Saturday, March 22, 2014

Inspiring Thoughts from Brian McLaren

The wonderful NPR show On Being featured Brian McLaren recently.  I've read his books and enjoyed them thoroughly.  He's also a wonderful speaker.  I couldn't resist capturing some quotes here.  You can read the transcript, listen to the show, and enjoy other resources here.

"So I had this knowledge of the Bible, but when I was in college and graduate school studying literature, especially when I encountered the amazing work of Walker Percy, I realized that, if I were to read the Bible literarily as opposed to literally, it would be a completely different experience."

"Well, when you think about it like this, I mean, this comparison probably is never made before and maybe never should again. But, you know, when you think of the '60s and '70s and all the hippies who want to get back to nature, I mean, in a way the monastics were saying let's get out of this whole civilization that's built around weapons and raising children to be — raising boys to be soldiers and this whole militarized fusion of Christianity. The only way we can rediscover our faith is to get back out in the country, get away from the cities.

Now, look, I don't think that's the whole solution, but I think it's a very valid response when you are saying if we're going to save our faith, we have to find a way to extract it. And I'll tell you, that still keeps me up at night, because I think we're very early in this rethinking process and we have a lot of deep questions that still have to be asked about how we practice a faith that is not just either a nice diversion while the empire rages on or is actually a chaplaincy to the continuation of this juggernaut that is affecting people and is affecting the environment and is affecting the future."

"One of my mentors said to me, 'What you focus on determines what you miss.' And I was taught to read every verse in the Bible to find out who's going to heaven and who's going to hell. But when you start noticing other things, you start looking for other things, the Bible becomes a different book. And I think Jesus becomes a very different person and the Christian faith can become a very different faith."

"There is something about faith when it's translated into caring for the earth and caring for your neighbor and caring for the poor and caring for the stranger and the immigrant and the other. Don't you all agree? I mean, that is a spirituality that cannot be matched anywhere else."

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