the most beautiful thing that eyes can see: the glory of God shining in the radiance of creation. I had heard the most beautiful thing that ears can hear: friends telling friends that they love one another. And I had felt the most beautiful thing that any heart can ever feel: the love of God and the love of others.”
Brian D. McLaren
“But before Christianity was a rich and powerful religion, before it was associated with buildings, budgets, crusades, colonialism, or televangelism, it began as a revolutionary nonviolent movement promoting a new kind of aliveness on the margins of society.”
Brian D. McLaren, We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation
“Imagine if organized religion organized billions of people and trillions of dollars to tackle the challenges that our economic and political systems are afraid or unwilling to tackle—a planet ravaged by unsustainable human behavior and an out-of-control consumptive economy, the growing gap between the rich minority and the poor majority, and the proliferation of weapons of all kinds—including weapons of mass destruction. “Wow,” people frequently say when I propose these possibilities. “If they did that, I might become religious again.” Some quickly add, “But I won’t hold my breath. It’ll never happen.”
Brian D. McLaren, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World
“What if the Christian faith is supposed to exist in a variety of forms rather than just one imperial one? What if it is both more stable and more agile—more responsive to the Holy Spirit—when it exists in these many forms? And what if, instead of arguing about which form is correct and legitimate, we were to honor, appreciate, and validate one another and see ourselves as servants of one grander mission, apostles of one greater message, seekers on one ultimate quest?”
Brian D. McLaren, A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith
“Frankly, our music has too often been shallow, discordant, or played with a wooden concern for technical correctness but without feeling and passion. ”
Brian D. McLaren
“This is a book about getting naked—not physically, but spiritually. It’s about stripping away the symbols and status of public religion—the Sunday-dress version people often call “organized religion.” And it’s about attending to the well-being of the soul clothed only in naked human skin.”
Brian D. McLaren
“The scarily brilliant Romantic poet and visionary William Blake dared to say what many of us have perhaps thought but kept to ourselves: “A good local pub has much in common with a church, except that a pub is warmer, and there’s more conversation.”
Brian D. McLaren, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World
“I had to face the possibility that the art of living in the way of Jesus was no longer carried on in a holistic way by any single tradition. ”
Brian D. McLaren, Finding Our Way Again
“Accumulating orthodoxy makes it harder year-by-year to be a Christian than it was in Jesus' day.”
Brian D. McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, anabaptist/anglican, methodist, catholic, green, incarnational, depressed-ye...
“Politicians compete for the highest offices. Business tycoons scramble for a bigger and bigger piece of the pie. Armies march and scientists study and philosophers philosophise and preachers preach and labourers sweat. But in that silent baby, lying in that humble manger, there pulses more potential power and wisdom and grace and aliveness than all the rest of us can imagine.”
Brian D. McLaren
“Too often we put the gospel of Jesus through the strainer of consumerist-capitalism and retain only the thin broth that this modern-day Caesar lets pass through.”
Brian D. McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
“I have no doubt that Jesus would actually practice the neighborliness he preached rather than following our example of religious supremacy, hostility, fear, isolation, misinformation, exclusion, or demonization.”
Brian D. McLaren, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World
“So we must realize this: the suicidal framing story that dominates our world today has no power except the power we give it by believing it. Similarly, believing an alternative and transforming framing story may turn out to be the most radical thing any of us can ever do.”
Brian D. McLaren, Everything Must Change: When the World's Biggest Problems and Jesus' Good News Collide
“It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.”
Brian D. McLaren, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World
“Isn’t the real scandal not that our religious leaders might be imagined walking across a road or talking as friends together in a bar, but rather that their followers are found speaking against one another as enemies, day after day in situation after situation?”
Brian D. McLaren, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World
“If you don't want to worship a guy you can beat up, then I might humbly suggest you reconsider Caesar and the Greco-Roman narrative. It sounds like 'Christ and him crucified' is not for you. At least not yet.”
Brian D. McLaren, A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith
“Aliveness, he will teach, is a gift available to all by God's grace. It flows not from taking, but giving, not from fear but from faith, not from conflict but from reconciliation, not from domination but from service. It isn't found in the upper trappings of religion -rules and rituals, controversies and scruples, temples and traditions. No, it springs up from our innermost being like a fountain of living water. It intoxicates us lie the best wine ever and so turns life from disappointment into a banquet.”
Brian D. McLaren
“when theologians read the Bible through the lens of the Exodus narrative, they are called “liberation theologians,” but their counterparts who read it through the Greco-Roman narrative are never labeled “domination theologians” or “colonization theologians.” Similarly, we have “black theology” and “feminist theology,” but Greco-Roman orthodoxy is never called “white theology” or “male theology.”
Brian D. McLaren, A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith
“Something deep in our conscience tells us that hostility is part of the problem to be overcome in the world, not the means by which problems will be overcome. Hostility is a symptom of the disease, not part of the cure.”
Brian D. McLaren, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World
“The romance of Creator and creation is far more wonderful and profound than anyone can ever capture in words.”
Brian D. McLaren, We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation
“If we speak of an angry God at all, we will speak of a God angry at indifference, angry at apathy, angry at racism and violence, angry at inhumanity, angry at waste, angry at destruction, angry at injustice, angry at hostile religious clannishness. That anger is never against us (or them); it is against what is against us (and them).”
Brian D. McLaren, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World
tags: anger, god

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