Past Meetup

Brian McLaren Conversation on Faith, Questions, & Civility

This Meetup is past

131 people went

Busboys & Poets

14th St NW & V St NW · Washington, DC

How to find us

we'll be in the Langston room, the big room for speaker events

Location image of event venue


Join us for a special conversation between Brian McLaren and two emerging documentary filmmakers—Alex Bowen and Tim Kennedy—on the challenges of maintaining civility while asking the hard questions about faith, justice, power, etc. in both the Christian community and U.S. society. This event will be a launch party for the final section of their documentary film project. Several completed scenes from Alex and Tim’s new documentary ("ANYTHING LESS WOULD BE UNCIVILIZED") with interviews with McLaren will be screened as a part of the conversation. With our faith, economy, and world in turmoil right now, there are few questions as important as this one!

Questions we'll be exploring over a beer include:
How can one embrace both faith and doubt?;
Why can’t many churches allow people to ask questions?;
Does asking questions represent a phase in one's faith or a lifestyle choice?
How can we question in community while maintaining respect for each other?;
Can doubt actually be the pathway to a reenergized faith?, and, What would Jesus question about our status-quo (WWJQ)?

About our conversation partners (Brian, Alex, and Tim): Brian McLaren is one of the premier spiritual writers, public theologians, and church reformers of our time. But more importantly, he has a lifetime of experience in asking hard questions about faith while maintaining civility with family, neighbors, and church friends. From personal experience, he knows what it means to be rejected by friends and colleagues once you start asking hard questions about faith, justice, and church. He has provocatively advocated putting questions, not creeds, at the center of our faith in his latest book, A NEW KIND OF CHRISTIANITY: TEN QUESTIONS RESHAPING THE FAITH (click here for his Huffington Post article summarizing his argument on Questions) ( Brian will be signing copies of A NEW KIND OF CHRISTIANITY at the event(click here to order from Busboy's Teach for Change online bookstore). (

Similarly, Alex Bowens & Timothy Kennedy are filming a documentary entitled “ANYTHING LESS WOULD BE UNCIVILIZED” that explores the importance of asking questions in one's faith. Their documentary is being filmed through their media group, CREATIVE INVIRONMENT (cli ( here for the trailer and website) ( Their fundraising page at KICKSTARTER.COM (click here to see how this innovative "crowd-sourcing" fundraising program for creative projects works) ( will go live on January 16th. The two artists filmed Brian McLaren and several members of local Emerging groups in the making of the documentary.

All three conversation partners are passionate about the need for Christians and other Americans to relearn the importance of civility & questions when talking about faith. Besides a talk by Brian McLaren, the evening will include completed scenes of the documentary and a Q & A session with interviewees in the film and audience members.

How you can help this project: The event will be free, but everyone has the opportunity to give a donation when we pass the hat for this project at the event of the event. We want to support this creative project that has emerged from our own ranks! At the event, Alex Bowens and Timothy Kennedy will tell you about how to stay involved through their page (and promote it through your networks). Their page will launch on January 16th.

Hope you can join us for this great conversation!



Other Logistics:

About Eating and Drinking:
Busboys does not charge a lot for book signing events because they sometimes make some money off of food and drink sales. Please consider ordering something from the wait staff when the event starts to help support our use of the room. Thanks a bunch!

About Parking:
Parking is available after 5PM at the Reeves Government Center for $10 - the entrance to the parking is on U Street between 14th and 15th. Street parking is also available - best times for street parking is early in the evening on 14th Street or V Street - it is free after 6:30PM and on Weekends all day.

About the nearest Metro connection:
Busboys is 2 blocks from the Metro Green Line - U Street Cardozo stop