Brian McLaren at the Change the World Conference

Brian McLaren

He had a group of pastors make a list of their big concerns. They listed people disagreeing over worship styles and conflicts in the church. Then he had a list of teens & young adults list their big concerns. After he pushed them beyond zits and dating, they said poverty, healthcare and peace. How do we get pastors to care more about that?

Four Global Crises

1. Our prosperity system can’t stop growing beyond environmental limits, resulting in multi-faceted environmental crisis. (government can’t get us out…will require a change in human behavior)
2. Our equity system can’t keep pace with the growing gap between the rich minority and the poor majority, resulting in suffering and fear.
3. Our security arms rich and poor with more catastrophic weapons, resulting in vicious cycles of crime, migration, terrorism and anti-terrorism.
4. Our World’s Religions are failing to provide a framing story capable of healing the societal machine.

The middle class in the US today lives better than the richest king in the world 300 years ago.

We consume more prosperity than we produce.

A baby in Dayton, Ohio goes home this week and is given 35 extra years. A baby in Honduras goes home and has 35 years taken away.

Bono: Where you live shouldn’t determine if you live.

Immigration issues look different when you’re holding your baby and crossing the border to give them a longer life.

We each live in some kind of narrative.

1. Domination Narrative: in a dangerous world, we’re not safe unless we’re in control
2. Revolution Narrative: we’re not safe as long as they’re in control
3. Scapegoat Narrative: everything would be fine if it weren’t for them
4. Isolation Narrative: those three are going to destroy everything, we’re the hope, we’ll go off by ourselves & create our own world
5. Victimization Narrative: there’s no hope unless we get everyone to feel sorry for us so they’ll stop treating us badly
6. Accumulation Narrative: the only way to be safe is to have a lot of money and possessions
The Roman Empire was tolerant of other religions, but not of new kingdoms. Jesus proposed a new kingdom.

Heaven is supposed to come down and we’re writing books about how to go up.

Equity, security & prosperity come through a sacrificial people who embody reconciliation and bring peace through justice and love.

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