Brian McLaren book talk (Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World)

We are excited to host the DC stop for Brian McLaren’s national book tour entitled, “Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Muhammad Cross the Road?”  When four religious leaders walk across the road in McLaren’s book, it’s not the beginning of a joke.  It’s the start of one of the most important conversations in today’s, post-9/11 world.

This national book tour will correspond to the release of his new book ("Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Muhammad Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World") on September 11, 2012 (scroll down this page for info on pre-ordering tickets, pre-ordering the book, volunteering to usher, book discussions, etc).

Since 9/11 the question has become more and more urgent: How should Christians - members of the world’s largest religion - treat members of other religions? If we maintain an “Us vs. Them” attitude or make conversion the price of love and fellowship, we fuel mutual misunderstanding and hostility. But if we buy tolerance for other faiths at the cost of commitment to our own, we undermine our own faith.

In his best book yet, widely acclaimed author and speaker Brian McLaren proposes a third alternative to these unsatisfactory options, one built on “benevolence and solidarity rather than rivalry and hostility.” This way of being Christian is strong but it doesn’t strong-arm anyone. It goes far beyond mere tolerance to vigorous hospitality toward, interest in, and collaboration with the other. It is more necessary than ever before.

Simple yet profound, this groundbreaking book shows readers step-by-step how to reclaim this strong-benevolent faith, revealing:

• How a new understanding of key Christian doctrines can end religious rivalry and foster new relationships,
• How a fresh perspective of Christian and colonial history can replace our lingering “superior” attitudes with empathy and humility, and
• How by standing in solidarity with “the other” as Jesus did, we can become a force against injustice and inhumanity – fulfilling the Christian mission like never before

Blending history, narrative, and brilliant insight, McLaren challenges us to stop creating barriers in the name of God – and in doing so, he invites Christians to become more Christ-like.

Four Ways to Participate in Brian's National Book Tour When It Comes to DC: There are four ways to participate in Brian's national tour stop in DC: 1) RSVP for the free wine-tasting & reception with Brian on the appropriate meetup page, 2) purchase advanced tickets ($15) for the book talk & pre-order his book at Brian's national tour website (click here, please make sure you order tickets for the DC stop of the tour) (if you are coming to the main talk please RSVP on this page for planning purposes), 3) purchase last-minute tickets ($20) at the door on the day of the event, and/or 4) participate in the follow-up book discussions with other DC-folks interested in developing a compassionate Christian relationship with those coming from other faith traditions (Tim and Alex will be showing some scenes from the event as well as their interview with Brian on the topic earlier in the year).

More about our conversation partner: Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. After teaching college English, Brian pastored Cedar Ridge Community Church in the Baltimore-Washington DC area. Brian has been active in networking and mentoring church planters and pastors for over 20 years. He is a popular conference speaker and a frequent guest lecturer for denominational and ecumenical leadership gatherings in the U.S. and internationally.

Brian’s writing spans over a dozen books, including his acclaimed A New Kind of Christian trilogy, A Generous Orthodoxy, and his most recent title, Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words (2011). A frequent guest on television, radio, and news media programs, Brian is also an active and popular blogger, a musician, and an avid outdoor enthusiast. Learn more at his website, Brian is married to Grace, and they have four adult children.

Location & Logistics: Calvary Baptist Church (8th & H St) is only a block away from the stairs of the Chinatown Metro Exit (7th & H St) of the Gallery Place-Chinatown metro Station.  The Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station is at the intersection of the Red, Yellow, and Green Metro lines.  Calvary is only about 5 blocks away from the Metro Center Station which is at the intersection of the Red, Orange, and Blue Lines.

Parking and Driving: Although I do not recommend driving into downtown (because it's so crowded in this area, especially during rush hour), there are plenty of parking garages too in the area.  If you are coming from Maryland, I would recommend going down Rock Creek Parkway to go into the heart of the city. That's the quickest way to reach the location.  If you are coming from NOVA, you can drive north on I-395 under the Capitol Complex and get off on the exit for 2nd St. NW & Massachusetts Ave NW.  That puts you about 4 blocks away from the location.

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  • Charles A.

    Brian led with with an intro that appeared to be Columbus bashing? My first thoughts were just that. Then he made his point. Columbus did his most egregious acts in the name of the "Holy Trinity." Then came the Constantine connection to Columbus. Brian pointed out that Constantine's vision was not a cross, but a spear with a pole crossed with it. The image was later "cleaned" up to be a cross; nevertheless, Constantine claimed to conquer in the name of Christ. Hardly the way Jesus is protrayed in the N.T. Brian's point: we can be strong in our Christian faith, but we must own our history and be humbled by it. When visiting folks of other religions, we must come unarmed and humble like Francis of Assisi did when he visited the Sultan. During the question pahse, Brian gave some Bible reading tips: Never tell one story about a character in the Bible without telling the other stories. This is also true with Bible quoting such as John 14:6. Quote other verses on the same topic.

    September 16, 2012

  • Michelle

    A desperately needed conversation

    September 14, 2012

  • Glenn Z.

    great talk, very "outside" the box, looking forward to our book discussion

    September 14, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I left full of peace that someone could untangle the knots in our public discourse on faith so very graciously, genuinely, by stepping out the usual box to 'benevolence'.

    September 14, 2012

  • Susan

    Great. Well planned; excellent venue; amazing speaker.

    September 14, 2012

  • Glenn Z.

    If you have ordered books, you can pick them up as you give your ticket at the main door. thanks, Glenn

    September 12, 2012

  • Glenn Z.

    Please be sure to pre-order tickets or bring your money for a ticket tomorrow. Usually our events are free, but this one is organized by Brian McLaren's national book tour and they are charging to support the airfare, etc. See you tomorrow!

    September 12, 2012

  • melanie g.

    Hi Glenn - what would staffing a table require? How early would we have to arrive? Thanks for letting me know

    September 4, 2012

    • Glenn Z.

      Hi Melanie, thanks for your question. Yes, we would love to have an extra volunteer to help the Calvary Baptist volunteers & Brian's aide man the front tables at the front entrance. You would just hand out books and take tickets. If you can arrive around 6:30PM that would be great! Thanks, Glenn

      September 12, 2012

    • Glenn Z.

      Let me know if you are still interested!

      September 12, 2012

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