Brian McLaren

Brian McLaren is the author of A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith.

Posts By This Author

Trayvon and George: A Tale of Two Americas

by Brian McLaren 07-15-2013
donatas1205 / Shutterstock

Hand painted acrylic United States of America flag. donatas1205 / Shutterstock

The recent “not guilty” verdict out of Sanford, FL, reflects the principle of the American legal system that if there is reasonable doubt, courts will err on the side of innocence. I dispute neither the principle nor the decision by the jury. But that doesn't leave me satisfied about the outcome.

Jesus said that true justice exceeds that of “the scribes and Pharisees” — and the same could be said of the prosecution and defense. Legal justice seeks only to assign guilt or innocence. Holistic justice works for the life, liberty, and well-being of all. And it especially works for reconciliation between the two Americas that can be identified by their reaction to the case.

Is the Emerging Church for Whites Only?

To survive in a quickly diversifying global church, the emerging church movement must do a better job of opening up its doors -- and pursuing justice.
STILLFX / Shutterstock

STILLFX / Shutterstock

AT THE TURN of the millennium, I (Soong-Chan) began hearing a lot about the “emerging church.” It seemed that everywhere I turned somebody was talking about the emerging church. A clear definition of the term was elusive (see “What is the Emerging Church?” by Julie Clawson, below), but the emerging church seemed to reflect ministry and theology rising out of the generation after the baby boomers. In particular, the emerging church was Western Christianity’s attempt to navigate through the context of an emerging postmodern culture.

At the time the emerging church was coming into vogue, I was pastoring a multi-ethnic, urban church plant in the Boston area. It seemed that every brochure for nearly every pastors’ conference I received featured the emerging church. As I began to attend some of those conferences, I noticed that every single speaker who claimed to represent the emerging church was a white male. A perception was forming that this was a movement and conversation occurring only in the white community.
 In terms of the public face of the emerging church, white males dominated.
On one occasion, I was at an emerging church conference and was told directly that non-whites were not of any significance in the emerging church. Granted, this was one specific instance, but it led to the sense that the emerging church was not a welcoming place for ethnic minorities. At another conference, on the future of the church, one of the speakers invited up a blond-haired, 29-year-old, white male, replete with cool glasses and a goatee, and pronounced him the face of the emerging church. “This guy is a great representative of the future of American Christianity.” I cringed. In terms of the public face of the emerging church, white males dominated. It seemed like the same old, same old. As per the lyrics by The Who: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

Can We Talk?

by Brian McLaren 03-01-2010

The Manhattan Declaration’s harder challenge.

Everything Old is New Again

by Brian McLaren 07-01-2009

Ancient Christian practices are finding a home in post-modern Christianity.

Ancient-Future Christians

by Brian McLaren 07-01-2008
An excerpt from Finding Our Way Again.

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

by Brian McLaren 11-01-2007

Our 'framing' stories aren't serving us well. But there is an alternative: the good news of Jesus.

'Lord, Have Mercy'

by Brian McLaren 01-01-2007
Compassion and hope in the Haggard scandal.

A Brief History of the 21st Century

by Brian McLaren 08-01-2006

Chapter 11: The Former United States

Words, Not War, With Iran

'Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.' - Isaiah 2:4

Found in Translation

by Brian McLaren 03-01-2006

'Kingdom of God' is so last-century. Are there new ways to talk about Jesus' good news?