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Brian McLaren, Part 2

What are the top global problems?/ What does the message of Jesus say to these problems?

Several lists exist:

  • UN Univ. list.
  • Millennium Development Goals
  • Copenhagen Consensus Top Ten Global Problems
  • Rick Warren’s Peace Plan

McLaren’s summary:Four Global Crises

Because the image above is fuzzy, let me give it’s elements:

There is the ecosystem. (Oval) Into it comes solar energy & light.

There is the societal system. It (we) receive resources from the ecosystem & put out waste.

Within the societal system there are three struggles: equity, prosperity & security.


  1. A prosperity system that can’t stop growing beyond environmental limits, resulting in multi-faceted environmental crises
  2. An equity system that can’t keep pace with the growing gap between the rich minority and the poor majority resulting in resentment and fear.
  3. A security system that pits rich against poor with more and more catastrophic weapons.
  4. Framing Story = The failure of the world religions to provide a framing story capable of healing the societal machine, ie Good News.

Religions can too often be found in support of existing framing stories

  • Domination/ Empire
  • Revolution / Warrior
  • Revenge / Scapegoating
  • Isolation / Withdrawal

These dynamics were present in Jesus’ day

  • Dominations —Herodians
  • Revolution — Zealots
  • Scapegoating — Herodians
  • Isolation — Senses


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