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Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words Hardcover – March 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061854018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061854019
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Wise, easy to read, and practical.” (Fr. Richard Rohr, author of The Naked Now)

“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)

“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)

“McLaren’s trademark persuasiveness is put to good effect as he continues to shatter paradigms for spiritual seekers.” (Library Journal (starred review))

“Anyone wanting to conserve the spiritual spark in themselves will find this book a gentle and generous tract.” (Publishers Weekly)

“These stories are honest and kind and good... they illustrated the life of a real and raw experience of God and the human responses we offer.... This guidebook to simple words for a not so simple spirituality is an incredible gift, a true asset to us, bread for the journey.” (Hearts and Minds)

“McLaren both charts an arc of the spiritual life and suggests practices to nurture [it]. . . . McLaren deserves endless thanks for reminding us that estrangement and no do not represent a breakdown of the spiritual life. . . . Naked Spirituality is very astute.” (Christian Century)

From the Back Cover

Christianity is in crisis. Many sincere Christians feel their traditional Christian practices are in danger of becoming irrelevant, empty rituals. In his previous book A New Kind of Christianity, Brian D. McLaren offered new biblical models for how we understand the central ideas of a faith that provides hope for restoring and reinvigorating the power of the gospels to transform us and our communities.

In Naked Spirituality, McLaren takes his prophetic work a step further by confronting how the lack of a simple, doable, durable spirituality undermines the very transformation God is calling us to undergo. As a result, our religious structures become tools to maintain the status quo and not catalysts for personal and social change. McLaren presents a four-stage framework for understanding the spiritual life, and he unfolds spiritual practices appropriate to each stage. Each practice is rooted in a simple word: here, thanks, O, sorry, help, please, when, no, why, behold, yes, and silence. Naked Spirituality offers accessible, practical wisdom for living a truly spiritual life. Staying true to Jesus's core message while engaging faithfully with our postmodern world, McLaren presents a proven spiritual program for engaging in and sustaining a meaningful relationship with God.


More About the Author

Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, pastor, and networker among innovative Christian leaders, thinkers, and activists. His groundbreaking books include A New Kind of Christian, A Generous Orthodoxy, The Secret Message of Jesus, and Everything Must Change. Named by Time magazine as one of America's top twenty-five evangelicals, McLaren has appeared on Nightline and Larry King Live, and has been covered by The Washington Post and the New York Times.

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Customer Reviews

I enjoyed reading Brian McLaren's "Naked Spirituality".
Thurman L. Faison
I think McLaren's work could be typified as religious / social / political commentary a good deal of the time.
Warren Wade
The book invites us to leave our inhibitions behind and fall completely into God's presence and grace.
Kathleen A. Afflerbach

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 77 people found the following review helpful By William Dahl VINE VOICE on March 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Beyond Beautiful - or - It's Wednesday - But Sunday's A Comin'

Theologian Stanley Hauerwas has said, "Theology is not best understood as a system -- narrative might have something to do with theology."[i] Narrative is fine Stanley - but I'd like some tools that have practical application to my life, and those around me, as a person of faith. I'd also like some boots on the ground authenticity from the real life experiences of a fellow sojourner.

Enter Brian McLaren - Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words Here's the honest truth about the impact this book had on my life:

I had just finished Chapter 20 "Why - When You Have Come to Zero." My wife arrived home from work. She began to prepare dinner and I wandered into the kitchen to catch up together on the day's events - an uneventful Wednesday.

As we stood there chatting, the phone rang. It was our daughter Liz calling from her home in Utah. Liz and her fiancée Aaron had buried Aaron's mother on Monday - just two days ago. They had just received a phone call - Aaron's father had been killed in a car crash.

We concluded the tearful call with our daughter. I went into another room and sat silently - questions, remorse, sorrow, anger, dismay, confusion - ricocheting throughout my being. We ate half our dinner and adjourned to a couch. Jacki looked at me - sorrow and befuddled are two words that were embossed on her facial expression. We were both at zero - in shock - wounded - naked and fully exposed to the unconscionable in life. I leaned forward, grabbed my reading glasses and Brian's book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Brian on May 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Naked Spirituality is for anyone who wants to strip away the clutter of traditional religious trappings and dive into a deeper, purer, and more meaningful spirituality. Reading it feels like a quick dip in a cool pond on a hot day. For those of you who didn't grow up on a farm, that is a good thing! Totally refreshing.

Let me allow McLaren to introduce the book. In the Preface of Naked Spirituality, he says, "This book is 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" (ix). Then, in an interview on my blog, McLaren said: "In a single sentence, I hope the book helps a wide range of people become more vulnerable to a genuine and transformative experience of God's presence in their lives." Indeed, it does that. Naked Spirituality invites people to leave behind the masks and pretences that most of us drag around. It then helps us to find practical ways to enjoy a better, more authentic, and more spiritual life.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By tghali on May 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I loved Brian McLaren's latest book, Naked Spirituality - A Life With God in 12 Simple Words. It was sent to me by The Ooze Network as part of their Viral Bloggers program. I am not required to write a positive review so know that these are my honest thoughts.

In truth, the book caught me my surprise. There wasn't a lot of attention surrounding it, not much praise, no criticisms, not even a "Farewell Brian McLaren" tweet. In looking back on it, I think we all know why. Which in some way, it made the reading experience a little more satisfying to me.

The point of the book is 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". There is a number of audiences this book could work for. The obvious one is anyone interested in spiritual formation. Second is the over-churched or those that are very discontent with the idea of "organized religion". In the intro, Brian says he is also writing to the "Spiritual but Religious". And I'll agree, especially for the "intelligent unchurched and seeking" (Check out his video below).

Good books begin well (they should end well too) and I appreciated his introduction of why he incorporates the term "naked". Frankly, I wince any time the term is mentioned in public, especially in a Christian setting. But Brian echoes Jesus here and says when the Lord taught his disciples to pray, he said go in your closet, where you are naked, and when you pray be "naked" before the Lord. Naked = void of all pretense, absent of all self-righteousness, completely baring your pure, soul to your Maker.
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