Friday, April 11, 2008
Brian McLaren and ‘Everything Must Change’ tour coming to Goshen, May 9-10; Conference to focus on the planet, poverty and peacemaking
GOSHEN, Ind. – Brian McLaren and his “Everything Must Change” tour will conclude an 11-city tour of the United States this year, at Goshen College on May 9-10.
A best-selling Christian author, McLaren has been on tour since February leading conferences that focus around the message of his newest book, “Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises and a Revolution of Hope” (Nelson, 2007). The book seeks to address what McLaren calls “two questions that have shaped my life: What are our world’s top global crises? What does the message of Jesus say to those crises?”
The book summarizes and synthesizes recent literature on global crises and presents a systemic approach, identifying their interlocking crises relating to the planet, poverty and peace-making. At their center is the fourth crisis, which, McLaren, asserts, is a failure of our world’s religions to provide a message capable of motivating people to address the first three crises. He believes that needed message is actually present in the original message of Jesus, but is too often marginalized even among the most orthodox of Christians.
The second half of the book reconsiders Jesus in his original political and social context, from which a fresh vision of Jesus emerges, one that shows striking relevance to contemporary crises in our globalizing, ecologically-stressed, polarizing and war-torn world. Of special interest to biblically knowledgeable readers will be McLaren’s fresh takes on Jesus’ miracles, parables and central teachings regarding the kingdom of God.
“This tour represents a chance to bring this important message to key cities around the country,” McLaren said. “It will be a highly interactive, multi-media, participatory experience of teaching, visual art, prayer, music, conversation, reflection and more. A wide range of denominations are participating, both Catholic and Protestant, Mainline and Evangelical, along with plenty of ‘spiritual but not religious’ people, too.”
McLaren is seen as a key leader in the emerging church movement and is chair of the board of Sojourners. He represents a progressive Evangelical and ecumenical voice, which seeks to articulate an alternative to the Religious Right. His message addresses key issues of this presidential campaign year, and exemplifies a new approach to the relationship of faith and public policy, an approach he describes as “raising new questions and inspiring hope as opposed to slivering percentage points from opponents through divisive wedge issues.” His approach brings together popular and controversial news themes, including the rediscovery of faith among Democrats and the loosening of the alliance between Republicans and conservative Evangelicals.
McLaren, who was named by Time Magazine as one of America’s 25 most influential Evangelicals, is a leader in affirming the spiritual dimensions of the environmental movement, economic justice and peace making, and he calls for radical reform in U.S. policy in these and other areas. He appears frequently in major media – including Larry King Live, Nightline, the Washington Post, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, and Beliefnet.com.
The hosts and sponsors of this conference tour include seminaries, churches, the Sierra Club, Mars Hill Graduate School, Faith at Work, Sojourners and Emergent Village. Previous locations for this touring conference have been Charlotte, Boise, Dallas, Tampa, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Chicago, Seattle, Kansas City and New York City.
Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu.