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Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words Hardcover – March 15, 2011
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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“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.
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really "connect" with it. However, I do know that Brian McLaren is a very popular and
prolific writer. While I did find some his writings very inspirational, mostly it was not
thought provoking for me. So I would have to conclude that ones response to this
book may vary greatly and be very individualistic.
There was another Brian McLaren that I found more stimulating and thought
provoking. This book is "Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Budda and Mohammed Cross
the Road? I would recommend this book more highly. Don't let the title deceive you,
this is a book of substance, in my opinion.
For those followers of Jesus for whom the traditional language and practices of spirituality are second nature, as well as those for whom those words and what they represent are difficult to approach, McLaren, McLaren provides new vocabulary and an invitation to continue on the journey of faith moving toward spiritual nakedness or authenticity. I find McLaren's work, in general, to be theologically thoughtful and pragmatically helpful in moving the church of the early twenty-first century more fully into the present. While Naked Spirituality is no exception, it did not reach as far nor did it resonate as fully as have other recent texts. Furthermore, the stage theory itself is a bit forced, but this problem is overcome to some degree by the advice to live each stage well and to see all twelve as leading to the final word: love.
Brian uses the metaphor of seasons to help us recognize where we are in our life. In addition, he gives us permission and in fact encourages us to bring all of our emotions to God. Brian uses examples from scriptures to show us that God wants us to be real. I found this book to be very liberating in its message while providing a straightforward, easily manageable path to follow.
A big part of the beauty of this book isn't just the truth that it contains, but the simplicity with which the author captures everything.
Challenging, stretching, thought-provoking (and how! I just *love* his definition of "de-ligion") and conversation prompting. A watershed for me - the right message at the right time from which comes growth and being better equipped to serve my God. A great book!