McLaren, Miller, and me


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Happy November! I hope you are enjoying the crisp air, blue skies, and vibrant colors that fall always delivers. Only a few weeks left until winter settles in.

So this is going to be an especially exciting month for me, as I plan to attend several local events featuring popular authors/thinkers. 

The first, beginning this weekend, features Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo. Hosted by First-Centenary United Methodist Church in Chattanooga, the three-day conference is named after a book that McLaren and Campolo co-authored entitled, Adventures in Missing the Point. The stated goal is to teach Christians how to “talk with each other about sensitive issues without missing the point,” and topics include: end times, evangelism, homosexuality, environmentalism, worship, and postmodernism. 

It’s unusual to have such a progressive conference in this part of the country, and I’ve heard of pastors from several local congregations preaching passionate sermons against the emerging church in response to the event. 

You can learn more about the conference here. I plan to attend events on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, so if you will be there, please let me know. Maybe we could grab lunch!

Later in the month, (November 21), Donald Miller comes to town!  As part of his “A Million Miles” tour, Miller will be stopping by Ridgedale Baptist Church in Chattanooga.  You can learn about the tour (and order tickets, which are only $15) here. I'll try to write a review of his new book before the event.

I’m pretty stoked about the possibility of meeting Miller, whose writing style and publishing career has inspired me so much over the past few years. (There’s a joke among CBA writers about the optimism…and arrogance…of using the phrase “Donald-Millerish” to describe your book! I’m just hoping that seeing my name within a few sentences of his will force your brain to make a subconscious link between us.)

Again, if any of you plan to attend, please let me know. We've already got a small group together. 

I'm interested to learn about  your opinions of Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo, and Donald Miller? Have you read any of their books? Which were your favorites, and how did they impact you? How do you tend to agree or disagree with these guys? Have you heard any of them speak? What did you think? 

And finally, as you will also notice on my schedule of events, I’ll be speaking to a class of Bryan College freshmen next week. I’m excited about the opportunity, but a little unsure of exactly what to say about how my perspective on “Christian worldview” has changed over the years.

Any ideas? What sort of advice/ encouragement/ instruction do you wish you had received your freshman year of college?

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