Brian McLaren is one of our Living Spiritual Teachers. A Christian pastor and mentor, he is also a long-time activist and public theologian, conference speaker, faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation in New Mexico, and he’s featured in The Practicing Democracy Project.

His books center on the practices of vision, faith, openness, and justice. But this is also a more sobering book than McLaren’s usual. The title and subtitle signal as much, but he also puts it right out there, on the opening page: “You see a book with this title and you wonder, 'Am I ready for this? My un-peaceful, uneasy, unwanted feeling could be ignored for another day, right?' ”

Life after Doom is both diagnosis and cure, with both deep analysis and proscriptive and practical suggestions for healing ways forward. We definitely add the spiritual practice of hope to the list of what we will now turn to Brian McLaren for.

“We feel this doom because we are awake, at least partially awake,” he writes, and “The more we wake up, the worse we feel.” If you are willing to feel worse in order to feel better, then this book is for you.

Chapters on the importance of listening to Indigenous wisdom, learning to read the Bible differently, understanding how to use your “light” in the world, listening to your grief and learning from it, turning to the language of poetry, and rediscovering the power of community, are all offered with the intention of arousing feelings in us, as well as marshalling solutions.

There’s nothing more important than being willing to feel deeply, Brian says, and this book is designed to help you do that. The readers he most wants to find are those for whom “it’s so tempting to fall back to sleep.” We simply cannot do so, or else the sense or feeling of doom we now experience will turn into something much worse.

“No wonder certain politicians hate the idea of being 'woke',” writes McLaren.