Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words

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Overview

Christianity is in crisis. Many sincere Christians feel their traditional Christian practices are in danger of becoming irrelevant, empty rituals. In his previous book A New Kind of Christianity, Brian D. McLaren offered new biblical models for how we understand the central ideas of a faith that provides hope for restoring and reinvigorating the power of the gospels to transform us and our communities.

In Naked Spirituality, McLaren takes his prophetic work a step further by ...

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Overview

Christianity is in crisis. Many sincere Christians feel their traditional Christian practices are in danger of becoming irrelevant, empty rituals. In his previous book A New Kind of Christianity, Brian D. McLaren offered new biblical models for how we understand the central ideas of a faith that provides hope for restoring and reinvigorating the power of the gospels to transform us and our communities.

In Naked Spirituality, McLaren takes his prophetic work a step further by confronting how the lack of a simple, doable, durable spirituality undermines the very transformation God is calling us to undergo. As a result, our religious structures become tools to maintain the status quo and not catalysts for personal and social change. McLaren presents a four-stage framework for understanding the spiritual life, and he unfolds spiritual practices appropriate to each stage. Each practice is rooted in a simple word: here, thanks, O, sorry, help, please, when, no, why, behold, yes, and silence. Naked Spirituality offers accessible, practical wisdom for living a truly spiritual life. Staying true to Jesus's core message while engaging faithfully with our postmodern world, McLaren presents a proven spiritual program for engaging in and sustaining a meaningful relationship with God.

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  • Naked Spirituality
    Naked Spirituality  

Editorial Reviews

Hearts & Minds
"These stories are honest and kind and good... they illustrated the life of a real and raw experience of God and the human responses we offer.... This guidebook to simple words for a not so simple spirituality is an incredible gift, a true asset to us, bread for the journey."
Father - Richard Rohr
"Wise, easy to read, and practical."
Library Journal
McLaren (A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith), a leading evangelical author, here addresses America's ever-growing population of the unchurched—the many who consider themselves "spiritual, but not religious." McLaren is considered one of the foremost exponents of postmodern Christian theology, as well as of the "emerging church" movement; this work uses 12 words, such as "here," "now," "sorry," and "help," as the foundations of counsel, insight, and advice for the perhaps extra-ecclesial reader. VERDICT McLaren's trademark persuasiveness is put to good effect as he continues to shatter paradigms for spiritual seekers.
Hearts and Minds
“These stories are honest and kind and good... they illustrated the life of a real and raw experience of God and the human responses we offer.... This guidebook to simple words for a not so simple spirituality is an incredible gift, a true asset to us, bread for the journey.”
Christian Century
“McLaren both charts an arc of the spiritual life and suggests practices to nurture [it]. . . . McLaren deserves endless thanks for reminding us that estrangement and no do not represent a breakdown of the spiritual life. . . . Naked Spirituality is very astute.”
Marcus J. Borg
“A rich, brilliant and important book: wonderfully readable and personal, filled with insight and wisdom, it invites us into practices that can transform our lives.”
Cynthia Bourgeault
“Brian McLaren is a bridge builder. In these simple yet profound spiritual practices he perfectly marries his evangelical heart and contemplative soul, and we are all richer for the union.”
Fr. Richard Rohr
“Wise, easy to read, and practical.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061854019
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/15/2011
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 720,319
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, pastor, and networker among innovative Christian leaders, thinkers, and activists. His groundbreaking books include A New Kind of Christian, A Generous Orthodoxy, The Secret Message of Jesus, and Everything Must Change. Named by Time magazine as one of America's top twenty-five evangelicals, McLaren has appeared on Nightline and Larry King Live, and has been covered by The Washington Post and the New York Times.

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Table of Contents

Preface v

Introduction 1

1 Spiritual Experiences and Spiritual Experience 5

2 "But I'm Spiritual" 13

3 Twelve Simple Words 21

Part I Simplicity: The Season of Spiritual Awakening 29

4 Here: Starting Right Now 31

5 Here: Naming the Mystery 39

6 Thanks: The Happiness of Appreciation 49

7 Thanks: Dayenu-Enough and More, and More 57

8 O: Practicing Jubilation 63

9 O: Not Just a Word-A Way of Life 73

Part II Complexity: The Season of Spiritual Strengthening 83

10 Sorry: Holier Than Myself? 87

11 Sorry: Unleashing Our Own Becoming 93

12 Help: Spiritual Jujitsu 103

13 Help: Tapping into the Current of Power 113

14 Please: At Least Two Hearts Care 123

15 Please: Bearing the Stretcher 131

Part III Perplexity: The Season of Spiritual Surviving 141

16 When: How Long Can I Last? 143

17 When: Survival Is Underrated 151

18 No: The Void Expands 157

19 No: Mad with God 163

20 Why: When You Have Come to Zero 169

21 Why: Holding the Question Open 179

Part IV Harmony: The Season of Spiritual Deepening 187

22 Behold: The Emergence of the Meditative Mind 191

23 Behold: Faith Beyond Belief 201

24 Yes: A Universal Spiritual Vocation 207

25 Yes: Do You Love Me? 213

26 […]: Naked, Clothed in Silence 221

27 […]: Full Circle 229

Afterword: The Sea Toward Which All Rivers Run 239

Appendix A Group Practice 241

Appendix B Body Prayers 245

Appendix C Twelve Simple Prayers 247

Notes 251

Acknowledgments 269

Reading and Discussion Guide 271

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted May 19, 2011

    Beautifully Written

    This is not at all what I expected. This is my first official reading of a Brian McLaren title. I have read tidbits of different books here and there, but have mostly heard about his provocative writing through other people. Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words is good. And pastorly. And [fairly] uncontroversial. Basically he sets up (and revisits) some spiritual practices that can help us at different stages to really connect (stand naked before) God.

    McLaren writes this book as a way of addressing all people, but particularly to those who are self-described as "are spiritual, but not religious." He writes the book in 4 parts- as 4 stages that faith development typically moves through- and each part, I think, will grab different people because of where they are at with God.

    Parts I especially love:

    1. He sets up his book by helping the reader see the need for spiritual practices (i.e. discipines, but don't worry, he doesn't use the word disciplines). He describes them as a way to stand naked before God- "doable habits or rhythms that transform us, rewiring our brains, restoring our inner ecology, renovating our inner architecture, expanding our capacities." He goes on. It's good stuff.

    2. His chapter on worship. One thing he suggests is that it is not for God's good, but for our good, to engage in worship. You'll have to read the whole chapter ("O: Not Just a Word- A Way of Life) to find his whole line or reasoning ;) .

    3. His writing. It's not technical or filled with Christian jargon (but it certainly includes its). McLaren writes really well- he uses imagery that actually makes me stop and think about the richness of the words. He writes in a way that makes me feel and experience God. I read a lot of Christian non-fiction. But I haven't came across many people in that genre who have the talent of McLaren to create space for God to work in a book.

    I do think that if you don't like McLaren's writing, you might not like this book because I'm sure you'll find things that will make you question his theology or intention (but you will have to take it out of context in order to do it). This book is very well-written.it's an easy read, but it's dense in terms of the places it takes you to in your own heart.

    Thanks, Ooze Viral Bloggers, for the free review copy!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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