Bestselling Author Brian McLaren Proposes an End to the ‘Cosmic Death Match’ Between World Religions

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McLaren to Speak in Metro Boston on September 14.

Brian McLaren, bestselling author, activist, and public theologian, has been called a “spiritual genius” by his fans and a “heretic” by his critics. Not one to shy away from difficult questions, his latest book tackles one of particular urgency: how should Christians engage with members of other religions? In "Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World" (Jericho Books/Hachette Book Group, $ 24.99 hardcover, September 11, 2012), McLaren addresses the challenge with wisdom, compassion, and humility.

McLaren brings the conversation to the Boston area on September 14th at 7pm, when he will speak at First Baptist Church in Newton (848 Beacon St., Newton Centre, MA; The gathering ($10 online; $15 at the door) is among the first in his nation-wide book tour.

He will discuss the idea that while many believers would pit faith against faith in “a cosmic death match,” fidelity does not require Christians to stand against other religions as rivals. Beginning with the title of his book, McLaren reverses the assumption that religions are inherently hostile toward one another. He recalls the old joke about the chicken crossing the road as he imagines the four “not condemning one another, not launching crusades or jihads, but walking together.”

The event on September 14th reflects a generative friendship developing among a growing number of people in the Boston-metro area interested in creating opportunities for conversations about creativity, compassion, and community. Following the presentation, there will be time available to start or continue these conversations, as well as to meet McLaren.

“Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed crossing the road to encounter one another would be holy and humbling,” McLaren says, imagining a meeting filled with joy, grace, peace, and love; hospitality, not hostility; friendship, not fear. “It will be good for our own well-being, good for the poor and forgotten, good for our grandchildren’s grandchildren and good even for the birds of the air and the fish in the sea.”

"Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?" is a book about finding and inhabiting that gracious space and welcoming others into it; the event in Newton on September 14 is meant to create just that kind of space and opening for dialogue.


ABOUT THE EVENT:    For more information about this event, or to link to ticket sales, visit:, call 617.244.2997, or email First Baptist Church in Newton is located at the corner of Beacon and Centre Streets at 848 Beacon Street, Newton Centre, MA (MBTA Green Line D – Riverside, Newton Centre Station).

ABOUT BRIAN MCLAREN: Brian D. McLaren has written over a dozen books, including his acclaimed "A New Kind of Christian" trilogy, "A Generous Orthodoxy", and his most recent, "Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words". He lives in Fort Myers, Florida. Visit him online at

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