The Common Good

Blog Posts By Brian McLaren

Posted by Brian McLaren 5 years 7 weeks ago
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Posted by Brian McLaren 5 years 41 weeks ago
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Posted by Brian McLaren 5 years 50 weeks ago
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 3 weeks ago
I'm voting in this election, not with naivete but with sincere enthusiasm. Not with any messianic hopes, but with a deep sense of moral responsibility as a shareholder or steward of the richest, most dominant, and most well-armed nation in the world. I had another long talk with a friend a couple weeks back who, on religious grounds, is passionately against voting. He had read my earlier posts on the [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 3 weeks ago
I understand the sentiments shared by many voters in the recent Pew poll on faith and politics. The Chicago Tribune reports: Social conservatives are growing more wary of church involvement in politics, joining moderates and liberals in their unease about blurring the [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 6 weeks ago
I like winning, but I've done a lot of losing in my life, especially when it comes to voting. I've got a pretty good track record of picking losers. But recent history tells us that picking winners in presidential elections has its own dangers. What happens if the presidential candidate you prefer wins this fall? As a Christian and citizen, you owe the winning candidate -- whoever he is (we've only got "he's" left this time around) -- the gift of what my friend Jim [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 7 weeks ago
All of us who choose to vote must base our vote on something. For some people, it's party. They're Democrats or Republicans and from election to election, they support whomever the party serves up. For others, it's a litmus-test issue -- abortion, homosexuality, war, whatever. For others, it's fear or hope or some other "gut-level" appeal -- whoever scares or inspires them the most gets their vote. And for still others, it's a "group thing" -- they belong to a group (a race, a [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 9 weeks ago
I've been blogging lately about faith, politics, and voting. In a recent post, I reflected that this election season will require us to have thousands of conversations, millions even -- around dinner tables, sitting at the beach, during hikes and boat rides, online, in church fellowship halls, and parking lots -- about truly important issues for us as Americans and as Christians. We'll need to talk [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 9 weeks ago
Some folks I've talked to are not going to vote in the 2008 elections. Some are disillusioned. Some don't like either candidate enough to vote. For some, not voting is an act of protest against the whole system, which they believe is hopelessly corrupt. Some believe that their citizenship in God's kingdom means they shouldn't become involved in "earthly" citizenship. While I respect my friends who aren't going to vote -- especially those who have prayerfully thought the decision [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 11 weeks ago
A friend of mine recalls a dinner-table conversation one day when she was a schoolgirl. Her dad had come home unusually frustrated from his job as a city planner. "D#@*$% environmentalists!" he said over dinner. "Dad, I thought you were an environmentalist," she said. "Why are you so upset?" "All day long," he answered, "environmentalists come to me with problems and complaints, and business people come to me with ideas and projects. Why can't the environmentalists be proactive [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 12 weeks ago
The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA.org) was launched in 1979, in response to growing concern "over an increase of [sic] questionable fund-raising practices in the nonprofit sector." As their Web site explains, Sen. Mark Hatfield challenged "a group of key Christian leaders" to begin policing their own mission agencies as a kind of "Christian Better Business Bureau." Perhaps 30 years later, evangelicals, because of "an increase in [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 17 weeks ago
I've remarked to a number of friends lately that there seem to be three main kinds of religious people in the world. First, there are the fearsome -- those who like to make others afraid. Second, there are the fearless -- those who refuse to be intimidated by the fearsome. Then in the middle are the fearful -- those who are afraid to associate with the fearless because they might incur the ire of the fearsome. I've [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 18 weeks ago
All of us remember this day, where we were when we heard the news, our feelings, our fears. There has been a lot of controversy about how the memory of this day has been or is being used or misused for political purposes, but I always come back to one of my life mottoes: the best antidote to misuse is not disuse -- it is proper use. In many ways we have run from the feelings of that day ... grief, grievance, unity, confusion, dislocation, vulnerability and solidarity. In [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 20 weeks ago
It's true that the blogosphere has created space for some truly unremarkable interchanges to take place. You can't call them conversations or dialogues, both of which imply the occurrence of actual communication. I guess "mutual flaming" would be more descriptive. But sometimes the blogosphere is used for substantive dialogue, and when that happens, it should be celebrated. A case in point - the recent Beliefnet dialogue between [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 26 weeks ago
Like many (I hope most) people, I was deeply moved and impressed by Senator Obama's speech on race. Almost as interesting as the speech itself have been the responses to it, which usually come in the form of opinions:the speech was good or bad or didn't go far enough or went too far, and so on. Opinions often don't tell us much about the content of the speech - it's truth, beauty, or goodness - they tell us more about the perspective, bias, fears, hopes, and interests [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 27 weeks ago
As the nation's second largest denomination (after the Roman Catholic Church), Southern Baptists have been given much, so their potential to do good is considerable - as is the danger of missing opportunities to do good. Sadly, until now, constituents and leaders of the 16-million-member Convention have tended to lag behind other large Christian communities when it comes to addressing the issue of environmental stewardship in general and climate change in particular. But that may be [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 28 weeks ago
This week will be a full one for me and for many of us in the Washington, DC, area. Friday and Saturday, I'll be leading the Everything Must Change gathering in Vienna, Virginia, but first, I'll be part of the
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 29 weeks ago
In recent weeks, we've been watching Senator Obama and Senator Clinton try to disagree honestly without being too nasty in the process. This week, we saw Senator McCain come to the defense of Senator Obama when a warm-up speaker stooped to some low political rhetoric. Maybe the stale air of partisanship and "gotcha" politics can be replaced by some clean, fresh cooperative air ... for a while at least?In that spirit, I think we all - Democrats, Republicans, and others - should [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 30 weeks ago
It's true: the religious radio/TV waves are still pretty crowded with 24/7 programming that proclaims a less-than-integral understanding of the Christian gospel and its social implications. But on the bookshelves, thankfully, it's a different story.Another recent treasure is E.J. Dionne's Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics after the Religious Right. I recently participated in an online discussion of the [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 32 weeks ago
In late January I had the great honor of being a participant in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. I was invited to participate in dialogue among Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders about "improving the state of the world." I imagine I was invited because of my previous work in interreligious understanding, and because of my new book Everything Must Change, which deals with global crises, including the [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 32 weeks ago
On this Super Tuesday, there will no doubt be a lot of discussion (again) about the role of religion
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 36 weeks ago
In two weeks, you will have your first chance to read Jim Wallis' latest book, The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America. You'll soon hear about the upcoming book tour, a new website featuring the book and a slate of other activities planned around the launch. I had the chance to read the manuscript a few months ago, and I feel real excitement about what this book can mean to our personal lives as sojourners, to our faith [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 36 weeks ago
On January 3, Focus on the Family's CitizenLink sent an email by associate editor Stephen Adams called, "Evangelical Leaders Pledge Common Cause with Islam." Their target once again was the National Association of Evangelicals, echoing an attempt last year to oust Richard Cizik for having common cause with the birds of [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 37 weeks ago
A lot of us are people without a label these days. Media folks want to call us the "Religious Left," since they can tell we're not the Religious Right. But that bipolar terminology brings a lot of baggage we neither want nor believe in. There's "Progressive Christians"
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 37 weeks ago
I've had an old 1989 tune by Bob Dylan running through my head for the last couple weeks. Unlike some other things that get stuck in my mind
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 37 weeks ago
The vicious assassination of Benazir Bhutto means many things for our world. Already pundits are rushing to consider what it means for our presidential elections here in the U.S. Who will it help most - Giuliani? Clinton? Biden? Obama? Of course there's a place for this kind of analysis, but I believe at least four other kinds of reflection should not be rushed over in the process. First, we should pause to consider what this means for Pakistanis. There's something about hearing people express [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 42 weeks ago
It was my friend, Tony Jones, who alerted me recently to the Beliefnet roundtable on evangelicals in power that I discussed in yesterday's post. He basically ruined my schedule that day because I couldn't help but read the whole thread. A major voice in [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 42 weeks ago
In light of Pat Robertson's and Bob Jones III's recent presidential endorsements
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 44 weeks ago
Several weeks ago, Larry and Andrea - Christian friends who live and work among Muslims in the Middle East - sent me their reflections on the recent U.S. visit of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad which outraged so many. My friends were bothered by what transpired too, but for different reasons. I think their [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 48 weeks ago
According to the World Wildlife Fund, each of us needs about 2.5 acres of arable land to be sustained with needed food. Then we need to add another two acres or so - enough land to sustain the plants [...]
Posted by Brian McLaren 6 years 49 weeks ago
In The New York Times story about the administration's secret authorization of torture, one sentence is particularly chilling: "With virtually no experience in interrogations, the CIA had constructed its program in a few harried months by consulting Egyptian and Saudi intelligence officials and copying Soviet [...]