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We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation Paperback – June 9, 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is one of the most remarkable documents in recent Christian writings...There is no evangelizing here, and no preaching, only a sinewy, but orderly and open, presentation of the faith that holds. The result is as startling as it is beautiful."―Phyllis Tickle, author, The Age of the Spirit

"Brian McLaren has a talent for expressing theological viewpoints in a way that doesn't divide the camp. He gives everyone on the theological spectrum, from orthodox to progressive, something to chew on and contemplate. His new book, WE MAKE THE ROAD BY WALKING, doesn't disappoint."―Charles Toy, co-founder of The Christian Left

"A ton of people have been waiting for this book-they just didn't know it! Brian has given us a clear and compelling guide to walking the Jesus path together, around the table, in the living room, discussing and learning and growing. This book is going to help so many people."―Rob Bell, author of What We Talk About When We Talk About God

"It is at once inspiring and challenging, ancient and contemporary, intellectually rigorous and profoundly practical. It changed the way I engage Scripture, the way I pray, the way I experience communion, and the way I interact with my neighbors."―Rachel Held Evans, author, A Year of Biblical Womanhood

"WE MAKE THE ROAD BY WALKING has given me the tools I needed to make sense of my friendships and weave them into something that makes our connections more meaningful; the community that I have always longed for, a community that accepts me for me, a community that faithfully lives out the gospel through its actions, treating all people with respect, value, and like they matter."―Romal Tune, author, God’s Graffiti: Inspiring Stories for Teens

"This is Brian McLaren at his best, and I think this is what so many readers want from him: Deeply rooted in scripture, yet offering fresh, even radical, readings. WE MAKE THE ROAD BY WALKING will surely be a benefit and blessing to many."―Tony Jones (tonyj.net), theologian-in-residence at Solomon's Porch, author of The Church Is Flat

"I love this book, because through each page you will hear the whisper of Jesus echo in your heart. You will find yourself taken on a journey that will make you more alive, more loving, and with a bigger vision for changing the world. I'm buying copies for all my friends!"―Canon Mark Russell, CEO, Church Army UK and Ireland

About the Author

BRIAN D. McLAREN is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. He is a popular conference speaker and a frequent guest lecturer for denominational and ecumenical leadership gatherings in the U.S. and internationally, and is Theologian-in-Residence at Life in the Trinity Ministry. Brian's writing spans over a dozen books, including his acclaimed Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road, A New Kind of Christian trilogy, A Generous Orthodoxy, and Naked Spirituality.
Learn more: BrianMcLaren.net
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Jericho Books (June 9, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455514012
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455514014
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I gave this review a lot of thought. At first, I was going to rate this book three stars, but after much consideration I think four stars is more accurate. I want to point out at the outset that I am not a liberal Christian, but I think a lot of great ideas have come out of that camp, and a lot of good ideas have come out of the conservative camp as well. The risks of both are essentially that extreme liberalism says there is nothing sacred enough that deserves our defense, and extreme conservatism says nothing we have done in the past is worth changing. I went into this book knowing it was more on the liberal side of things because I like to hear everyone's perspectives.

With that being said, McLaren and I agree on most of his talking points. I found his assessment of the poor in our societies, the gross injustices and abuses that we as Christians should be taking an honest look at, to be valuable. He obviously is a thoughtful and deeply engaged Christian man. The points I disagreed with him on are centered mostly around his uncompromising adherence to liberation theology and nonviolence. Again, much good has come from liberation theology and nonviolence, but I find that the constant, unrelenting use of liberation theology as a filter to promote a heavily politicized (read: polarized) Christianity to be unpalatable. Such filtering feels, at times, like a hijacking, as if liberation theology's proponents would like to force their brand of Christianity.

I tend to be simplistic in my own personal faith, avoiding dogma and doctrines, preferring to do Greek and Hebrew close word studies, and prayerfully come to my own conclusions about things. Along that vein, I don't think Jesus was a socialist or a Democrat, nor was he a capitalist or a Republican.
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Format: Hardcover
Brian’s books have been cool water to my soul as I’ve journeyed through my Christian faith. We Make the Road by Walking does the same. When I was a young pastor in the evangelical church, questioning, doubting, struggling in my faith A New Kind of Christian lit the way through my very dark valley. This was followed by more joyous years of discovery and books like The Adventures of Missing The Point and A Generous Orthodoxy. These books challenged me into deeper wonder, bolder curiosity, and called me to keep walking, keep seeking, keep uncovering theGod that was all around me. I have come to Brian’s new book We Make the Road by Walking nearly ten years after picking up the first. I have been voyaging a long but beautifully profound road and Brian’s books have met me at every corner. This book comes at a perfect time for the Church, Society and for me personally.

We Make the Road by Walking is a travelers guide that we can use together as friends, families, and communities, that grants each pilgrim the freedom to make there own way, together. Brian provides a complex, deeply biblical narrative theology that starts with creation and genesis and treks through the entirety of the Bible. We Make the Road by Walking challenges us to read the text aloud in large sections, to draw connections through the beginning, middle, and end, to trace meta-narratives that weave their way along the path, and as we find ourselves, our neighbors and our enemies in the text to draw deeply on the connections we make individually and communally.

We Make the Road by Walking is Brian’s one year lectionary, his comprehensive biblical narrative theology, his guide to communities of seekers, questioners, vagabonds, doubters, and free agents.
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Format: Hardcover
With 52 chapters–one for each week of the year–McLaren takes us on a year-long quest toward “aliveness,” as taught by Jesus through words and example. Each chapter lists a few suggested Bible readings, gives a few pages of inspiration, and lists suggested discussion topics. His idea is that we would use this book for Bible study, with family or close friends in Christ.

“Aliveness” is a wonderful description for the type of existence Jesus wishes to share. Where the Synoptic gospels speak of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Gospel of John prefers terminology like life, life of the ages, life to the full (all much more precise translations than “eternal life”). How are we to understand the Kingdom, then? Some possibilities that resonate with our current-day language: how about The global commonwealth of God. Maybe God’s regenerative economy. Perhaps God’s beloved community or God’s holy ecosystem. You get the idea. We’re talking about a transformation of this world, not a distant kingdom in the sky.

McLaren is a liberal Christian. He is not going to preach doctrine, and in fact, even an atheist could be inspired to a more wholesome, meaningful life by Jesus. Nor does McLaren delve in church theology. You won’t be taught you’re a horrible sinner in need of repentance and covering by the salvific blood of a sacrificed god. You won’t be taught that life’s purpose is to guess which religion to believe in, so that after you die you can float away to heaven. Instead, you’ll be reminded that God’s creation is good, we are good, life is good, and aliveness is an attainable dream. Jesus taught us how.

I’m a fan of McLaren’s straight-forward, inspirational writing. Definitely worth reading.

Jericho Books, © 2014, 281 pages

ISBN: 978-1-4555-1400-7
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