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About Brian

Brian McLaren is a Christian activist and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he long ago transcended the more rigid versions of his faith to become a passionate advocate for a new kind of Christianity—often called “emergent Christianity”—a Christianity that is just, generous, and tries to work with people of all faiths for the common good.

Brian is an Auburn Senior Fellow, a group that works to bring justice-centred faith to the public square. He is a contributor to the We Stand With Love movement that focuses on LGBTQ rights. He is also a leader in the Convergence Network that is developing an innovative training and mentoring program for pastors and church planters.

Brian is probably best known for his books. Many of his early books, including A New Kind of Christian, The Great Spiritual Migration, and A Generous Orthodoxy, broke new ground. And his most two most recent books, Faith after Doubt and Should I Stay Christian? have had a strong impact on many considering leaving the Faith, convincing them to remain or return.

Broadview recently posted an interview with Brian McLaren. Read it here. 

The Lectures
There will be three lectures, each about 40 minutes long. Twenty minutes of questions and answers will follow each lecture.
9:30 am
Lecture 1: Why Worlds Fall Apart
Brian will explore the complex relationship between Christian faith and its host civilizations.
11:10 am
Lecture 2: Minding Your Mind—in Community
Brian will explore ways that a robust spiritual practice and a vibrant faith community can help people face possible futures.
12:30 pm
Lunch Break
2 pm  Welcome back and message from Broadview
Lecture 3: Four Flight Plans, Rough Air and Safe Landings
Brian will explore four possible scenarios for the years ahead.

Goals of the Lectures

  • To help participants understand the deep roots of our current situation
  • To understand spirituality as a set of survival practices
  • To explore the upsides and downsides of hope, and envision being motivated by a “hope beyond hope”
  • To practice using “the adaptive cycle” as a framework for resilience
  • To practice visionary thinking regarding desirable futures
  • To discover a new and vital role for faith communities in the coming years
  • To engage with practices of knowing and unknowing

Lunch Options

The optional lunch offered by Wesley-Knox UCW will feature a selection of breads, deli meats and cheeses, salads, beverages and dessert. For those who prefer to take a break from the church, a short walk east along Askin Street will take you to Wortley Road where you will can find  a selection of good cafés, pubs and restaurants, including the Plant Matters vegetarian restaurant. A somewhat longer walk west to Wharncliffe Road will take you to a popular seafood restaurant, a pizza takeout, and a number of fast food outlets.

Broadview Support

We are delighted that the Brian McLaren Lectures, both at the University of Guelph on Friday and at Wesley-Knox United Church in London on Saturday are supported by Broadview magazine which has provided free advertising on its website. Broadview magazine has a proud history. As successor to The Christian Guardian (1829), The New Outlook (1925), and The United Church Observer (1938), it is the oldest continuously published magazine in North America. Focusing on spirituality, justice and ethical living, its reach now goes well beyond the United Church and is well worth the attention of Christians and non-Christians alike. Learn more about Broadview at

Parking at Wesley-Knox

Parking at Wesley-Knox is limited. There are places for only about 20 cars and the church would like to save them for people who really need them. But there is lots of parking available on Askin Street and other nearby streets. Concerts at Wesley-Knox regularly attract audiences of over 300 and everybody finds a spot. Parking should also be available at St. James Westminster Anglican Church, just east of Wesley-Knox. Entrance to the St. James parking lot is off Bruce Street, one block south of Askin. Note that Bruce Street is one-way, west to east.


The registration and ticket purchase process differs depending on whether or not you are attending in-person or watching the live-stream.  If you are attending in person you may register using a mail-in registration form or you may register online.  You can also register by directly contacting our registrar  at

Sometimes it is not possible to register beforehand. Please know that walk-ins are always welcomed.