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Naked Spirituality A Life With God in Twelve Simple Words

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  362 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Prayer and spiritual practice tackled in raw and honest way and made simple and accessible for the reader to apply to their own life. Another inspiring and throught-provoking book from Brian D. McLaren, leading voice in the emerging church movement.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Pithy, well written. Easily accessible for beginners in spiritual formation, but deep enough to engage persons on a deeper walk.
Marty Solomon
Once again, McLaren has found a way to put words to experiences that one would never think of for the topic of a book. There have been experiences throughout my spiritual formation that I have consciously thought about and assessed without really being able to articulate out loud. Multiple times throughout this book (although slow at other parts), I found myself pounding the desk with my fists, saying, "Yes! Yes! That's what I've experienced!"

McLaren walks the reader through four distinct season
Stephen Williams
In this book Brian is writing into an area that challenges mainstream popular Christian presentations of the "spiritual life".

To me the book feels like wide open spaces....using the seasons of winter spring summer and autumn as metaphors for different seasons of spirituality Brian broadens out(perhaps somewhat paradoxically because it attempts to describe the narrow places through which we must enter if we are to grow up in our relationship with God) our concepts of what we may experience over
Andy Mitchell
This is Brian McLaren at his best.

He shares stories from his own faith journey and places them within a context of four seasons and 12 disciplines of the spiritual life:

Simplicity: Spring
Here = Presence
Thanks = Appreciation
O = Adoration

Complexity: Summer
Sorry = Confession
Help = Petition
Please = Intercession

Perplexity: Autumn
When = Aspiration
No = Refusal
Why = Lament

Harmony: Winter
Behold = Meditation
Yes = Consecration
[silence] = Contemplation

This is not a light read, so be prepared to chew on the
As another Goodreads' reader writes, Brian McLaren "shares stories from his own faith journey and places them within a context of four seasons and 12 disciplines of the spiritual life:

Simplicity: Spring
Here = Presence
Thanks = Appreciation
O = Adoration

Complexity: Summer
Sorry = Confession
Help = Petition
Please = Intercession

Perplexity: Autumn
When = Aspiration
No = Refusal
Why = Lament

Harmony: Winter
Behold = Meditation
Yes = Consecration
[silence] = Contemplation

This is not a light read, so be prepared
Trevor Lund
Starts out good...then sets up 12 things you need to do.

I feels like fake genuineness...if that's possible.
This is a thoughtful book that aims to help individuals get to the heart of what it means to be spiritual. It proposes stripping away, at least for a while, the trappings and symbols of organised religion, and letting go of our preconceived ideas, and focussing on twelve short words that can help us focus more clearly on God.

These words are divided into four groups, each representing a 'season' of our lives, which the author refers to as simplicity, complexity, perplexity and harmony. He sugges
Barb Terpstra
This was an excellent book that dovetailed nicely with a Bible Study I'm in. Many of the spiritual disciplines that McLaren shares are practices I've learned during the course of the study.

If you are a person who desires to know God more intimately and wants to get out of the "hurry sickness" of the world I highly recommend Naked Spirituality. I was particularly moved by the last chapters, where McLaren's passion for God really shines through. The last three chapters really let you see that his
Benjamin Vineyard
I enjoy McLaren's vulnerability within his writing - I get the sense that I'm listening to someone who's still wrestling over things, like I am, and not someone who's professing to have it all worked out.

My take away from this book was the permission McLaren's stages brought to my own life and walk with God. The seasons were: Simplicity: The Season of Spiritual Awakening; Complexity: The Season of Spiritual Strengthening; Perplexity: The Season of Spiritual Survival; and Harmony: The Season of
James Titterton
I first heard about McLaren's book at a talk he gave at the Greenbelt festival in which he outlined his model of the 4 stages of the spiritual life - Simplicity, Complexity, Perplexity, Harmony, and then back around again. These four stages form the basis of 'Naked Spirituality', with each stage assigned three of the twelve words referred to in the book's subtitle. McLaren uses these twelve words as a framing device for his chapters on the practices and rituals that form the bedrock of the spiri ...more
I actually did glean a few good ideas about drawing closer to God from this book and I would have rated this 1 1/2 stars if I could as a result. But otherwise, I had a lot of problems with this and actually just skimmed the last 1/3. First, the author started off blaming all the world's social issues on organized religion which is something about which I am sick of hearing. The organized Christian churches of this world do more socially than any other organizations out there. What is really odd ...more
I'm trying so hard to get through this book. It is quite readable and has much wisdom, but I think it is better suited for someone who is currently going through a dark time spiritually and feels alone. The author advises we read this book even if we currently aren't suffering because someday we WILL need it. That is probably true, but I would rather wait until that time. There are so many wonderful books to read and I am prioritizing. As the Bible says, "there is a time for every season" so I'l ...more
Scott Holstad
I like Brian McLaren, but I've found his books to be either hit or miss and this one seems to be a miss for me. It's a lightweight, I guess intentionally, but there's nothing really challenging here, it seems to me. It's like he set out to write a new book and just phoned it in. Very disappointing. I expected his usually radical approach to religion and spirituality, but felt deflated while reading it. Indeed, I didn't even finish. Made it halfway through before giving up. Pity. At least I'm con ...more
Graham Smith
I thought Naked Spirituality was a bit of a curates egg. There is some great wisdom and advice in it, the prayer exercise are helpful and simple and it is engagingly written. However I struggled to get through Naked Spirituality. I found that the way it was written, whilst original, made it hard to persevere. McLaren's idea of the 4 seasons is inventive, but it meant I was naturally drawn to the season I am experiencing now and found the other 3 less relevant. More importantly there seemed to be ...more
I really love this book. McLaren does a great job of identifying different stages of the spiritual life, which he says come and go cycliclly. I don't agree with all of what he has to say, but I was able to look past those things to take the good practices that he describes. I wouldn't recommend this to conservative Christians who feel that they have to write a teacher off if he disagrees with them in any area. I want to read this book again. last 1/4 was a little slow, maybe b/c I haven't been a ...more
I started this book at the beginning of the year and recently decided to try again. I really like McLaren's book, Generous Orthodoxy, but I have had some trouble getting into his other works. He is very popular, so I suspect the problem is mine not his. Not all books are meant for all readers, thank goodness.

This is helpful, I like the way McLaren has picked 12 words and connected them to spiritual disciplines. Unfortunately, I did not connect enough with most of the book and so I did not actual
Al Gritten
With every McLaren book I read I find myself consistently agreeing with his insightful analysis of the modern church and his thoughts about the direction that faith in our culture needs to go. This book re-examines the classic spiritual disciplines from a more contemporary viewpoint. He suggests a single word for each discipline to direct our attention regarding that discipline. The book is easy to read as well as informative and with the exercises and questions at the back of the book, it could ...more
Bill Long
I had some wonderful moments with this book, and some less-than-wonderful moments. Not all of Mr. McLaren's arguments are well-formed and clear, but many of them are, and there is MUCH to be learned from this work. The author does an excellent job of describing the various stages (or "seasons" of faith). I do not think he disparages all organized religion, but is critical of those religious organizations who fail us when we need more than the Season of Simplicity (those pastors and religions who ...more
I rarely re-read a book. However, I've written the year in the front of my VERY highlighted copy because I think it is something I will return to at different times in my spiritual journey. McLaren writes with authenticity and vulnerability. It is written by someone for someone who has known tragedy and disappointment in their journey with God. And, as such, it provides hope and something of a path. It also helps the reader, who has shared these experiences, know that they are not alone and norm ...more
I didn't know what to expect of this book. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It was the first time I've read any book that attempts to make sense o the different stages we go through in our Christian walk. I felt a little less alone in my questioning for unlike many who questions, I have continued in my faith. It is good to question but the danger is in thinking there is nothing left of value in your faith just because you have questions which have no easy answers.

This book cannot be rea
Chris Hyde
This is a really good book to read slowly...maybe a chapter a day. Use it as a devotional. Get quiet and ponder what Brian McLaren writes. This is deep spirituality practiced simply. Definitely a gem.
If you are exhausted by people sniping and grumbling about how subscribers to particular
Religious Traditions and views aren't spiritual, or don't know what spiritualty is, you must read this book. Brian D. McLaren does an excellent job of articulating how he himself found the hidden treasure of being fully human and fully alive and loved by a God who was both immanent and transcendent within a particular traditional right wing Protestant denomination. Not being of the same tradition, and leaning
Within this book McLaren is taking on the difficult task of experiencing and understanding a life with God. Not an easy task. However, while reading it, I felt like he was trying to modernize the old medieval spiritual practices that modern people could now encounter and understand with relating that to God. This is done in very vague and generic way so that all people could insert themselves. However, part of this is also the complexity of the subject, how a person lives their life with God. Th ...more
This book gives some excellent approaches to heart opening spiritual experiences. It also promotes unitive consciousness, the world beyond ego. Living fully, with radical acceptance, creating the Kingdom of God on earth through clear minded acts of compassion, justice, and love.
McLaren discusses spirituality from a Christian perspective, but I also like the way he includes other faith systems in his approach to God. His 12 words help me focus on the journey and my response to God. I think he helps us see that we are not alone and that the journey can have many stages. For me, reading this book as part of a study at church was much better than trying to just read through it by myself. The insight of others and the guidance of our minister gave the book more depth for me ...more
Ken Horne
I found this book very helpful in processing the stages through which the spiritual journey progresses. I was easily able to categorize my own journey using the framework presented.

For my more conservative friends - this book must be started with your flak jacket on to avoid being offended by the author's criticism of institutional religion. However, with an open mind and persistence, there are many meaningful and potentially productive insights and practices to be gleaned from this work.

Was not familiar with Brian McLaren prior to reading this. Because he broke his message into 12 neatly laid out chapters, for once I decide to take my time with a book and read it in small spurts. Indeed, he asks that you do just that. This is good for the long-time Christian who perhaps has vague feelings of dissatisfaction or questions what they have been fed. Thoughtful essays presented in the metaphor of seasons. Somewhat similar to the writing of Philip Gulley.
I read this book two months ago, and it is still very much on my mind. I found the "twelve simple words" off-putting at first, but now I refer to them often, along with several pages I've saved on my phone so I always have them with me. If you're wondering about living a genuine life, not just fulfilling expectations, this is the book to read. If you want a different way to approach faith and seek out the presence of God, this is the book.
Deeply inspiring on so many levels. I will read it again and again.
not a good as his other books, or maybe not what I needed at the time I read it
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Brian D. McLaren is an internationally known speaker and the author of over ten highly acclaimed books on contemporary Christianity, including A New Kind of Christian, A Generous Orthodoxy, and The Secret Message of Jesus.
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“What is the most significant conversation you have every day?” People would respond piously, “Your conversation with God, of course.” “No,” Lewis would reply. “It’s the conversation you have with yourself before you speak to God, because in that conversation with yourself, you decide whether you are going to be honest and authentic with God, or whether you are going to meet God with a false face, a mask, an act, a pretense.” 0 likes
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