Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A "Deep Shift"

We've edited and added to this post a bit, so that it seemed good to put it up one more time with the "enhancements." If you've already seen the earlier version, just scroll down to the video conversation that Brian provides below. We hope you'll join the crowd this weekend!

"You’re invited to gather with a wonderful group of people as part of the Everything Must Change Tour in 2008.

Through conversation, presentation, art, music, and reflection, we’ll explore how the way of Jesus can bring transformation in our contemporary world...locally, nationally, and globally... beginning with us, beginning now."

You are invited to The Everything Must Change Tour in 2008--Eleven Cities in 2008. Click here to register for this event.

A weekend with Brian McLaren and friends: "We Are In Deep Shift"--A time of transition, rethinking, re-imagining, and re-envisioning. A time for asking new questions and seeking answers that are both new and old fresh and seasoned surprising and familiar.

What does it mean, in today’s world, to be a follower of God in the way of Jesus?

What does it mean to be a faith community engaged in the holistic, integral mission of God in our world today?

How do we, as individuals and organizations, respond faithfully to the crises facing our world?

What is our duty to God, ourselves, our families, our neighbors, our enemies, and our planet in light of Jesus’ radical message of the kingdom of God?

How can we engage in personal formation and theological reformulation for global transformation?

Living in "deep shift" can be exhilarating and energizing, but it can also be disorienting and frightening.

Deep Shift was created to provide spiritual guidance for organizations. Deep Shift provides support as leaders make their own personal deep shift and guide their organizations through the transition and transformation necessary to ignite the loving energy of people to work for the good of the world: coaching, consulting, and resources for people leading in deep shift — faith community and church leaders, nonprofit leaders, ethical business leaders and others.

February 22-23, 2008: Dallas, Texas at Cliff Temple Baptist Church.

To register, visit the website:

For more details, visit the website at: http://www.deepshift.org/dallas.

Below is a video of Brian McLaren explaining the tour. This video is also available here:


Politics & Culture said...

As I said on another blog.....

I like some of McLaren’s stuff. I really do. But he bugs me because he won’t answer a question! He is so damn vague! Yes, some questions call for nuance. But many questions deserve a direct answer. And he just won’t give one.

Here’s an example…..

Question: Brian, is the sky blue?

Answer: Well, as we look at the sky and ponder its hue, we really have to put it in the metanarrative of postmodernity. I find the works of my friends Jim Wallis and Shane Claiborne to be very helpful in addressing such questions, for they are able to look beyond what is and see what could be. And I really appreciate the words of my friend Bono — “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”


Anonymous said...

You know when one inserts "re" in fromt of a word it can't be good.

Larry James said...

I don't think McClaren's problem for most people is that he doesn't answer a question. I think the problem lots of people have is that he both answers questions clearly (but not as many would prefer) and that he asks the "wrong" questions on a far too regular basis.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone need Brian McLaren to provide "consulting, coaching and resources"? I thought the authoritarian, discipleship movement ran its course years ago. Remember the Boston Movement? I suggest anyone should run the other way from Brian McLaren. How about using Jesus Christ as our coach? We do not need Brian McLaren and Deep Shift to provide spiritual guidance.

Anonymous said...

Anon, let's see. No "re" in front of words, hum.

No re-newal.

No re-form.

No re-birth.

No re-conciliation.

No re-demption.

No re-storation.

No re-entry.

Hmmm. Nothing new, huh? I think I get your point.

Eric Livingston said...

I've found McLaren to be pretty straightforward except on the topic of eschatology. McLaren specifically addresses what he sees as the real message of Jesus in his "Secret Message of Jesus" and then reiterates a good bit of this material in the early chapters of "Everything Must Change" before he goes on to comment on the existing systems that contribute to injustice in our society. Those arguments are laid out well and specifically.

He does get a bit vague on his eschatology. While his thoughts in this area are interesting and provoke good thought, I can't accept his ideas in their wholeness as vaguely stated in the book. He's elaborated a bit in some podcasts and elsewhere, but the book can leave the reader with a skewed view of biblical eschatology. Brian himself has even commented a bit on that.

Justin said...

I think his point in the last word was to introduce other ideas, and let the reader come to their own conclusion. Personally, I read that, and it pushed me into further study of the issues because it raised a ton of questions that I'd never even thought before.

Anon, re: boston movement

We're not talking about discipleship the same way those in the ICOC did/do. Discipleship is a concept in the Bible. It does talk about making disciples.

Like I said earlier, I love this book. I don't agree with McLaren on some of his economic theories, but he's on the right track in questioning why things don't work the way they should. From my vantage point, it has a lot to do with corrupt government intervention, but you all know that all ready.

Anonymous said...

Anon, to come at any of these issues from the perspective of the traditional Church of Christ denomination is to admit in reality that you have nothing much to add to this sort of dicussion, as is revealed by your comments about McLaren.

Larry James said...

Anon 3:45 p.m., do you mean that there is no need today for teachers and instructors who help us understand and apply the truths of our faith? Are you arguing for no teachers? I guess I don't understand your point here. Or, are you just against McLaren? Honest questions.

Anonymous said...

No, I am not against teachers but I don't think it would be wise to be "coached" by McLaren. I have spent considerable time reading some reviews of his various books. From what I understand he is very controversial in that he has largely abandoned the gospel and is more than likely a Marxist. I don't see how you can even advertise his tour. If you want to understand the truths of our faith you should not go to McLaren. He doesn't even know what truth is. This is not just my opinion but many others as well.

Anonymous said...

"I have spent considerable time reading some reviews of his various books."

I'm not mocking your concerns, 10:47, but your experience with McClaren's writings seem a bit inadequate for the judgments you make. Pulling your opinions solely from other people rather than going directly to the source is never a smart idea.

Kind of like asking your friends what you look like without ever looking in a mirror to confirm it yourself...

Anonymous said...

well 11:20, since many of them quote him word for word, I feel confident that my assessment has merit.

Larry James said...

For the record, McLaren is not a Marxist. He is an Evangelical and, until very recently, had been a pastor with a local church in Virginia. His thought and his books emerged from his experiences in ministry to people in that context. We can be critical of ideas and positions, but we need to take great care in our evaluations of people and their work when it comes to getting our facts right.

Anonymous said...

"McLaren does indeed inject a Marxist feamework into his interpretation of the opening chapters of Gensis. Gone are the ideas of sin, rebellion,disobedience against God, the fall of man, and the Lord's solution to our sin in the promise of a savior. McLaren has replaced these Biblical themes with the economic and political categories of consumption, class warfare, and imperialism.

In "Everything Must Change" we are finally able to see what McLaren has been up to. In his book we are witnessing the emergence of a North American protestant strain of Liberation Theology and a resurgent "Religious Left" that will have a twisted Biblical 'framing story' that they can use to impose their interpretation of the 'common good' upon all of us in the name of God's new 'Love Economy.'

Justin said...

I read the book. I didn't see any marxist tendencies, maybe some toward an unworkable economic system, but definitely not marxist. And you can ask anyone here, I'm about as capitalist as they come.

Anonymous said...


A Deep Shift to the Heart of Jesus

A shift from obeying religious rules focus to a helping people focus.
A shift from shameful timidity, to boldness to confront the religious powers of the
A shift from people who have religious credentials to people who can get the
job done.
A shift from away from avoiding difficulties to walking toward them in order to
A shift from avoiding suffering and pain to embracing it as a part of embracing
God’s work in the world.
A shift from correcting your enemies to learning from them.
A shift from judging others to forgiving others.
A shift from what do I get to what can I give.
A shift from teaching by words to teaching by experiences.
A shift from chasing false teachers to allowing them to lead false followers out of
the way.
A shift from examining others to self examination.
A shift from being a judge to being a fruit inspector.
A shift from changing our words to changing our practice.

Larry Wishard

Larry James said...

Larry, thanks for the poetic response! I'm lovin' that! Hope you can come to the event.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your response to anon, Justin, concerning "Marxist" tendencies in McClaren's work. I'll confirm your strong capitalist leanings.

And, anon, I can quote the Bible itself out of context all day long to "prove" it says all kinds of things it doesn't, so please don't post useless, twisted readings from second hand sources. Read the book, then come back and let's talk.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about McLaren being a Marxist but I do know that Jesus was not a Western Capitolist in his economic ideas.