1. We can move past the image of God as a cosmic moralist into the image of God as Christ-like.
"I was brought up with this idea that you have a pre-existing definition of God and to be a Christian is to lift Jesus up and fit Jesus into that pre-existing definition. What's happened to me really in the last 15 or 20 years is that I've come to say no. Jesus does something far more radical than that. When you really encounter Jesus, you are forced to redefine God. And to me, this is very hard to explain reality, but it's something I've experienced." (Brian McLaren in interview with Krista Tippett)
3. We can recognize that the Spirit is in all places and not just in Christianity.
"If the Holy Spirit is indeed ubiquitous and secular, active in all creation, not just the church, and if everyone in creation can’t avoid encountering the Holy Spirit, and if all of our religions potentially contain localized, particular responses to the Holy Spirit9 (along with lots of other components, such as expressions of rivalry and fear), and if each religion has treasures to give and treasures to receive from the others, then we would expect the Holy Spirit to be moving people in each religion to offer their good gifts to others, and to receive the good gifts offered by others. In other words, we would expect the one Holy Spirit to be moving, working, “hovering” over each religion—and also in the space between religions, inviting people into conversation, exchange, even communion, across the boundaries that have in the past separated them." (Brian McLaren, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Muhammad Cross the Road?)
5. We can enter more deeply into the sacramental side of Christianity, including the eucharist.
"Jesus did for us all. In this way, we die with Jesus to the ways of this world—hostility, oppression, violence, hate. And we rise with Jesus as well, to “walk in newness of life,” to live in the ways of love, liberation, reconciliation, and human-kindness. So the world for us is no longer a battleground; our identity is no longer as warriors fighting with “us” against “them.” No: in the eucharist we bond to the good news that life is a table, a feast, a banquet, and we are a family, a circle of friends, being nourished together by God’s bounty, the fruit of the vine and the grain of the field, all in a spirit of love, mutual service, and unity."
7. We can recognize that life in Christ is an ongoing process that is nourished, not depleted, by relations with other people and the natural world.
But according to Jesus, the genuine encounter with God never ends there. It always leads to a fresh encounter with the other as well. So our proclamation isn’t simply a matter of pointing others to God: it is about inviting others on a shared journey to and through God to the neighbor, the other, the enemy—and, we might add, to all living creatures and the creation that sustains them. In this way, the old language of saving souls grows more meaningful than ever: it is our mission to save souls from the dehumanizing effects of hostility to God and other; souls, yes, and the bodies on which souls depend. And the human societies on which bodies and souls depend. And the natural ecosystems on which bodies, souls, and societies depend. And this precious planet on which everything depends. So more than ever, we are engaged in the sacred mission of salvation—including salvation from the disastrous effects of misguided, distorted, dysfunctional religion, beginning with our own. This saving mission calls every individual—each soul, if you will—to make a saving decision: the choice to live. (Brian McLaren, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Muhammad Cross the Road?)
2. We can recognize that Beauty is a pathway to God, and that beauty is beyond anybody's grasp.
"And I think one of the things that's happening to a lot of us is that there's this vision of the beauty of God that transports us and that takes us to a new depth and a new height. It's one of those things about beauty. You can't capture it in a word or a formula. When you get to that humble place where the beauty of God has overwhelmed you, I think it changes everything. You can say the same creed that you said before, but now it's not a creed that grasps God in the fist of the words, but it's a creed that points up to a beauty that's beyond anybody's grasp." (Brian McLaren in interview with Krista Tippett)
4. We can do our best to live from the Spirit ourselves.
"So I invite you to feel and enjoy the wind of the Spirit that flows around and within you at this very moment. I urge you to unfurl your sails and welcome the Spirit’s power in your life. I bid you rejoice that the wind of the Spirit blows everywhere and can’t be contained in anyone’s box, no matter how big or small, old or new. And I point you to Jesus, this strong and kind Galilean man who was filled with the Spirit, who walked the way of peace and bids us to follow. Let us who identify ourselves as Christians boldly follow Jesus into new territory to explore new possibilities we have never even dreamed of before. Let us, with him, cross the road in order to encounter the other, and in so doing, encounter the Other." (Brian McLaren, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Muhammad Cross the Road?)
6. We can abandon the idea of religious supremacy and "evangelize" for shared listening, justice, and joy.
"This shared journey is not the call to convert from your religion to mine. It is, rather, the invitation for both of us to seek a deeper conversion that begins in our deepest religious identity and transforms all of life. Whatever our religion, this conversion transforms the way we see us-ness and otherness. We still cherish our distinctive religious identity, but we abandon what my friend Samir Selmanovic calls religious supremacy. We are converted from hostility, from seeing the other as a threat to be feared, pitied, eliminated, or refashioned into our image. We are converted into hosts and guests, practicing and receiving hospitality, sharing our treasures as gifts. Karen Armstrong said it well:6 Sometimes it’s the very otherness of a stranger, someone who doesn’t belong to our ethnic or ideological or religious group, an otherness that can repel us initially, but which can jerk us out of our habitual selfishness, and give us intonations of that sacred otherness, which is God.
The shared escape from “habitual selfishness” and this shared listening for “sacred otherness” is not a claim by or for any religious institution or tradition, including one called Christianity. Instead, it makes a proposal to members of each religious tradition, inviting them to turn away from all hostile identities and turn toward God and neighbor, stranger, outcast, outsider, and enemy. In so doing, this proposal celebrates a joyous opportunity for everyone, whatever their religious affiliation: the opportunity to encounter the God who loves everyone and every created thing." (Brian McLaren, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Muhammad Cross the Road?)