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Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope

By Brian D. McLaren (Author) & Lloyd James (Read by)
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Item description for Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope by Brian D. McLaren & Lloyd James...

What do the life and teaching of Jesus have to say about the most critical global problems in our world today? McLaren asks, "Shouldn't a message purporting to be the best news in the world be doing better than this?" What he sets forth in this provocative, unsettling work is a "form of Christian faith that is holistic, integral, balanced, that offers good news for both the living and the dying, that speaks of God's grace at work both in this life and the life to come, both to individuals and to societies and the planet as a whole."

Publishers Description
What do the life and teaching of Jesus have to say about the most critical global problems in our world today? Acclaimed author and Emergent church leader Brian McLaren states, More and more Christian leaders are beginning to realize that for the millions of young adults who have recently dropped out of church, Christianity is a failed religion. Why? Because it has specialized in dealing with 'spiritual needs' to the exclusion of physical and social needs. It has focused on 'me' and 'my eternal destiny, ' but it has failed to address the dominant societal and global realities of their lifetime: systemic injustice, poverty, and dysfunction. McLaren asks, Shouldn't a message purporting to be the best news in the world be doing better than this? What he sets forth in this provocative, unsettling work is a form of Christian faith that is holistic, integral, balanced, that offers good news for both the living and the dying, that speaks of God's grace at work both in this life and the life to come, both to individuals and to societies and the planet as a whole.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Hovel Audio
Running Time: 600.00 minutes
Pages   1
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.12" Width: 5.06" Height: 0.76"
Weight:   0.39 lbs.
Binding  CD
Release Date   Oct 1, 2007
Publisher   Hovel Audio
Edition  Unabridged  
ISBN  1596445157  
ISBN13  9781596445154  

Availability  0 units.

More About Brian D. McLaren & Lloyd James

Brian D. McLaren Brian D. McLaren is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in the Washington-Baltimore area. He is the author of four previous books on contemporary Christianity, including The Church on the Other Side: Doing Ministry in the Postmodern Matrix (2000) and A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey (Jossey-Bass, 2001), which won a Christianity Today Award of Merit for Best Christian Living title, 2002.

About Leadership Network
The mission of Leadership Network is to accelerate the effectiveness of the church by identifying and connecting strategic leaders and providing them with resources in the form of new ideas, people, and tools. Churches and church leaders served by Leadership Network represent a wide variety of primarily Protestant faith traditions that range from mainline to evangelical to independent. All are characterized by innovation, entrepreneurial leadership, and a desire to be on the leading edge of ministry.

Brian D. McLaren currently resides in the state of Maryland. Brian D. McLaren was born in 1956.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Jesus

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope?

I agree with this book's author!  Sep 29, 2008
I agree with this book's author! I am very pleased to see that there are some Christians who care about making the world we are living in a better place. Like Brian McLaren, I don't approve of Christians who don't care about how bad the world we are living in is, as long as they go to Heaven when they die. I find it very ironic that George W. Bush has shown no evidence of caring about the rich getting richer only at the expense of the poor getting poorer, or any other quality of life issues when he is a Christian (or at least claims to be). It is even more ironic that North America's conservative Christians have generally been among the strongest supporters of right-wing governments when right-wing governments, although more strongly against sex-related sins than left-wing ones, have not shown any evidence of caring about greed-related sins, and have, in fact, even been promoting them. Personally, I used to be a strong supporter of conservative governments myself, but in recent years, I have been having second thoughts about them.
The good and the bad  Aug 18, 2008
Where would we be without people that actualy take the time to think and analyze the things we think and do. If you're able to put preconcieved ideas out of your head for a bit you'll find this book a very interesting exersize.
What I was dissappointed in:
There seems to be a broad acceptance of much of the liberal teaching in this book. While our earth care as a society does have a dismal record many of the things being preached (global warming in particular) simply have yet to be proved. Our ability to measure has outgrown our knowledge of history and we seem bent on using our recently aquired ability to measure to drum up support for most anything we can make the numbers infer. Second his acceptance that business is just after another customer and and forgets all about the customer they have is another statement without fact. So many take for granted that because 1% of the businesses do something bad that paints all business with the same brush. I find these types of broad generalizations dissappointing.
While Brian spends much time on the "Security" issue and quotes turn the other cheek passages he really doesn't even attempt to reconcile that view with the "I AM" of the old testament who ordered the Israelites to kill every man, woman and child. I would find it most helpful to have the justice of that placed in context of the New Testament. Taking portions of scripture to prove a point without a full discussion of those scriptures that might cloud the issue seems a bit counter productive.
What I liked:
In short this book has caused me to start a complete overhaul of the way I live my life. Politically I would call myself a conservative but now I'm pretty much ready to throw political labels aside and find a another title. Most of the things talked about in this book I really never thought about in terms of christian responsiblity. What happened outside my city, county, state, etc.. just happened and that was just reality. War is just a reality and there's really nothing I can do about it. Now however, I am forced to take a really hard look at my consuption, earth care, care for my neighbor, even if in another country or unborn, and what Jesus would have me do. Working through this will, over time, change my christian walk completely.
McLaren's Jesus is not Jesus  Aug 12, 2008
If Brian McLaren wants to write a book about social ills he should do so, but he should leave Jesus out of it. I started reading this book and never finished it because of his blatant twisting of Jesus' message.

The sad part is that he won't accept the real Jesus in scripture and that is the Jesus that will soften a man's heart and therefore, make a difference in the issues of our day.
Don't fear the bad reviews!  Jul 29, 2008
When Jesus came to earth, most people either followed Him or decided He had to die. That was the radical nature of His message in their culture. Likewise, you cannot dissect and apply His message to our own culture without inciting similar reactions. I see Brian McLaren as more philosopher than theologian. Theologians answer the important questions; philosophers ask them. The problem with many Christians (or religious people) is they feel they must condemn anything they don't 100% agree with. That's what killed the prophets, both ancient and contemporary. They asked dangerous and status-threatening questions. Thank you Brian, for asking the important questions that most of Chistendom is not asking (i.e. what does our faith have to say about the world's most important crises?)
Emerging Church & the alternative framing story of hope  Jul 19, 2008
Brian McLaren may be the most widely known proponent for the Emerging Church in the twenty-first century. The first book I read by McLaren is A New Kind of Christian, which I felt articulated my own frustration with modern expressions of church and Christianity. McLaren has become a prolific writer articulating the journey out of the modern trappings of the Western Church. McLaren is an associate in the Emergent Village, a group of Emerging Church leaders. Famed for his radical and sometimes threateningly abrasive tone as he describes modern Western Christianity, McLaren is often reviled by critics of the Emerging Church and Emergent Movement. Retired from the pastorate in Maryland, McLaren recently completed the "EMC" (Everything Must Change) Tour. He now travels, speaks, writes, and learns especially from friends in Latin America and Africa, how to change our "inner ecology" (294) and therefore help create a community freed from the dominant framing story through the viral message of Jesus.

This book is framed with McLaren's two important questions: What are the biggest problems in the world today? and What do the life and teachings of Jesus have to say about these global problems? (45) McLaren seeks the answers to those questions with his underlying thesis that we are beholden to a destructive framing story and that in the gospel of Jesus Christ, "a message purporting to be the best news in the world should be doing better than this." (34) The biggest problems in the world, as McLaren puts forth, are as a result of a "Suicide Machine," an invisible killer, feeding off of and destroying all life and corrupting the Earth's ecosystem. The Earth is a complex ecosystem in which human society is a participant. In as much as our societal machine, including prosperity, equity, and security, is not cooperatively and creatively informed by the good news of the kingdom of God, humankind will accept the curriculum and teaching of an alternative framing story, one which blinds our eyes to the increasing demands and abuse our societal "machine" places on the Earth's ecosystem.

This book shows how Christians have accepted a "gospel about Jesus", but we have failed to accept the "better news", the "gospel of Jesus", which is the message of the Kingdom of God. (83) McLaren only touches the problematic implications and interpretations of Protestant Reformation orthodoxy, such as Predestination. It is difficult for those who live consistently with that theological framework to not ask, "Why, if the Titanic is destined to sink, should we rearrange the deck chairs"? (153) The Bible, McLaren asserts, is not simply a book about how the "Elect" go to heaven and therefore will abandon the Earth, but a "story of the partnership between God and humanity to save and transform all of human society and avert global destruction." (94)

This book begins with our two questions, considers the "frame" of the conventional gospel story, and reintroduces us to Jesus. The first chapters introduce us to an alternative voice, a health care worker from South Africa, who pointed out the "nonsense" of the conventional gospel, how pastors are preoccupied with divine healing, being born again, and tithing. (27) McLaren relates how this kind of "dissatisfaction" with the current circumstance, coupled with a "shared imagination and hope, combine to form an emerging consensus that is spreading across the Global South," the new Majority Church, and emerging Christian leaders are realizing that "if their message isn't good news for the isn't the same message that Jesus proclaimed." (30) By including the voices of the Global South, McLaren broadens the emerging church discussion, showing the "two sided coin," the "postmodern" side, which is a perspective from the West, and "postcolonial" side, which is the perspective of those formerly dominated by the West. (44) The "way out" of the West's ugly, excessively confident, dominating, and exploitative narrative and the non-West's formerly colonized and oppressed people, is face-to-face meeting, dialogue, and community formation around the kingdom message of Jesus.
McLaren points out that the necessary change in our world is not "cosmetic" or merely a matter of being "relevant to culture." (32) Rather, like the South African health care worker, the necessary change is seen in the contrast between thoughtful young educated people, who are asking the difficult questions about larger societal and systemic injustices, and the typical adherents to the Christian religion, whose ultimate concern is most typically for only private and spiritual matters. The call, that "everything must change," is rooted in the dichotomy between spiritual and natural concerns. Just as Jesus warned his disciples to "beware the leaven," the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees, McLaren warns us of the dangers of "Foundationalism" and "destructive framing stories," combined with the lethal injection of "excessive confidence" in Christian religion most notable since the Enlightenment. (44)

The global problems plaguing the world have been reduced to lists by international agencies like the United Nations (Millennial Goals) and well-meaning Evangelical leaders (i.e. Rick Warren's 5-Point PEACE plan), which still imply on the part of the list-makers a confidence that such global issues can be broken down and solved according to the same Modern Western Framing Story that created the problems. Quoting Einstein, "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it", McLaren points out some bigger questions. How do we affect global change? How do we get free from the dominant system? McLaren writes of "liberating our imaginations from captivity;" (254) to whom are we captive? ourselves?, some conspiratorial group?, or is it spiritual forces in heavenly places, as Paul reveals? Who are our teachers? What questions might we ask today, which will affect the greatest transformative change and bring the greatest liberty from captivity for our society, and the world? If the idealist Boomer generation Jesus People became complicit to the dominant system, diseased with an ideology that created independent evangelical churches, what will this generation do? Or will the Emerging Church, those communities emerging from Western Christianity and out of the Western, Southern, and Eastern parts of the globe, be flexible enough in this generation to affect a radical reconciliation effort?

Clearly, we need help and we must ask difficult questions to "discern and articulate the alternative narrative of Jesus." (122) For example, why was Jesus tempted in the wilderness? (139) McLaren points out how even Jesus needed to stand against the "Suicide Machine" of the Roman Empire. We must beware of our teachers, and not just their ideas or systems they establish, but the teachers and "system" enforcers. We must ask where we place our faith and how our framing story of conquest causes us to be "driven" (137), the dehumanizing "Theo-capitalism" drive to go faster and faster, producing more and more. (192) Why do we listen to Jesus explanation of the value of our lives in comparison to a sparrow, which therefore has some value, and yet accept a dualist view of the value of an "immaterial" human soul? (138) Does our understanding of the gospel somehow lead to "derangement" (removed from our natural place in the world) and "decomposition" (divorced from what had previously been joined)? Is our spiritual aim the "disembodiment of soul" (standing outside ourselves), and a kind of spiritual ecstasy, like "a drug-induced euphoria or a hypnotically induced trance...(which therefore leaves us) liberated from all duty as embodied, environmented creatures"? (142)
The second half of this book penetrates deeper, examining and re-framing the systems of Security, Prosperity, and Equity. Chris Hedges, war zone journalist with intimate knowledge of the extent of the Security system and our nation's military investments, points out another kind of derangement saying that nations at war "fall into a collective `autism'...and do not listen to those outside the inner circle." (174) McLaren outlines in graphic detail the ugliness of the Security, Prosperity, and Equity systems in the "Suicide Machine" as if he were recruiting members to join a modern insurgency to overthrow, well...everything. Before you join, or toss aside this crazy notion, consider a few more questions we should be ready to answer: Do I believe that war is "simply a continuation of political intercourse"? (167) While he appears very much like he is presenting an argument for Ideological Pacificism, he steps away from that polarizing position to call for "a new dialogue" (176) replacing our craving for security with a passion for justice through "vibrant, reconciled communities". (182)

McLaren calls for a "New Global Love Economy" in the image of "God's sacred ecosystem." (128-131) He calls us to join the "Divine Peace Insurgency" to rebuild our societal system "as a beloved community." (151) He presents an economic plan of the kingdom of God with sustainable development and fruitfulness as the goal, not consumption. (207-9) Rather than completely abandon organized religion, he calls for "Organizing Religion" to strengthen families and communities through "celebrating virtue and training people to practice it." (264) Rather than call for political involvement, which tends to quickly polarize even the least partisan leaders, he calls for a radical believing, "believing the alternative and transforming framing story." (270) Rather than change the political system (not to mention the business, military, and even religious systems), which tends to attract those who change with the political wind, he repeats what Jim Wallis recommends: "Change the wind." This book is a call to activism with resurrection faith. This "insurgency" will not be defeated, but will "move quietly, at the margins, where all revolutions begin." (272) This is the Emerging Church, the maturing upward spiral of God's people with vision (276), those who are disbelieving a "covert curriculum, a curriculum that must be unlearned." (284) This Emerging Church is creating new lesson plans with a common script and a common faith to move mountains of oppressive systems by faith.

The vision McLaren presents in Everything Must Change is a radical restructuring of society. Jesus was constantly teaching, but only lecturing part of the time. He modeled life, crossed cultural barriers, confronted systems of thinking, and fully surrendered his rights to get his message across. This, it seems to me, is a time to re-examine all my models of ministry. One of the greatest implications of this book to my ministry is a shift in my thinking toward radical community as a transformative witness. In the past I have given myself to integrated, holistic, transformative mission "projects," but I have not formed communities, which share vision for sustainable development, reconciliation, and transformation. I'm turning away from the mission approach of transforming individuals to a radical shift of transforming communities.

The implication of this book for the global Church and for my ministry is an invitation to change personally and corporately, to partner with Christians from the West and the global South and East. I may live consistently within my foundational presuppositions, however because those presuppositions of God's nature and activity are different, I can reach very different conclusions unless I consider how much I am serving and supporting a system that is not the kingdom of God. Humankind spars for territory and resources in a closed environment producing a lot of heat, but little benefit for our global neighbors. McLaren is calling for a new ecosystem that nourishes, blesses, and sustains God's kind of life. For those trapped in the destructive ecosystem of liberalism and conservatism, there is a way out. However, it appears that way is frightfully simple, "BELIEVE." Our faith will carry us into a new environment, out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of His dear Son. Like Paul the apostle, who ruthlessly examined all his presumptions as a Pharisee, about God, right and wrong, and the Messiah, we need to ruthlessly examine those bonds that tie us to the "Suicide Machine". Something needs to change and I believe it begins with me.

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