In this episode, we were honored to bring back our friend Brian McLaren to talk about his brand new book, Do I Stay Christian?: A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned.
In this new book, Brian addresses a real question which underlies a startling sociological truth: people are leaving Christianity at a rapid pace. In fact, Pew Research shows that today, about 64% people in the US identify as Christian, after falling rapidly from a high of 90% just a few decades back.
Brian’s book takes an unflinching look at the reasons people might leave Christianity, before spending a lot of time on why someone might choose to stay, as Brian has. But you won’t find any “apologetics” here — rather, Brian looks at staying as part of a broader faith journey — one that can take us out of a simple world of black-and-white into a new “stage” of our faith: one filled with paradox, mystery, and love. In one of the most compelling and memorable parts of the book, Brian asks “What if you’re really trying to change stages, not religions?”
While truly not prescribing any particular path for readers, Brian shows how all people of good will — including those with doubts, questions, and criticisms — can do so much to benefit their institutions and traditions if they choose to stay. We think this book does so much good work to paint compelling reasons for doing so, and to help illustrate a path forward.
Brian McLaren an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity” – just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good. He is a faculty member of The Living School and podcaster with Learning How to See, which are part of the Center for Action and Contemplation. We’d also recommend going back and listening to Brian’s first appearance on the Faith Matters podcast in episode #67, where we discuss his book Faith After Doubt.