Ep. 53 Do I Stay Christian? w/Brian McLaren


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At some point in your deconstruction journey, you are probably going to be faced with the question, "Do I stay Christian or do I walk away from this movement altogether?" If that is where you are today, this episode is for you.

It's been a minute since Western Christianity has looked anything like Jesus. For the last 1,700 years Christianity has been known more its violence, patriarchy, domination, nationalism, and racism, instead of love and compassion. Christianity jumped the religious tracks a millennia ago. American Christianity is experiencing a rebirth in Christian nationalism, a movement seeking to force its will on the world. It’s so bad that many of us no longer even want to be associated with the term Christian. So what's next? Is this movement even worth saving and if so, how do we do it?

In this critical episode, Brian McLaren helps us discern the reasons why you should stay Christian as well as a myriad of reasons why you should not stay Christian. But even more important, he ponders what Christianity might look like in the future if those of us in the deconstruction community decide to participate in the recreation and resurrection of a more mystical, ancient form of faith.

If you are seriously considering throwing in the spiritual towel, join us for this timely conversation. I think you'll find that Brian offers a way forward through the difficulty and dissonance many of us feel as we navigate this critical question along our faith-seeking journey.


Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity” – just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good. He is a faculty member of The Living School and podcaster with Learning How to See, which are part of the Center for Action and Contemplation. He is also an Auburn Senior Fellow and is a co-host of Southern Lights. His newest book is Faith After Doubt (January 2021), and his next release, Do I Stay Christian? (May 2022) can be preordered now. His recent projects include an illustrated children’s book (for all ages) called Cory and the Seventh Story and The Galapagos Islands: A Spiritual Journey.

Born in 1956, he graduated from University of Maryland with degrees in English (BA, 1978, and MA, 1981). His academic interests included Medieval drama, Romantic poets, modern philosophical literature, and the novels of Dr. Walker Percy. In 2004, he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity Degree (honoris causa) from Carey Theological Seminary in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and in 2010, he received a second honorary doctorate from Virginia Theological Seminary (Episcopal).

From 1978 to 1986, McLaren taught college English in the DC area, and in 1982, he helped form Cedar Ridge Community Church, an innovative, nondenominational church (crcc.org). He left higher education in 1986 to serve as the church’s founding pastor and served in that capacity until 2006.

Brian has been active in networking and mentoring church planters and pastors since the mid 1980’s, and has assisted in the development of several new churches. He is a popular conference speaker and a frequent guest lecturer for denominational and ecumenical leadership gatherings – across the US and Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. His public speaking covers a broad range of topics including postmodern thought and culture, Biblical studies, church leadership and spiritual formation, pastoral survival and burnout, inter-religious dialogue, and global crises.

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This episode was produced by The Sophia Society. Music is by Faith in Foxholes.

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