Brian D. McLaren quotes

  • I'm so grateful for Living the Questions. These progressive voices offer less rigid and more expansive approaches to Christian faith, and make room for people who practice critical thinking and question the gatekeepers. They help us see that questioning the gatekeepers is exactly what Jesus was all about.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Christian #Jesus #Grateful

  • 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

    #Christian #Humble #Thinking

  • One of the things that's happening to a lot of us is that there's this vision of the beauty of God that transports us and that takes us to a new depth and a new height. It's one of those things about beauty. You can't capture it in a word or a formula. When you get to that humble place where the beauty of God has overwhelmed you, I think it changes everything. You can say the same creed that you said before, but now it's not a creed that grasps God in the fist of the words, but it's a creed that points up to a beauty that's beyond anybody's grasp.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Humble #Thinking #Vision

  • Ask me if Christianity (my version of it, yours, the Pope's, whoever's) is orthodox, meaning true, and here's my honest answer: a little, but not yet. Assuming by Christianity you mean the Christian understanding of the world and God, Christian opinions on soul, text, and culture I'd have to say that we probably have a couple of things right, but a lot of things wrong, and even more spreads before us unseen and unimagined. But at least our eyes are open! To be a Christian in a generously orthodox way is not to claim to have the truth captured, stuffed, and mounted on the wall.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Christian #Couple #Wall

  • When any sector of the Church stops learning, God simply overflows the structures that are in the way and works outside them with those willing to learn.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Work Out #Church #Way

  • We need not a new set of beliefs, but a new way of believing, not simply new answers to the same old questions, but a new set of questions.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Believe #Needs #Answers

  • 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

    #Ideas #Grace #Church

  • To be a Christian in a generously orthodox way is not to claim to have the truth captured, stuffed, and mounted on the wall
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Christian #Wall #Way

  • 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

    #Thinking #Cases #Not Sure

  • Since I was introduced to the practice of God's presence, which in turn led me into the contemplative way, I have nearly always felt so rich, so blessed, so sincerely full of "enough."...I believe it is on this robust, overflowing ...contemplative pathway that one gains the joy and serenity to be generous.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Believe #Blessed #Practice

  • Tony [Campolo] and I might disagree on the details, but I think we are both trying to find an alternative to both traditional Universalism and the narrow, exclusivist understanding of hell [that unless you explicitly accept and follow Jesus, you are excluded from eternal life with God and destined for hell].
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Jesus #Thinking #Understanding

  • 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

    #Jesus #Fire #Wrath

  • 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

    #Christian #Appreciate #What If

  • A friend of mine says that in the world of religion we often have ignorance on fire and intelligence on ice. The thing I love about The Beatitudes Society is they represent faith and intelligence on fire and there's enthusiasm and passion and a realization that a more open and progressive approach to faith is something to celebrate.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Passion #Ignorance #Fire

  • Jesus was short on sermons, long on conversations; short on answers, long on questions; short on abstraction and propositions, long on stories and parables; short on telling you what to think, long on challenging you to think for yourself.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Jesus #Thinking #Long

  • Baptism is rich in meaning. It suggests cleansing. When you are a disciple, you understand that you are cleansed by Christ. You understand that Christ died in your place on the cross, paying for your sins, fully forgiving you for all your wrongs. You are cleansed from guilt, and you are becoming a cleaner, healthier, more whole person.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Baptism #Forgiving #Guilt

  • Jesus doesn’t dominate the other, avoid the other, colonize the other, intimidate the other, demonize the other, or marginalize the other. He incarnates into the other, joins the other in solidarity, protects the other, listens to the other, serves the other, even lays down his life for the other.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Jesus #Intimidating #Solidarity

  • If Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed were to bump into each other along the road and go have a cup of tea or whatever, I think we all know they would treat one another far different and far better than a lot of their followers would.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Jesus #Thinking #Tea

  • Joyfully celebrating the killing of a killer who joyfully celebrated killing carries an irony that I hope will not be lost on us. Are we learning anything, or simply spinning harder in the cycle of violence?
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Killers #Spinning #Violence

  • 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

    #Spiritual #Practice #Track

  • 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

    #Spiritual #Religious #Community

  • 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

    #Jesus #Art #Way

  • I don't think we've got the gospel right yet. What does it mean to be 'saved'? When I read the Bible, I don't see it meaning, 'I'm going to heaven after I die.' Before modern evangelicalism nobody accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, or walked down an aisle, or said the sinner's prayer.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Jesus #Prayer #Mean

  • It's not about the church meeting your needs; it's about joining the mission of God's people to meet the world's needs.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #People #Church #Needs

  • 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

    #Believe #Suicidal #Our World

  • Too often we see the Bible through whatever lens we get from our culture.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Biblical #Lenses #Culture

  • The church latched on to that old doctrine of original sin like a dog to a stick, and before you knew it, the whole gospel got twisted around it. Instead of being God’s big message of saving love for the whole world, the gospel became a little bit of secret information on how to solve the pesky legal problem of original sin.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Dog #Secret #Church

  • Seventh-Gay Adventists isn't just a helpful movie, important for the way it can help congregations of any denomination deal graciously and truthfully with the issue of homosexuality. It's also a beautifully-filmed and artfully-conceived movie. It does what the best art does - it 'humanizes the other.' You should see it, and when you do, you'll encourage others to see it as well.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Art #Gay #Issues

  • What if Jesus' secret message reveals a secret plan?”. What if he didn't come to start a new religion-but rather came to start a political, social, religious, artistic, economic, intellectual, and spiritual revolution that would give birth to a new world?
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Spiritual #Religious #Jesus

  • It used to be that Christian institutions and systems of dogma sustained the spiritual life of Christians. Increasingly, spirituality itself is what sustains everything else. Alan Jones is a pioneer in reimagining a Christian faith that emerges from authentic spirituality. His work stimulates and encourages me deeply
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Christian #Spiritual #Pioneers

  • Sometimes I have experienced God in extraordinary ways - in dramatic surprises or soul-expanding insights or unexplainable mystical encounters. More often, I have felt God's reality in the simple encouragement of a friend, in the gentle inspiration of a sermon, or in the familiar ritual of the Eucharist and I'd be less than honest if I didn't also say that at times, I've found myself in the spiritual doldrums, cast adrift, wondering if the wind would ever blow again.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Spiritual #Encouragement #Inspiration

  • ...the tragedy of consumerism: one acquires more and more things without taking the time to ever see and know them, and thus one never truly enjoys them. One has without truly having. The consumer is right-there is pleasure to be had in good things, a sacred and almost unspeakable pleasure, but the consumer wrongly thinks that one finds this pleasure by having more and more possessions instead of possessing them more truly through grateful contemplation. And here we are, living in an economy that perpetuates this tragedy.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Grateful #Thinking #Tragedy

  • The cross is almost a distraction and false advertisement for God.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Distraction #Crosses #Advertisements

  • I love writers who are insightful enough to be cynical but choose not to be.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Cynical #Insightful #Enough

  • If your goal is to produce firefighters and rescue workers, you have to produce people willing to enter burning buildings.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #People #Firefighter #Goal

  • Scripture is something God had ‘let be,’ and so it is at once God’s creation and the creation of the dozens of people and communities and cultures who produced it.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #People #Community #Dozen

  • The church has been preoccupied with the question, 'What happens to your soul after you die?' AS IF THE REASON FOR JESUS COMING CAN BE SUMMED UP IN, 'JESUS IS TRYING TO HELP GET MORE SOULS INTO HEAVEN, AS OPPOSED TO HELL, AFTER THEY DIE.' I JUST THINK A FAIR READING OF THE GOSPELS BLOWS THAT OUT OF THE WATER. I don't think that the entire message and life of Jesus can be boiled down to that bottom line
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Jesus #Reading #Blow

  • I was relaxing in my parents' swimming pool with my brotherI asked him how the engineering business was going, and he reciprocated: 'How's the ministry world going?' 'Okay,' I said, 'except that a couple of weeks ago I realized that I don't know why Jesus had to die.' Then Peter, without skipping a beat, without even a moment's hesitation, said, 'Well, neither did Jesus.'
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Jesus #Couple #Swimming

  • About the book of Job: If it were today, God might be asking "How does DNA carry traits? How are instincts passed on in animals? How does consciousness arise in the human body and brain, and what is consciousness? What is dark matter? How did the big bang happen? Why does the speed of light appear to be absolute? Is cold fusion possible? How do you program a TV remote control?
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Jobs #Fun #Book

  • This is why I believe that many of our current eschatologies, intoxicated by dubious interpretations of John’s Apocalypse are not only ignorant and wrong, but dangerous and immoral.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Believe #Ignorant #Dubious

  • Accumulating orthodoxy makes it harder year-by-year to be a Christian than it was in Jesus' day.
    -- Brian D. McLaren

    #Christian #Jesus #Years

  • 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

    #Church #Visionaries #Common