• Do I Stay Christian?

  • A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned
  • By: Brian D. McLaren
  • Narrated by: Brian D. McLaren
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (84 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Dubbed "a heroic gate-crasher" by New York Times bestselling author Glennon Doyle, Brian D. McLaren explores reasons to leave or stay within the church and if so how...

"Brian's new book on remaining Christian knocks it out of the ballpark in terms of framing and naming the questions. I cannot stop reading it. Thank you, Brian!"—Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, author of The Universal Christ 

"Any thoughtful Christian has been asking the questions McLaren tackles here, but many of us are afraid to voice them aloud. In Do I Stay Christian?, we’re gifted a gentle guide who opens ideas and voices the questions we cannot, naming our frustration, fear, and hesitant hope."—Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, former Senior Minister, The Riverside Church; Founder, Invested Faith

Do I Stay Christian? addresses in public the powerful question that surprising numbers of people—including pastors, priests, and other religious leaders—are asking in private. Picking up where Faith After Doubt leaves off, Do I Stay Christian? is not McLaren's attempt to persuade Christians to dig in their heels or run for the exit. Instead, he combines his own experience with that of thousands of people who have confided in him over the years to help listeners make a responsible, honest, ethical decision about their religious identity.

There is a way to say both yes and no to the question of staying Christian, McLaren says, by shifting the focus from whether we stay Christian to how we stay human. If Do I Stay Christian? is the question you're asking—or if it's a question that someone you love is asking—this is the book you've been waiting for.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 Brian D. McLaren (P)2022 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Do I Stay Christian?

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Wonderful to not be alone

I struggle with these questions all the time and it was wonderful to know I am not alone. I have often thought that the boxes so many people put their religions in are the very reason I could not identify with any of them. Christian box people either in or out and separate themselves from others which always seemed contradictory to what Jesus was trying to tell us. Thank you for writing this book, your other books have been leading us here and it feels like we are finally finding our path to better Love one another, be just to one another, be kind to one another and just be better humans!

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Read, Listen, feel, reflect…..connect

Bravely looks at the many reasons why institutions (religious, political & social) devolve into exclusionary fortresses that inhibit natural growth, evolution and ultimately lose sight of the ideals upon which they were founded. The author does not dictate what the reader should do- rather provides options for consideration and therefore lets the audience follow the path that’s right for them- at the stage they find themselves.
It takes a wise teacher to admit that they don’t have the answer and that the answer is the personal journey.

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Must listen!

Hard to hear, but a message that needs to be heard and taken to heart. I too have struggled staying a Christian. I have decided to become a Jesus follower. Thank you Brian for your honesty and courage to write this book!

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Time for thought

I found “Do I Stay Christian?” to be challenging, upsetting, and liberating. I am at peace not having to answer the question yet, and am challenged to answer first what kind of human do I want to be.

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One of the great Christian Books of our Post Modern Era

Raised as a Christian, I have been faithful in church attendance for seven decades. In my late twenties, I studied a couple years in a post graduate theological seminary where I began to develop serious doubts, not about God but, about Christian dogma and basic theological constructs that defied both my reason and my own inner experience. I was ostracized both by the institution and m family for not being a true believer.
This painful experience was ultimately a blessing from God. This ostracism allowed me a freedom over the next 50 years to not be bound by a rigid doctrinal prescription. I have been free to study the Bible and theology with some of the best in critical scholarship, archeology, Buddhist meditation practice and the richness of Christian mysticism.
As an old man I deeply love God but I am equally deeply disappointed, even repulsed by much of the Christian church as expressed in America. I am repulsed by some Christians in my own family who equate conservative politics and capitalism with Jesus’s teachings. I feel embarrassed to call myself a Christian because most hearing me automatically associate my faith with what typically passes as American Christianity.
Sadly, I agree with every reason McLaren gives for leaving Christianity altogether. Like him, I can only have empathy and respectful understanding for those who do decide to no longer call themselves Christian.
Equally, for the same reasons as McLaren, I choose to hang on to this, my faith tradition. I hold on to the hope that contemporary Christianity will continue its inevitable and necessary demise only to be resurrected as something radically new and better for humanity. Besides, where else would I go?
I consider this work to be an honest, sincere, well reasoned reflection of the state of Christianity that speaks deeply to the intellect and the soul of those who struggle with It.

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Integral thinking

Without saying it explicitly or aligning himself with the integral evolutionary movement, this book is beautifully integral. It speaks with grace to the many levels of attachment we all have. And I wept at his chapter involving his paddle in the Everglades.

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An Open Door to Clarity

It has been a while now that I have had discomfort with what seems to have become of the institutional church;organized religion if you will. At the same time as there has been a sense of unsettledness and more questions than answers, there has also been a sense of a new reformation arising out of the ashes of a religious system that seems to be dying .... if not already dead. Then this book came along, causing me to realize that I'm not the only one who has been perplexed and disturbed, but that, as Valerie Kaur has written "is this the darkness of the tomb, or the darkness of the womb?" I very much like the way that the book is divided into three segments ... NO, YES and HOW. and the compassionate kindness both in the writing, as well as Brian's manner of presenting the material in this audio book. There are several of my friends who are either reading or listening to the book right now, with most expressing a desire to develop a discussion group. I think that would greatly benefit all of us.The message and ideas included in this book have transforming value, and I am grateful to Brian McClaren for sharing his vision in writing it.

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Wrestling with the questions and inviting all to the bigger story

Brian has done an incredible job of asking the questions most are wrestling with in this liminal space of post Christendom. His thoughtful reflections on remaining or leaving the faith are not am effort to deconstruct but rather reconstruct a healthier, more relational, evolution of what it means to be faithful. It is a challenging book which is an important contribution for a brighter future together.

Roy Terry - author of Light Through a Rusty Roof

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Christian, a descriptor rooted in the first axial age

McLaren and I suffer from the same limitations as the writers of the Bible, the Quran, Bhagavad-Gita and the Darma. He and we are each human and must bring our limitations to the task of speaking, writing, and listening.
I think he has made a fundamental mistake in asking whether he can remain Christian.
The question of remaining a “Christian” is compounded by the meaning of the term. Jesus of Nazareth was never a Christian. He was a Jew that his followers, we, have proclaimed as fulfilling and exceeding the hopes for a Jewish messiah. These hopes were based in a first axial understanding of God and gods.
The challenge is not to remain a Christian, but to follow the way of Jesus in our time and place. We cannot, however, follow the historical Jesus. We have only the stories and evolving images passed on by and among his followers through two millennia.
In the best theology, Jesus is the self-revelation of God in our humanity. Our humanity, Every iteration of it,Is the container and the source of all expressions of God—the origination and end of everything.
With the best of our tradition, we are the hands, feet, eyes, ears, mouth, and I must add, the mind of God. Humanity is the self-expression of the god of E = MC2.
The basis for a 21st century religion is to recognize that we humans are both the most egocentric of all animals and the most interdependent. In our being human, we can express the relational nature of the universe and its source or we can choose narcissism and egocentricity.

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Disappointing

I like his other books. I was expecting a book about religion and Christianity. Instead I got a barrage of personal opinions on social issues, the patriarchy and politics. Not enjoyable at all.