M. Franklin Dotts is a retired Minister of Christian Education and former Executive Editor of Children’s Publications at the United Methodist Publishing House.
I highly recommend The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to be Christian (New York: Convergent Books, 2016) by Brian McLaren—one of the speakers at the upcoming Curious.Church 20178 CEF Conference in DesMoines—as a resource for either personal or group reflection.
The book is divided into three parts:
- The Spiritual Migration: From a System of Beliefs to a Way of Life
- The Theological Migration: From a Violent God of Domination to a Nonviolent God of Liberation
- The Missional Migration: From Organized Religions to Organizing Religion
with several chapters in each. Each chapter closes with ideas for contemplation, questions for conversation, and suggestions for action.
As he closes Part II, The Theological Migration, McClaren assures us that the message of Jesus is central to this migration:
Through his life and teachings, in his compassionate interactions with individuals and groups, in his profound nonviolence even to the point of enduring a violent death, Jesus reveals a generous God, a God in profound solidarity with all creation, a God whose power is manifest in gentleness, kindness, and love. Through his promise that he would rise and be present in and with us, he invites us to experience God as the holy and creative Spirit of justice, joy, and peace, moving through all creation, at work in all human history, [and] present in our personal experience.
In addition, Abingdon Press has recently released a new resource for group study — Way of Life: A Study Based on The Great Spiritual Migration — which McLaren has also created. This study includes a Participant Guide, Leader Guide, and DVD resource.
With our dwindling numbers and aging congregations in The United Methodist Church, we need to be aware of the important perspectives that McLaren shares in these new resources.
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