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Conversations on Being a Heretic
It’s no secret. Some Christian leaders have been adamant, and others speculative, that Brian McLaren’s views are heretical. In this Q conversation, Scot McKnight will explore what all the outrage is about, asking Brian to clarify his views on matters consequential to theology and the church. Brian will have ample opportunity to respond to questions he’s never before answered as the two model civility in a discussion with serious implications.
After watching the interview for a couple of times, I'm still not really sure what Brian McLaren believes, but I am becoming more sure that he doesn't think that is what is important. When you claim that you don't want to be tied down to salvation is through Christ alone and everyone is getting into heaven because that's not where you want to go, it really brings up some serious issues. If Christ said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through the Son," then it seems illogical that there is a version of Christianity that could say that Jesus is only somewhat right. Either He was correct in what He said, or He was not who He said He was, and that unfortunately leaves some outside the camp of Christianity, regardless of their views on social issues.
It's obvious that Brian McLaren has spent more time reading other people's books rather than reading his Bible. He doesn't seem to want to answer questions directly which proves he doesn't really believe the solid foundational teachings of Scripture.
I listened to this thing about three or four times trying to figure out what Brian McLaren believes.
This guy seems well-meaning, but in the end, it looks like he's lost his grounding in the truth and has been affected by some sort of post-modern thinking.
The Gospel comes from God and is meant to be clear and simple. This guy makes it unclear and convoluted.
Sorry Brian McLaren - I don't think you're helping.
I think Brian is right on when he said that so many of us approach a book or a sermon with a checklist seeking to see if the writer/speaker agrees with us rather than receive what they have to say to us. That was convicting. Having this approach, I wonder how many blessings I have robbed myself of.
I really appreciated this interview. Both did an excellent job of conducting and responding with civility and respect. Thank you for sharing this.
I've done work in churches of a lot of different denominational backgrounds, and been exposed to a lot of different stabs at answering 'what is truth?', only to finally come to the answer that was staring me in the face the entire time in John's Gospel: "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (Jesus speaking of course). Some denominations have spun so badly out of control with regard to their beliefs and doctrines that their churches and preachers don't look or sound ANYTHING like what the Apostles did in the New Testament--but the fact that Jesus is the truth is enough to understand our need for tolerance and patience with those people who are seeking answers and are depraved like everyone else is--the ends hopefully being (if they ARE seeking truth) that even with their incorrect notions, God will through the Holy Spirit draw them into Christ and the truth that only He IS the truth.
Brian McLaren on the other hand has almost made his own religion out of the act of THINKING, instead of TRUSTING in God and His work of redemption and salvation. It's almost like if I was to say 'God is love, as 1 John says', Brian would respond, 'yeah, but have you really THOUGHT about it?', when really, I'd respond, 'yeah, and I see Jesus when I think about it'. It seems he's convinced that he thinks inside of a mindset that 'if everyone else would get over their presuppositions, they would GET this, and be set free', when really his version of 'orthodoxy' is even more burdensome than even historic Reformed theology (which is clearly the narrative he has the most problems with).
McLaren only needs to listen to his own contradictions.
1. He argus against the arrogance he sees in Christians who feel they are "right", and yet he feels comfortable undermining the authority of Scripture. HIS opinions are clearly so "right" that he feels not need to defend his teachings. What arrogance! He claims to be a pastor and teacher and senses so obligation to be biblically accountable for he propagates.
2. He argues for christians to be "open" and to be free to explore other ideas, but refuses to be open himself to direct questions he simply refuses to answer. Some openness.
3. With condescension, he sees Christians as being blinded and stuck in their own "narrative" and unable to understand his lofty views that have taken him years obtain by "reconstruction". Of course, HE is not stuck in HIS narrative. He has the ability to come out of his narrative and see where the rest of us all all wrong. Amazing.
I thought my goal was to understand the Scriptures? Not what McLaren believes. This is the problem. McLaren should be sending us to the Scriptures. McLaren do not hold to a Christian Epistemology in which the God of the Bible has spoken in such a way that we can have clarity of knowledge.
Someone needs to simply ask him if a Christian has the ability to read the Bible and take away from it what God intended to say. I think you would be amazed at his answer.
Please, please .... let's stop caring about McLaren does not know.
To Brian Mclaren, Keep up the good work.
It's been awhile since I've read a McClaren book so I was curious to hear this dialogue. I was not surprised at what he said. What amazes me is how stuck most of us are in one paradigm, which would not be so bad if we we also aware that there werre other legitimate paradigms to explain the same story.
I firmly agree with Brian when he suggests that once you ask the question about heaven/hell you have distorted the entire story. (My words, not his.) Jesus was about doing God's will and he wanted his followers to do the same. The issue of heaven/hell is up to God to decide. When I think I have some responsibility to decide it for myself or any other, I am presuming on God's territory. Such presumption will inevitably diivert me from the business of doing his will like taking care of one of the least of these his brethern--the sick, the poor, the orphan, the homeless.
Maybe I ought to go out and buy his latest book. He's a neat guy with a profound message. Thank God that it is being heard.
I think it could reasonably be argued that Peter's message on the day of Pentecost calling the gathered pilgrims to repent and believe in Jesus showed Peter saw the crowd gathered as "the lost, the damned, non-Christians, the other, the outsider" (to use Brian's words) as those who did not know Jesus as he, Peter, did. Peter seemed clearly to operate from an "us/them" mindset.
I wonder, in Brian's paradigm, if he would view Peter's sermon to this crowd gathered as an example of the kind of ungenerous orthodoxy, the Graeco-Roman narrative he thinks we need to rethink, a way of looking at the world that inevitably leads to violence, oppression and horrible things that are opposed to the spirit of Jesus Christ?
The irony of Brian's perspective is that he implies that the approach exemplified by Peter's message on Pentecost which he argues leads to oppression, etc, was delivered by a man who was decidedly part of an oppressed minority by anyones definition.
Dr. Robert Nolen
The Western church would do well to learn to think outside of the box as does Brian. The Western church is trapped inside of the box of religion and has not much of a clue how to truly walk out the type of lifestyle that was modeled for us by Christ. We need men like Brian to shake us up a little and help us to step out of the church that man has built and to become the ecclesia that Jesus said that He was building. The truth is the matter is that most of the Western church is not ecclesia at all.
Rev. Gregory Wilson
As long as you stay in the patriarchal narrative of hierarchical power you will never understand this guy nor will you ever understand the pureness of God's love. This is the point the experience of the love of god becomes central not what you believe. So as you read his work and listen to him on video, what you ask, is his expression one of coming from an experience of love beyond belief system structures that support political, economic and religious ideology or not? In the new paradigm or the old paradigm the expression of love because of the experience of love is primary. So if you vote for some body you ask, does their legislative philosophy feed the poor, reduce poverty, cover more people for health care ? If it does not it is not an expression of love and supports an ideology not of God.
Rev. Gregory Wilson
One only need examine recent history to understand that questions of the existence of hell are worse than irrelevant - this pre-eminent consideration in theology has virtually destroyed us. In fact, our belief in eternal hell literally compels us to disobey prime directives of God.
When we believe that an eternity of damnation awaits anyone who doesn't hear about Jesus (and then verbally confess him), we are conscientiously compelled to evangelize at all costs. The church has maintained this reckless and single-pronged pursuit of evangelization (especially since Lausanne in '73). What fruit has this produced?
The Western church is spiritually bankrupt. We sit in our fat churches while the rest of the world starves...of course, we take consolation in the fact that at least they have a western-funded church building for funeral services. Yep, they're going to heaven - let's pray another prayer for those missionaries in Africa and go to the potluck....surely there'll be some banana puddin'...
Never once in Scripture is there any indication that God is going to judge us over how many folks we evangelized. We will be judged for whether we fed the hungry, visited the prisoners, practiced true religion by caring for orphans and widows. But our theological compulsion to evangelization forces us to choose between feeding people and "saving" them - because with limited resources, we have to choose to rescue people from eternal fire even if they still spend every earthly minute in agony.
In discussion re hell, we never hear John 20:23 mentioned. Jesus said that if we forgive (remit, send away) another's sins, they are gone; if we do not forgive (but retain) them, they are not forgiven. Jesus was the very Way, Truth, and Life on the cross when he forgave those crucifying him; thus by John 20:23 he personally made the way to the Father for them, because their sins are not counted against them. His very first appearance to the Apostles included first the indwelling Holy Spirit, then the instruction that they had authority to forgive others' sins.
We have entirely flipped Christianity. We force people to convert by threatening them with damnation, when we could simply forgive them ourselves as an emissary of Jesus, love with intensity, feed/clothe/shelter them - demonstrate the nature of God into a world. Salt always preserves the entirety, even though salt is a small component...
If this seems to ignore the Great Commission, consider Mark: we are commanded to bring the Good News - and those who reject it face condemnation. Since Jesus then said that true believers would walk in signs, even to handling deadly snakes, I daresay few of us have ever heard a true believer speak...Certainly, no one to whom I have ever witnessed is in danger of condemnation from rejecting my message, because I don't even qualify as a true believer according to these verses! In short, my words do not contain enough of the manifest power of the living God as a two-edged Sword. People are not held accountable by God if they choose not to respond to cleverly worded sermons and theologies.
My conclusion: we are failing miserably. We do not love the world and minister the forgiveness of Christ. We do not speak with the authority of Almighty so that the world is rightly divided. We need to press into God until the fervency of His love compels us to love others as Jesus did, unto both life and death. For me, the very fact that I am participating in this discussion is a good indication that my gospel is powerless, my understanding still darkened, and I remain trapped in my Greco-Roman logic that reduces the Word of God to impotent rhetoric. I long for more - but feel certain that Eph 3:18 implies that the necessary apprehension of the love of God is a corporate experience. God unite us!
Bobbi Piazza there is a way out, " my understanding still darkened" while you are still in, " I pray you do not take out of this world but keep them safe, they are in the world but not of it," there is hope . moving inward through your history and past it to the divine that is in you, to the know the pureness of the light that is with in you and darkness will fade and you will know love for you will be love.
Maybe Brian's paradigm has more universal leanings but doesn't fall under the universalism umbrella.
I do not always agree with Brian, but he has been an important voice for get the church to ask very important questions. I am interested in this Greco-Roman logic issue that he brings to the table. With that said, when it comes to scholarship, I think I will find myself resonating with Scot McKnight's perspective a bit more (but, just barely).
I think he makes a mistake when he tries to equivocate his listening to Bruce Coeburn, or reading of Anne Lamont as being the same experience as us reading him. The first two entertainers are just that, entertainers, and their personal agendas are hardly invested in their art, their beliefs aren’t that important to experiencing their art. However, Mclaren is writing normative and prescriptive statements about the Church. Knowing the premise of his arguments "i.e. his beliefs" is essential for evaluating what he is saying. In evading that, he is simply evading the need to support his statements.
I agree that this does little to clarify his theological position on any issue really. I realize that he's not attempting to have a hard-and-fact position but to move people into a "new paradigm." What's ironic is that while McLaren is opposed to exclusivism and "us and them" thinking, he seems to propagating a new type of an old exclusivism, when he talks about an enlightenment (or "new paradigm") that he's experienced that others have not. It comes off sounding arrogant and a tad like intellectual snobbery. If the Gospel is good news for the poor, and the poor are often the uneducated and disenfranchised, it stands to reason that Gospel should be comprehensible by anyone. Frankly, I have trouble discerning what McLaren's gospel is, and it seems far from simple.
There is nothing new under the sun. He is no different then all those throughout history who have tried to pervert the gospel. How about Jesus' words," No man comes to the father except through Me."
So I guess we throw out the book of revelation because it says that anyone whose name is not written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Or how about Revelation 21:8? Ask him if he believes Jesus is God.
" I am the Good shepherd and I know My sheep, and am known by my own."
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."
If Jesus is really our first love then our mission would be to make Jesus look great and our vision would be to make Jesus well known. Our passion for Him would result in obedience to the Holy Spirit of God and out of that kind of heart would flow every good work that Jesus told us to do here on earth. We would not have to use terms like social justice, etc. because through His power our hearts would overflow with love for all and our hands would be open. "Apart from Me you can do nothing"
A good number of comments on this video demonstrate the very point Brian was making about the heresy hunters. I find it somewhat disturbing that the people who think they are the most correct have need to jump all over these message boards and, instead of disagreeing in a civil manner and expressing their their misgivings cogently, they pronounce judgment and sling accusations of heresy. For those who are reading these pages and already find theological discource aversive, these inspid rantings serve only to further isolate people from the dialogue. They are the ones with the 'checklists,' having already made up their minds before even truly listening to him, that he was wrong. They are, indeed, NOT slow to speak and quick to listen, but ready to pronounce judgment on any and all who might dare disagree with their particular interpretation of a given text. For example, one person asks something to the effect of, "How can Brian not clearly see that Jesus said that He is the way, the truth and the life - no one comes to the father but through me" followed by a not so mild disapprobation of Brian's inclusive orthodoxy. Yet, this person makes not even the slightest allusion to the fact that there are several different ways of understanding this text. They eisogete reformation sola fide soteriology into the statement without considering the possibility that Jesus may simply be saying that He is the embodiment of the way, the truth, and the life and that no one finds God except by following Him in that way, truth, and life. Is this not at least a possible understanding of the passage? This is my major frustration with fundamentalist conservative types. They quote the Bible without thinking that it needs to be interpreted and without acknowledgement that other people who are just as passionate about knowing God as they presume themselves to be have a different understanding of the same passages which are legitimate. These two gentlemen demonstrated Christian faith in the manner in which they conducted dialogue. Forget the answers to the questions and the theological positions of either. They SHOWED Christianity in the way they related to each other, though they disagreed about the theology. If you cannot comment on a blog with the same civility, then please do not comment at all, because for those of us who would have lost our faith had it not been for the out-of-the-box thinking of people like Brian, we aspire to move the dialogue forward and leave the judgment to God. We want to engage people in discussion while respecting their right to disagree as was done here. It's the only way people are going to see that not all Christian are judgmental maniacs ready to behead the next person that disagrees with their pet theology. We are trying to clean up the mess that fundamentalists have made for the past one hundred years. You've had your century to "save the world" and you failed. Now, please step aside and let a generation of us try methods of peace, mercy, and love for a change. Thank you. (
Do you consider your response "civil"? If so, how does it differ from those whom you target as being "uncivil" in their response?
McLaren continually questions "the old story" in an effort to undermine the unique authority of Scripture because he's teaching another gospel. He is subtly espousing Theosophy and so is Rob Bell. Among other things, their continual reference to and use of Ken Wilber's works, A Brief History of Everything and A Theory of Everything show where they are coming from. Wilber's works are published by Shambella, an occult publishing company. His book, Out of Eden, which mocks orthodox Christianity, is published by the Theosophical Society. Rob Bell makes it very clear that Wilber's work, A Brief History of Everything is the one you need to read in order to understand Emergent thinking (found in Velvet Elvis in his notes at the end of his book). In it you find that Wilber believes humans have the ability to become gods. All paths, though varied, lead to salvation. You'll find McLaren is redefining Christian terminology and subtly promoting the idea that we are all "emerging" into godhood. This is Eastern/occultic mysticism at its best, or worst, depending on how you look at it. If you read the book, Emergence, by New Age medium Barbara Marx Hubbard who claims to channel "Christ," you'll understand what McLaren is teaching and where the Emergent movement really got its name from.
Rev. Jonathan Thibos
It is imperative for the person claiming Jesus to recognize that to live as Jesus lived he needs to element of sanctification (the spirit transformation that conforms one to the image of Jesus). Sanctification can only come through truth, not illusive thought or philosophical templates or lack of, and not in being good people (caring for the poor and needy, widows, orphans etc.) it begins with truth. Proper epistemology dictates proper axiology. Proper axiology produces our outward works and inward passions. But where do we find transformational truth that produces the image of Christ through us to others? It is in no other place but the Word of God. Christ was very clear about this in His finally pre-cruxifixction prayer in John 17:17.
I don't believe that Jesus was saying that God's Word is one way among many, and that mankind inherently is sanctified. And in this passage Christ himself distinguishes between those who are His and those of the world.
Christ did not come solely to show us how to live but to give us the power to do it through His death burial and resurrection. In placing our faith in this we have been given the ability to live this way through the Holy Spirit's indwelling. (Eph. 1:12-14) And because of our gratitude is revealed in walking worthy of the calling in which we are called. (Eph. 4:1)
I realize that I have a limited paradigm, but I believe a mind sanctifyed by the Word of God creates the mind of Christ. (Phil.2)
My purpose is that God is glorified in Christ and that all my life and comments will point to Him for I am not called to proclaim my ideas but His word. (II Timothy 3:10-17)
Your servant and His,
Rev. Jonathan Thibos
As concerning those who are critically thinking about what he is being taught or what he is hearing, this is called discernment. It is the pastors and leaders responsibility to evaluate all that is being taught to the flock under his stewardship. Savage wolves come in with words that cause confusion among the flock to draw away disciples for themselves, not for Jesus Christ. Critical evaluation is the leaders was of "Taking heed to ourselves and to the flock among which the Holy Spirit has made us overseer, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." (Acts 20:28-32)
Mr. Mclaron seems to be a very sincere man who has legitimate questions that he has tried to answer through the wisdom of this world. "However we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom of God, ordained before the ages for our glory." (I Cor. 2:6-7)
I have never read anything by any of these guys. I just watched the video. So, without that context.
It seems the question to be asked is simply this: when two Christians get together - having available to them the opportunity for prayer, praise, reading the Bible - why would they choose discussing orthodoxy? That shifts the focus from God to us...
If you honestly believe in the Holy Spirit the Bible talks about, why do you not expect Him to convict and speak to both of these men as they read the Bible? Or even just as they pray and go through life? Why are we setting ourselves up as the ones to convict, the ones to define orthodoxy? (That is, establishing ourselves as the arbiters of truth.)
Let us let the Holy Spirit bring people into line - rebuking as the Bible does say, on matters of pure clarity and action - having faith that God will tend His flock. And let us all honestly seek God and reach out.
If we spent less time talking about God and more time talking to God.
If we spent less time talking about mission and more time doing mission.
Rev. Jonathan Thibos
In philosophy you have three basic tiers which which to work on. Your Metaphysical base (what is ultimate reality, what is your god), your epistemological base (what is your ultimate source of truth), and your axiological base (what is of ultimate value.) To have a proper philosophy you must start with your metaphysical base. This is the foundation for your beliefs, everything is built upon this. This dictates what is the truth you live off of. If God is our ultimate reality then His word is ultimate truth and what it says to hold as value, we hold as valuable. The problem, I believe with Mr. McLaren's philosophical paradigm is that he has as his foundation his axiology. this turns his thinking pyramid upside down. So now his ultimate reality, his god, is the value itself, i.e. caring for the poor and needy, etc. If this now is his foundation, anything that does this must be legitimate. So, these are all avenues to his god as long as they are worshipping the care for the poor and needy value. If this is god, then ultimate truth is anything that supports this value god and any god that supports this truth is valuable. Mass confusion begins not only in the person who thinks this way, but also in those who follow this person. What does he believe? Anything that supports his value god. It is as simple as this. Mr McLaren, I believe, is a sincere man, but he seems to have dethroned the almighty God for a value, thus making him a heretic, a well-meaning one, but a heretic just the same. It is the churches responsibility to correct anyone that goes astray but remove from the fellowship the one that will not listen to correction and leads others astray. (II Thes. 3:6-15) Mr McLaren does not cause people to think, as he says, he causes people to doubt because he gives no answers to the questions he raises. This is the antics of the author of confusion.
I love people, especially the poor and needy, but the are not my god and I do not worship them, not are they my master. My Master is the Creator God who has given us His word that tells us to love the poor and needy, therefore I serve the poor and needy because I worship the True and Living God alone.
This is not written out of spite of haughty spirit, but hopefully in lowliness of mind, esteeming all those who read, including Mr. McLaron, as better than myself.
To all my brethren in love for you , God's Word and ultimately my God whom i gratefully serve.
Rev. Jonathan Thibos
i agree with brian mclaren that it is not helpful coming to a book with a checklist of theological answers to look for and then judging the content by that list. i ahve learned from those withwhom i disagree.
on the other hand, it would be nice if, when asked "what do you beleive" - he would answer with what he believes.
Hey i think it was a mistake to watch that at 1:30am. I am only going to think deeply instead of sleeping. By the way people it's all cool God's got it all under control! Brian makes some good points i don't agree with everything he suggests. The last thing i want to do is sit in a room with smiling people who agree with each others theology, but never get anything done in furthering the greater cause of Jesus Christ in this needy world. I have done that for far too long.
... 18- I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book 19- and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. 20- He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen, Come Lord Jesus! 21 -The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all." Amen
Brian is not speaking like a universalist; he's not saying everyone will be saved (live happily ever-after). He’s saying that "everyone who IS saved will be saved by God's grace and everyone, including the saved and un-saved, will be judged by God."
It seems he does not want to be their judge. However, apparently, God originally called him to be their shepherd, so if he acknowledges that there IS a good way and a bad way, it's his moral duty to bear witness to that truth to the people he seems so concerned about.
Why can't Brian feed the hungry, cloth the poor, and visit the sick while he's telling them that Christ is the only way to eternal life (Why can’t he tell them to put their faith in Jesus and follow Him.)?
If he believes or perhaps hopes that all those judged by God and cast into hell will be given another chance to be saved some day, he most likely, does not want to offer that as dogma because he knows he can't prove it. Maybe he does want to keep it as a hope. He probably would like to see us all have enough compassion to believe that God will be merciful to everyone. However deeply we may feel for people we cannot guarantee them salvation but our purpose is to urge them to trust and follow the Savior.
Brian, the birds sing their songs and the squirrels feed their young and all of creation fulfills its purpose; however, they cannot preach the gospel because that's our job to do.
Still waiting for Brian to answer a question...
The "narrative" that Mr. Mclaren is separating himself from is one in which Christians view themselves on the inside and view non-Christians on the outside, which leads to violence. He also said that he believes salvation is by grace. So the problem with the narrative of insiders and outsiders isn't that it's not true, but that it gets abused and misapplied when the insiders begin to feel superior and think there is something special about them and that they are better than those on the outside. Lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater. If those on the inside understand that it was all of grace then they won't act in a way that leads to violence. Except for the fact that when you begin to talk about salvation by grace because that implies sin and people don't like to hear about their sin and their dependence on grace, but that's another discussion.
Sadly Brian McLaren doesn't care to remove the big questions about himself so that we can honestly weigh his assertions. He is the reason people are stuck on these basic questions. If he wanted to he could get them out of the way in 5 minutes... for some reason he stubbornly refuses to humbly and simply respond to sincere and important concerns. When I listen to Bruce Cockburn I'm going to him for art, and I don't care if an artist is a heretic or not for the most part, but when I pick up a book of theology I need to have some basic understanding of the perspective of the author because that helps me to know what filter I should put in place, a filter for heresy or a filter treasure. It matters to a lot of us Brian, but that doesn't matter enough to you. So, we're back at square one.
We will never on the old earth know truth fully but we can be freed by God to live in a relationship with truth!
The Truth is a person and not a believe system.
I use to like this Mclaren... I think he has incredible insight and much to offer the Church. But overtime his intentional public-face ambiguity became too creepy and similar to a car salesmen that evades your every question about cost by redirecting your honest inquiry to talk about all the bells, whistles and perks that will come with your new car. He likes to think he is asserting nothing but only provoking thought...which is fine for one or two books, but only a dimwit would continue to fall for that repeated ploy. The question, "Will everyone be finally justified before God in judgment? is a straightforward "yes" or "no" question. But Mclaren says such a question "doesn't even make sense in my paradigm so I have no idea how to answer it." Give me a break! He is taking a page from the atheist handbook: "Hmmm...'Does God exist' is a meaningless question that makes no sense for I know not what the word God is."
Private Mclaren most certainty has made up his mind on matters of controversial theology, but Public Mclaren doesn't want us to know what they are. The paradigm of private Mclaren is informed and driven by propositional statements of fact. The paradigm of public Mclaren says we shouldn't concern ourselves with propositional statements. Why? I can only guess that he lacks the spine to publicly tell us what he REALLY thinks because he wants to be as pleasant and accepted as a chap as he can be. Mclaren isn't really trying to stimulate thought. He really wants to stimulate doubt and disassociate people from their old-school propositions and update them to his internal, absolute propositions--that maybe one day he will have the courage to tell us.
I've been a humanitarian in Asia working with some of the poorest of the poor for some time and so I'm right in sync with Mclaren's sensitivities towards injustice and the need for Evangelicals to value compassion and love just as much as they value doctrine. But I love the broken and forgotten of this world too much to offer them ambiguity as to Who is calling them to be Lord and King of their life. As Hebrews 2:3 says, "How can we escape if neglect so great a salvation..." Yes salvation is principally about the setting free of oppression and sin's destructive nature in the here and now, but all men and woman are also ultimately called to be reconciled to God through Christ our Lord--not Buddha, Shiva or Islam's Allah.
i believe mcclaren is possilbly a good man, however he never answers a question, which is not good i need answers and sorry to say he doesnt give them he gives a few contradictory views, but never commits wsad as i am trying to figure it all out my fault as i should read the author of my bible not take the word of a man
What do you do with Romans 5:10? Paul says that we are reconciled by the death of Christ, but we are SAVED by his life. Aren't most of the references to salvation talking about being made sound and whole not about going to heaven? I love your books; am on my 5th reading of the Secret Measage of Jesus, am planning to lead a group of ladies in a discussion of the text. We are very grateful for the recording of your journey into truth.
If you look at scripture, Jesus most often answered questions by taking the person a different direction entirely. That appears to be the model Mc is using. If it was good enough for JC .... It gets us all thinking.
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