Jesus Was a Liberal: Reclaiming Christianity for All

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Overview

For the millions of people who identify as liberal Christians. In McLennan's bold call to reclaim ownership of Christianity, he advocates a sense of religion based not on doctrinal readings of scripture but on the humanity behind Christ's teachings. He addresses such topics as intelligent design, abortion, same sex marriage, war. torture and much, much more. As he says in the Preface, "We liberal Christians know in our hearts that there is much more to life than seems to meet the rational eye of atheists; yet we ...

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Jesus Was a Liberal

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Overview

For the millions of people who identify as liberal Christians. In McLennan's bold call to reclaim ownership of Christianity, he advocates a sense of religion based not on doctrinal readings of scripture but on the humanity behind Christ's teachings. He addresses such topics as intelligent design, abortion, same sex marriage, war. torture and much, much more. As he says in the Preface, "We liberal Christians know in our hearts that there is much more to life than seems to meet the rational eye of atheists; yet we find it hard to support supernatural claims about religion that fly in the face of scientific evidence."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Jesus Was a Liberal: Reclaiming Christianity for All:

 

"McLennan's writing is that of a thoughtful scholar. . .This book will reward any reader with an open mind and a curiosity about the breadth of the Christian faith.” — Library Journal

 

"McLennan’s presentation is remarkably thoughtful, respectful, and balanced as he argues that liberal Christianity is a vital expression of faith.” — Publishers Weekly

 

“His book is a manifesto of sorts for those who are both unapologetically Christian and liberal. He takes readers through the major concerns of liberal Christianity, both theological and social, and draws conclusions that are sure to both enrage and amuse those who don't share them.”—Chicago Sun-Times

 

“Rev. Scotty McLennan is reasonable and humane. . . he makes religion sound like a valuable tool for humanity, the kind of social movement that could bring us peace, understanding, tolerance and love.”—The National Post (Canada)

“[A] time'y and powerfully reasoned argument that it’s time for liberals to reclaim ownership of Christ as he was—an outlier, a passionate but rationalist revolutionary who spoke to the best in us.”—Garry Trudeau, author of Doonesbury

"An immensely readable book that reclaims the honorable word 'liberal' for a vision of Christianity that is persuasive, compelling, and faithful." – Marcus J. Borg, author of The Heart of Christianity and Jesus: The Life, Teaching and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary

"A wonderfully readable and very timely book.  It makes Jesus available again, as he has been at many times in history, to a much wider spectrum of people, and not just ‘liberals.’ Will be appreciated by those who want to ‘conserve’ what he stood for, taught and died for." – Harvey Cox, author of When Jesus Came to Harvard and The Future of Faith

"A clear-eyed, hopeful manifesto of belief, written with style and integrity. At last - the progressive case for faith, powerfully made."—James Carroll, author of Practicing Catholic

 

 

 

 

Praise for Finding Your Religion: When the Faith You Grew Up with Has Lost Its Meaning:

"This is an entertaining, gentle and affirming book."—Publishers Weekly

 

"McLennan offers wise commentary and anecdotes that gently guide the individual seeker toward finding a religious home."Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

"If blind belief has driven you to blind disbelief, or if you feel your life is in spiritual disarray, or if you simply want to read something thoughtful and sensitive, try this book. Scotty McLennan is an experienced guide on a variety of paths leading to what we all need—a greater spiritual awareness." Reverend William Sloane Coffin, author of A Passion for the Possible

Publishers Weekly

At a time when political and religious liberals are taking refuge in the word "progressive," McLennan (Finding Your Religion) presents an unapologetic case for liberal Christianity. Reporting that about 20% of Americans are liberal Christians, he states, "Too many of them choose silence, afraid to use the word 'liberal' to describe where they stand." He immediately tackles hot-button topics-abortion, science and same-sex marriage-then moves on to liberal perspectives on God, Jesus, the Trinity, the church and the Bible as well as feminist theology and living faithfully as a liberal Christian. Personal anecdotes from McLennan's own faith journey and advice for practitioners vary in effectiveness, but few liberal concerns about traditional Christianity go unaddressed. Dean for religious life at Stanford University, an inspiration for Doonesbury's Rev. Scott Sloan of comic strip fame and a Unitarian Universalist minister, McLennan and his theology may not always draw agreement from other Christians who consider themselves liberals, nor does the book engage postmodern "emergent" theology. But McLennan's presentation is remarkably thoughtful, respectful and balanced as he argues that liberal Christianity is a vital expression of faith. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

McLennan (dean for religious life, Stanford Univ.; Finding Your Religion), ordained in the Unitarian Universalist faith, examines liberal Christianity, its definitions of relevant terms like God and faith, and its stand on issues as diverse as abortion, same-sex marriage, poverty, and war. He takes time to distinguish liberal Christianity from conservative Christianity on the one hand and atheism on the other, but this is not a combative book. Rather, McLennan focuses on the Christian call to a love of all humankind and the necessity of tolerance that this entails. McLennan's writing is that of a thoughtful scholar, not inaccessible but rigorously considered. He draws from the Bible and from a plethora of recent and classic authors. This book will reward any reader with an open mind and a curiosity about the breadth of the Christian faith.
—Eric Norton

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230614291
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 9.52 (w) x 6.42 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

The Rev. Scotty McLennan is the dean for religious life at Stanford University. He was the university Chaplain at Tufts University from 1984 to 2000, and senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School for ten of those years. McLennan received his B.A. from Yale University in 1970 as a Scholar of the House working in the area of computers and the mind. He received his M.Div. and J.D. degrees from Harvard Divinity and Law Schools in 1975. In 1975, he was also ordained to the ministry (Unitarian Universalist) and admitted to the Massachusetts bar as an attorney. He is the author of Finding Your Religion and was the inspiration for Doonesbury's Rev. Scott Sloan.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Introduction to the Liberal Christian Perspective

    Scotty McLennan has done a great job explaining the perspective and postion of liberal christians on wide range of topics. He covered such areas as belief in God, faith, the meaning of Christmas and tolerance. He also discussed liberal christian positions on abortion, homosexuality and economic justice. McLennan also repsonded to conservative and atheist critques of liberal christianity. In addition to the interesting subject material covered in the book, McLennan writes in layman's terms and gets his point across quite well. Before reading this book, I was not quite sure what liberal christians believed and what sort of stance many of them took socially. However, after reading this book I have a much clearer understanding. Certainly recommended reading.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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