Picture of author.

About the Author

Brian D. McLaren is a prominent, controversial evangelical pastor. He was recognized as one of Time magazine's "25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America" in 2005, and is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Maryland. Born in 1956, Brian McLaren graduated from the show more University of Maryland, College Park, with BA and MA degrees in English. After several years of teaching English and consulting in higher education, he left academia in 1986 to become the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church, a nondenominational church in the Baltimore-Washington region. Many of the books that McLaren has authored, including the "A New Kind of Christian" trilogy, deal with Christianity in the context of the cultural shift towards a new emerging church movement. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Brian McLaren (foreground) and Tony Jones, Yale Theological Conversation, Yale Divinity School, February 2006; Photograph: Virgil Vaduva CC BY 2.5, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8898590


Works by Brian D. McLaren

More Ready Than You Realize (2002) 548 copies, 4 reviews
The Church on the Other Side (2000) 485 copies, 4 reviews
The Justice Project (2009) 91 copies, 1 review
The Voice of Luke: Not Even Sandals (2007) 72 copies, 1 review
Reinventing Your Church (1998) 66 copies
Cory and the Seventh Story (2018) 20 copies, 1 review
The Word of the Lord to Democrats (2012) 9 copies, 3 reviews
The Word of the Lord to Evangelicals (2012) 9 copies, 2 reviews

Associated Works

The Voice of Acts: The Dust Off Their Feet: Lessons from the First Church (2006) — some editions — 111 copies, 1 review
Leading From Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead (2007) — Contributor — 102 copies, 3 reviews
A New Kind Of Conversation (2006) — Contributor — 27 copies
Peace Be with You: Christ's Benediction amid Violent Empires (2010) — Contributor — 9 copies, 1 review


Common Knowledge



It’s the end of the world as we know it. And we’re not fine.

So what can we do?

In Life After Doom: Wisdom and Courage for a World Falling Apart, (galley received as part of early review program), Brian McLaren considers our present predicament and how we might deal with it.

He began by describing the possible ways climate change and civilization plays out. Some of the models involve a lot of suffering but most of us would find them not entirely intolerable. Some of the models involve the complete collapse of everything we hold dear, and ourselves.

For many this is all overhyped and excessive. It won’t be that bad, they think. It can’t be that bad. This kind of bargaining is common, as the author well knows, and has experienced himself. None of us want to think it could be that bad. No one can really imagine the end of everything he or she knows.

But that hasn’t ever been able to stop it when things do get that bad, and everything a person knows is gone. Ask the Israelites of the Exile. Ask the western world of the fifth and sixth centuries.

But the book is about life after doom. How to live in light of all these matters? The author addresses the way things are and how they have come about. He points out how we got here because of our colonialist/dominionist heritage of exploitation. He wants us to call in the poets. He wants us to heed indigenous wisdom - although his definition of “indigenous,” which probably does not originate with him, is pretty expansive. He would like to appeal beyond the religious, but the author’s heritage in Christianity and that perspective informs everything. He wants to prepare you for the end of everything; how well one might feel prepared by the end is another story.

But he does not want it to be all about doom and despair. He wants to encourage hope in doing what can be done. The author does well to remind us how this will not be the end of the world: it would seem the earth has been as hot as it is now before, and much more. The earth will persevere until the Lord comes; it might just not be as amenable or comfortable for us. So whatever we can do can at least marginally improve our conditions and perhaps also for the future. We live at arguably one of the greatest times to be alive; our goal should not be to enjoy everything to the hurt and harm of all who come afterward, but to find ways to conserve and preserve our environment.

It is harder today to deny the changes to our climate than it was a decade ago; no doubt it will continually prove harder to deny them, despite all the work of those who profit by the status quo to try to do so. We do well to consider how we can live within our means as human beings on a finite planet without depleting all the finite resources. We cannot know exactly what will be; but, as in all things, we do best when we are prepared for the worst while doing what we can to make it for the best.
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deusvitae | Jun 9, 2024 |
A hilarious short creative non-fiction by Mclaren spinning a tale of an American lawyer become profet in the middle of an election campaign. It's a must read.
olterman | 2 other reviews | May 25, 2024 |
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16

The author believes that many people who leave "the church" do not leave because they no longer want to follow Jesus. Rather, they leave so they can follow Jesus. This book does not advocate giving up church; in fact, community is promoted. However, many times we start to depend on church for our spiritual life and as more church-goers do this, the church becomes stagnant and relies more on being locked into tradition than on finding ways to open up to God's will. As the author states, “God can’t be contained by the structures that claim to serve him but often try to manage and control him.” This book tells us how we can turn ourselves and our churches back to serving God.

There are several questions at the end of each chapter and a Study Guide at the end of the book. Because I didn’t want to distract myself, I didn’t take the time to sit down and answer the questions. I will do so in the near future. I did read all the questions and one stood out for me. Part of the question reads: “Imagine that all church services were shut down and church buildings closed, all denominations disbanded. Imagine that the only way Christian faith could survive was through people living it and passing it on to others through friendship and daily informal interaction.” Living our faith, what a concept.

I enjoyed the author's friendly writing style. I firmly believe God wants us to enjoy life and it's clear that Mr. McLaren shares that belief. He includes personal stories and humor and is not afraid to make fun of himself. (Such as the fly-fishing lesson gone awry in which he described himself as a criminal caught in Spiderman’s net.) This turns what could have been a dry, hard-to-read book into an enjoyable, informative and thought-provoking book.

This book is written, not just for Christians, but also for Jews and Muslims.

The seven ancient practices are fixed-hour prayer, fasting, observing the Sabbath, the sacred meal, pilgrimage, observance of sacred seasons (the liturgal calendar), and giving.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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amandabeaty | 11 other reviews | Jan 4, 2024 |
After several other McLaren titles, I thought I'd enjoy this one. Maybe it's about timing, but the writing didn't engage me. His topic holds great potential, but the tone of the writer (see what I know/how I'm thinking) proved distracting to me.
rebwaring | 10 other reviews | Aug 14, 2023 |


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