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31. Controversial Author to Challenge Christians During Presbyterian Church of Barrington Seminars

31. Controversial Author to Challenge Christians During Presbyterian Church of Barrington Seminars

Home Newsroom 31. Controversial Author to Challenge Christians During Presbyterian Church of Barrington Seminars

Named by TIME Magazine as one of America’s 25 Most Influential Evangelicals, author Brian McLaren will be in town presenting a series of three seminars at the Presbyterian Church of Barrington this Saturday, February 7th. His visit to Barrington has been several years in the making. The church’s associate pastor, Rev. Kate Kelly lined up McLaren’s visit as part of the congregation’s Adult Education program, and she says she had to be persistent to make that happen.

Brian McLaren to Speak at Presbyterian Church of Barrington
Brian McLaren to Speak at Presbyterian Church of Barrington

Rev. Kelly says she intentionally invited McLaren because his message is a provocative one across the theological spectrum. “Brian offers a well-documented journey from aligning himself with a more exclusive expression of Christianity based on a narrow understanding of God, to a place where there are now more questions than answers. Brian challenges the relevancy of the Institutional Church, and for many of us that hits a little too close to home.”

Presbyterian Church of Barrington Pastor Kate Kelly
Rev. Kate Kelly

“At the beginning of his ministry, Brian professes to have had a very narrow view of Biblical interpretation, an exclusive understanding of salvation and very alienating views on what we would call ‘social issues.’ Brian and our church are about the same age, I think that’s important to note,” Kate says. “I hear his journey in the stories of my members when they talk about growing into a more gracious understanding of God. God is no longer the God of the 1950’s, and we are no longer taught to live in fear of God. Brian’s message is relevant to us because he gives words to what we have experienced and feel taking place now, within the church and within ourselves.”

McLaren is an author, speaker, pastor, and networker among the most innovative Christian leaders, thinkers and activists. He is a frequent guest on television, radio and news media programs and has written more than 10 provocative books, stimulating much conversation among clergy, laypersons and those who feel disenfranchised and disillusioned by the church.

Brian McLaren also served as a pastor for over 20 years.  His most influential books are Everything Must Change: When the World’s Biggest Problems and Jesus’ Good News Collide, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? And the Secret Message of Jesus.

Guests of all faiths are welcome to hear him speak and ask him questions during three sessions in his one-day seminar series at Presbyterian Church of Barrington on Saturday, February 7th.

Brian McLaren to Speak at Presbyterian Church of Barrington
Brian McLaren to Speak at Presbyterian Church of Barrington

His first session on Saturday will begin at 9:30 a.m., the second 1:30 p.m. and the third at 7:00 p.m. Registration is $40 for all three sessions or $15 each individual session. Lunch will be available for $7.00. Here’s a look at the focus of each session:

Brian Mclaren
Brian McLaren – Photo by Courtney Perry

9:30 a.m. – Ses­sion One

The Bible is Too Impor­tant (and dan­ger­ous) to Be Left to Those Who Don’t Think Crit­i­cally About It.

1:30 p.m. – Ses­sion Two

Naked Spir­i­tu­al­ity: A Life with God in Twelve Sim­ple Words.

7:00 p.m. – Ses­sion Three

Why did Jesus, Moses, the Bud­dha and Mohamed Cross the Road: Chris­t­ian Iden­tity in a Multi-Faith World.

Presbyterian Church of Barrington is located at 6 Brinker Road in Barrington, Illinois.

To register for one or more of Brian McLaren’s Saturday sessions, CLICK HERE. For more information about the church, visit Presbyterian Church of Barrington’s website at or call the church office at 847-381-0975.

If you’d like to read more about Brian McLaren in advance, visit his website at for his biography, a list of his published works and additional resources. And for a taste of what Saturday’s seminars will be like, check out this video featuring Brian McLaren’s take on the Message of Jesus.

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