Revolutionary, sure. New? Not really.

See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.

Isaiah 55:5, NRSV

Brian McLaren quoted an unnamed mentor in Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammad Cross the Road? [New York: Jericho Books: 2012, p. 40]:

Remember, Brian: in a pluralistic world, a religion is judged by the benefits it brings to its nonmembers. 

The question we must ask ourselves isn’t how are we serving our own?: the question we must ask ourselves is how are we blessing everyone we cannot claim as our own?

I think this is one of those truths that must be voiced and upheld in every single generation. If it isn’t, our religion is apt to oppress those outside of it to the spiritual damage of those on the inside. It’s a piece of ancient wisdom that is as difficult to understand today as it was in Isaiah’s time.

Living out our faith in a way that blesses outsiders is just living out our faith. After all, Jesus reminded us that everything boils down to loving God with everything we are, and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. We just have to remember that people everywhere are our neighbors.

Nothing new here, just the Gospel truth.

Published by


I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *