Brian McLaren is an evangelical pastor who has gained prominence in recent years as a leader in what has been called the “emergent church” movement. In his pursuit of an authentic gospel, McLaren has grown increasingly radicalized politically and ethically. Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope, published in 2007 by Thomas Nelson, provides a chance for McLaren to articulate a theologically and ethically integrated call to think carefully about the relevance of the story of Jesus for current social problems.
I’m not sure about the effectiveness of McLaren’s attempt to personalize his discussion by injecting his own experiences visiting Africa. However, there is not question in my mind that he has identified precisely the kinds of issues people of faith must be facing in our contemporary world. His term “suicide machine” for contemporary culture under the strangehold of militarism and corporate capitalism is not hyperbole.
What makes this book so important is McLaren’s effort to face head on the major systemic problems of our world in light of the life and teaching of Jesus. The book I would compare this one to is Walter Wink’s Engaging the Powers. McLaren is not the scholar or original thinker that Wink is, but he is a more accessible writer and is up-to-date (Wink’s book came out in 1992).
I really can’t recommend this book highly enough. I had the privilege of meeting Brian McLaren this past summer. He struck me as a sincere, committed Christian thinker and pastor. I am thankful he has “emerged” during these troubled times.