The Great Spiritual Migration

Wednesday Evening Adult Class:

This class, taught by Pastor Ernie Hess, meets on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. in the Oak Room. While reading McLaren’s book is of great benefit, his essentials ideas will be presented for discussion each week, so reading the book is not necessary to participate in the class. People are welcome to join the class at any time.

“Brian McLaren, a leading voice in contemporary religion, argues that— notwithstanding the dire headlines about the demise of faith and drop in church attendance—Christian faith is not dying. Rather, it is embarking on a once-in-an-era spiritual shift. For millions, the journey has already begun.

Drawing from his work as global activist, pastor, and public theologian, McLaren challenges readers to stop worrying, waiting, and indulging in nostalgia, and instead, to embrace the powerful new understandings that are reshaping the church. In The Great Spiritual Migration, he explores three profound shifts that define the change:

 Spiritually, growing numbers of Christians are moving away from defining themselves by lists of beliefs and toward a way of life defined by love
 Theologically, believers are increasingly rejecting the image of God as a violent Supreme Being and embracing the image of God as the renewing Spirit at work in our world for the common good
 Missionally, the faithful are identifying less with organized religion and more with organizing religion—spiritual activists dedicated to healing the planet, building peace, overcoming poverty and injustice, and collaborating with other faiths to ensure a better future for all of us

With his trademark brilliance and compassion, McLaren invites readers to seize the moment and set out on the most significant spiritual pilgrimage of our time: to help Christianity become more Christian.

Schedule of topics:  (check back weekly for any revisions to this schedule)

Feb. 28 –          Swallow-Tailed Kite (Preface) and Coke and the Can (Introduction), pp. ix – 15

Part I – The Spiritual Migration: From a System of Beliefs to a Way of Life

March 7 –        Crisis by the Palo Verde Tree (chapter 1), pp. 19 – 33.

March 14 –      A Deeper Loyalty (chapter 2), pp. 34-49.

March 21 –      Learning How to Love (chapter 3), pp. 50-67.

Part II – The Theological Migration: From a Violent God of Domination to a Nonviolent God of Liberation

March 28 –      The Genocide Card in Your Back Pocket (chapter 4), pp. 71-89.

April 4 –            GOD 5.0 (chapter 5), pp. 90-109.

April 11 –          The Bible in Labor (chapter 6), pp. 110-124.

Part III – The Missional Migration: From Organized Religion to Organizing Religion

April 18 –          That Beautiful Romance (chapter 7), pp. 127-147.

April 25 –          Salvation from the Suicide Machine (chapter 8), pp. 148-165.

May 2 –            You Are Social Poets (chapter 9), pp. 166-182.

May 9 –            The Broken-Open Heart (chapter 10), pp. 183-200.

May 16 –          We Stepped Forth. The Waters Parted. (Afterword and Appendixes), pp. 201-228.