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The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World's Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian Hardcover – September 20, 2016
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“Provocative and powerful.”
—Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times
“This is Brian McLaren's finest book: a beautiful exploration of a hopeful, joyful, mystical, and just faith that invites Christians to move from fear to love. On every page, he calls out to longing readers, ‘Don't give up. A better world, a better way of belief is possible.’ And he is right.”
—Diana Butler Bass, author of Grounded: Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution
"Anything written by Brian McLaren is always filled with insight, courage, and creative theology, refining the meaning of orthodoxy in our time. Read this and surely enjoy it, for it will assure you that you are not crazy making in what you are seeing and suffering today."
—Richard Rohr, author of Falling Upward, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation
"With the wisdom of a seasoned teacher and the compassion of a dear friend, Brian McLaren once again pastors the reader through some of the most pressing and important questions of our time. The Great Spiritual Migration puts into words what so many people of faith are experiencing, and in a way that is at once accessible and profound, challenging and deeply comforting. You will reach the final page feeling inspired, understood, and a little less alone. McLaren's writing has long been a gift to the Church, and to the world. This may be his most important work yet."
—Rachel Held Evans, author of Searching for Sunday
“A refreshingly honest, totally committed, enriching and profound analysis of the Spiritual Moment that is changing all our lives. If you are concerned—and at the same time excited—by what is going in churches these days, read this book. Both hope and a path to it await you here.”
—Joan Chittister, author of Between the Dark and the Daylight
"I have such respect for Brian McLaren; I would follow him anywhere, and so should you. Follow him out of fruitless dualities and false polarities. Follow him on a restless journey, a quest, a spiritual migration from an apathetic facade of a faith to a joyfully questioning, boundary crossing, ethical spectacle of a faith. This well-conceived, intelligent, warm, truthful book is our guide to a space where a life of faith is defined by love-in-action."
—Dr. Jacqui Lewis, senior minister, Middle Collegiate Church
“McLaren continues to have his finger on the pulse of a new kind of Christianity that challenges familiar and limiting structures of faith. A prophetic and winsome invitation for all the join the work of the Spirit in spiritual, theological, and missional transformation.”
—Peter Enns, author of The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our “Correct” Beliefs
“Brian McLaren is a leading thinker in articulating the disenchantment so many of us feel regarding Americanized Christianity and the hope we have that there is, as McLaren says, "a better way to be Christian." The Great Spiritual Migration calls us, not to wander aimlessly in the wilderness of pseudo-spirituality, but to follow Jesus forward into the promised land of a more authentic Christian faith. I applaud this important and encouraging book!”
—Brian Zahnd, author of A Farewell To Mars and Water To Wine
About the Author
Brian D. McLaren is a Christian thinker, author, and activist. A former pastor with a background in literature, McLaren is the author of over a dozen books, an Auburn Senior Fellow, and board chair of Convergence (convergenceus.org).
Top customer reviews
He sums up his destination with one word, love. That's quite simplistic. Don't Christians in his fundamentalist environment have love at all? He is either exaggerating his fundamentalist environment or I am too ignorant about how dark Christian fundamentalism is. But, I read on to find where I am in this great migration. Mclaren argues that Christianity is migrating to a more love and justice focused community.
Being in the mainline denomination, Christianity to me is mostly, if not all, about love and justice--building orphanages, feeding the homeless, rehabilitating addictions, etc. along with delivering the gospel. We are multicultural and have long welcomed gays, which Mclaren's fundamentalists are still struggling in his book. However, we all know that the mainline churches are struggling with dwindling membership in spite of the fact that we are far ahead in this great migration. Mclaren seems to argue that people leave the church because of fundamentalism, then why are people still leaving the church that are already far ahead in this great migration?
As I read on, I feel I'm looking for a different migration than Mclaren. His direction of migration goes toward a universalism and socialism utopia. He calls it a spiritual journey, but it seems more of a political journey to me. As someone who grew up in Asia among three different religions, I feel Mclaren is a little too naive about other religions. His fundamentalists mindset seems to swing him from one extreme to another.
Dealing with fundamentalists, one thing I noticed is that they are like alcoholics that can't be cured, but always in recovery. They see the world black or white. It used to be black and it was wrong, so we must migrate to white. After learning that the world is not always black and white, and discovering the grey areas, they say, "everything is grey." Well, "everything" is grey, is actually a black or white thinking. The world is actually black, grey, and white. Somethings stay black, somethings stay white, and there are a lot of grey things in between.
I do believe we are on a great migration, and that's why I read this book. But this book doesn't enlighten the path. This book is more for the migration of White Christian Fundamentalists, or for Mclaren's personal journey, than a prophetic voice for all Christians. It doesn't address the dire situation of those who are already ahead of Mclaren's migration.
We are serving in a changing time where, like Peter, we have fished all night long and caught nothing. I'm listening to the Lord's voice telling me where to drop the net. The title of this book perks up my ears, but its content ends up telling us to drop the net at the same place where we've already tried all night.
However, for those who cares about where God is leading the church to, there are still some things worth chewing on from this book. That's why I give it three stars.
McLaren offers us hope, not with a plan or a map to a better way, but with a conversation about what that better way needs to be. His use of metaphor to express the shift already occurring, not just in Christianity but across the spectrum of spirituality, is uplifting, informative, and motivational.
The study questions after each chapter make this an excellent book to read with a group, and the appendix includes a lot of useful material for additional consideration.