Everything Must Change: When the World's Biggest Problems and Jesus' Good News Collide

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Thomas Nelson, Aug 31, 2009 - Religion - 338 pages
12 Reviews

How can the life and teachings of Jesus impact the most critical global problems in our world today?

For the last twenty years, Brian McLaren has been unable to escape this life-shaping question. In Everything Must Change, he unveils a fresh and provocative vision of Jesus and his teachings, and how his message of hope can ignite purpose and passion to change the economic, environmental, military, political, and social crises that have overtaken our world.

The Good News is more than a ticket to heaven. It is an invitation to personal change and a radical challenge for global transformation. Imagine what would happen:

  • if we believed that God's will really could be done on earth and not just in heaven
  • if the world's leading nations spent less on weapons and more on making peace, alleviating poverty, and caring for creation
  • if a renewed understanding of Jesus and his message sparked a profound spiritual awakening in a global movement of faith, hope, and love

If you are hungry for a fresh vision of what it means to be a person of faith, Everything Must Change shows what would happen when Jesus' Good News collides with a world in need.


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McLaren tried too hard on this book. True to his emergent church form, this book quickly turns into a bashing of fundamental evangelicalism under the guise of change. Not only that, this book is one big presentation of the "social gospel." In trying to discuss the change humanity needs to make in its view of the environment, politics, economics, sociology, and global awareness, he rarely mentions the root problem in all of these areas: sin. Furthermore, his remedies for all these current problems plaguing humanity seem to neglect Christ's atoning work on the cross. Instead he focuses on political reform and spreading the feel-goodyness and spiritual-tingles of human love without setting up the atoning work of Jesus Christ as the ultimate standard of love. He takes many verses out of context, performs great feats of isogesis, and keeps his arguments frequently politically motivated. For as challenging as this book was supposed to be, I found the biggest challenges to be
1) trying to understand if McLaren truly thinks that his opinion leads from Scripture,
2) why his study of the "suicidal system" hardly seems to need Christ's power working in and through believers
3) finding the motivation to read all 336 pages of propaganda.

Selected pages


1 Hope Happens
Two Preoccupying Questions
Suicidal System
Reframing Jesus
Reintroducing Jesus
The Security System
The Prosperity System
The Equity System
A Revolution of Hope

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About the author (2009)

Brian D. McLaren (MA, University of Maryland) is an author, speaker, activist and public theologian. After teaching college English, Brian pastored Cedar Ridge Community Church in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area. Brain has been active in networking and mentoring church planters and pastors for over 20 years. He is a popular conference speaker and a frequent guest lecturer for denominational and ecumenical leadership gatherings in the US and internationally.

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