• 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 (158 ratings)

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Do I Stay Christian?

By: Brian D. McLaren
Narrated by: Brian D. McLaren
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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

"[McLaren's] earnest, conversational tone sounds as though he's speaking directly to each individual listener." -AudioFile on Do I Stay Christian?

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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Excellent guide for those questioning Christianity’s place in their lives and our world

I greatly appreciated the thorough analysis of how in general Christianity got to where it is today, warts and all. I appreciate how he guides the reader on how to think and act through the all the questions and issues. I highly recommend readers to also listen to McLaren’s podcast Learning How to See as it dovetails with this book.

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WOW

This book knocked me on my butt, in a good way. If you were raised Evangelical and you’re grappling with this current state of affairs like I am, this book is a must read. Actually, it’s a must read even if you aren’t trying to make sense of this mess. It will open your eyes to the mess and then gently and humbly bring you back to the one true One. Wow. Need to listen again. Thank you Mr. McLaren

1 person found this helpful

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Thought prevoking

The book will make you think and ask yourself questions you may not have asked.

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political book hiding behind a theology book

this book had a lot of great thoughts, but for as much Brian talks about recognizing bias, he doesn't seem to recognize his own bias against conservatives. I am not conservative or liberal, but there was so much in here that was just straight political ideas. It really wasn't what I signed up for, nor was it helpful.

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Thoughtful and Provocative

The author shares much of his personal journey and spiritual insights. Highly recommended for to anyone following a religious or spiritual path. Such paths are different for each of us.

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Lubbock, TX

Thoughtful, logical, well-paced presentation of the pros and cons of christian religion. Brian avoids emotional exaggerations in favor of calm discussion. This book has challenged and supported me in my examination of my faith and called me out to look at this issue from many sides. It is so helpful. I have bought four copies for friends struggling like me.

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Very helpful

This book was very helpful as I find myself deeply weighing this question. It speaks to a lot of the issues that I am struggling with which causes me to feel inauthentic in my church community. Thank you.

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An awesome read!

The thoughtfulness of this book pulled me in immediately. It was extremely timely and relevant. I feel compelled to share this book with as many people as I can.

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The world would be a safer place if we could all grasp this book!

I’m a little stunned with how this book has transformed my insides, my thoughts, my deep knowing- Into words and trajectories of intentions from information and wisdom! No doubt it took him many years of wrestling with one’s self in wonder, awe, and disgust to get where he is today. Brian had been placed in God, but then questioned God, wrestled with God, removed God, only to bury God, then mourn and wept for God, then longed and searched for God, a God that was alive inside, to then rediscover God all along, always there- that small still voice! Brian resurrected God from his own insides to then see that same God in everyone and everything- alive and doing a new thing, always. If you look and feel, you may see with eyes of knowing—There is a thread of God through history, through humans, through animals, trees and planets and all creatures who ever creatured, a glimpse of the Holy unconditional love meeting us exactly where we are, and working from whatever point that may be. Let us not destroy ourselves before we all see the light, the thread, the love. May we all one day know God as Love! Gosh Brian, a great piece of work that I wish I could inject into every mind! This makes me feel connected to you, like that same thread is doing a new thing in all of us who aren’t condemned to the prison of old belief that was extremely limited in fear and the cult of innocence. After 14 years as a Christian, 14 years of wrestling with God, but more so with the Bible, and even more so fear— I have deconstructed and reconstructed so many times, always with love and freedom as my only true guiding lights- but today my friend, I see your God in you because I see truth in you, and this book-You shall know the truth and it shall set you free. Jesus said we shall do greater things than him? Thank you dear brother, friend— for setting me more free than I was before I encountered you. I have decided my thread is connected to yours- and that I too, want to continue to participate in and with and through this beautiful thread of God that is in all for my short little stint on planet earth. May you be blessed and continue with to be a blessing. I’m sorry this review is riddled with grammar mistakes, but hopefully you get the point- Read this! Your soul will thank you later!

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Not for critical thinkers

I really looked forward to this book. I've been a Christian almost my entire life and am now reevaluating my faith. I'm looking at why I believe what I believe and what the Bible truly means. I hoped this book would present McLaren's thoughtful evaluation of this, along the lines of some of the great books be Adam Hamilton. What I soon realized, however, is "Christian" means something very different to me than it does to McLaren.

When I say I'm a "Christian", I mean I am a follower of the Christ presented in the Christian Bible. McLaren seems to think a Christian is someone who belongs to an organized religion. I "attend" a church, which is nothing more than a building where other followers of Christ get together to learn more about living a Christian Life. McLaren "belonged to" a church, which was a massive, organization with rules, regulations, top-down driven beliefs, conflict, corruption, and all the other problems of large, human organizations.

To McLaren, Christians are all white, male, rich, racist, and corrupt. Really? This certainly doesn't represent the Christians I grew up with and know today. What about all my non-white Christian friends. What about all the non-white fundamentalist Christians?

McLaren hates former President Trump. I get it. He mentions it in probably every chapter. To McLaren, the fact that Christians voted for Trump means they selected him to be their supreme spiritual leader. Anything he did, and by extension anything the U.S. Government did under Trump, was unanimously supported by Christians as if they believed it was God-ordained. I believe most of us have developed a higher level of critical thinking than this. One can select a President simply as the best choice out of two candidates to execute the functions of the Federal Government, not to be their Spiritual leader. Did McLaren have a problem with Christianity under non-Tromp Presidents who claimed to be Christian? And does McLaren offer well-researched and verifiable facts about Trump? No, he's just evil and racist like other rich, white, Christians. I think most of us can look beyond the politics of some Christians when choosing whether to believe in the God of the Bible.

McLaren thinks Christians are anti-science because of objections to COVID vaccines. This is interesting to me because I have extremely liberal, atheist friends who are also against the vaccine. Is it possible some Christians are not against the vaccine itself but against a government mandate? Is it possible their objection is based on politics and not their Christian faith? This is where critical thinking comes in.

If you struggle with thinking you have to be anti-science to be a Christian, then pick up "Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes" by Denis Lamoureux.

There is a significant history of corruption in Christian organizations, evil things done by Christians, and plenty of examples of "bad" Christians. If you're not aware of this, than maybe you should read this book. But if you are smart enough to know that whether you should follow the God of the Christian Bible is based upon the truth of the Bible, and not the behaviors of some of the millions who say they follow it, then you are already beyond anything presented by McLaren. To follow his logic, because Christianity is supposed to transform lives to be more like Christ, and there are Christians who are not like Christ, than Christianity is false/bad/evil/racist. Christianity has a low bar for entry. Simply believe in the God of the Bible. This is a good thing but it means many don't go any further than that. This doesn't mean you need to abandon your faith.

So here's McLaren's book in a nutshell. If you belong to an organization that is evil, corrupt, and racist, you should probably leave. Stop sending them your money and stop following this group of humans. Here's my advice and you don't have to buy a book from me to get it. If this is how you define Christianity, than you should probably re-evaluate what it means to be a Christian. You should go find a non-denominational church somewhere, and simply choose to be a loyal follower of Christ, not a loyal follower of a religious organization. You don't have to "join" anything or give them any money, or even believe everything they say. Or, take a break from Church for awhile embark on a study with some of Adam Hamilton's excellent, thoughtful, smart, books on the Bible (I'm working through "Making Sense of the Bible" right now).