Wednesday, September 26, 2007

mclaren may be missing something

Here's a strong critique of Brian McLaren's new book. I have a love/hate relationship with McLaren. His stuff feels refreshing when I'm reading it, but afterward my faith has been filled with dangerous doubt. I have a hard time recommending him.


Nick Draper said...

That's an interesting review, and worth reading, if simply because he can disagree and criticize without being spiteful. However, I generally agree with McLaren that common Protestant doctrine is arguably (at least - in some cases decidedly!) unbiblical at points. That doesn't mean I agree with everything McLaren says, but I do think that "He's questioning Reformation doctrine, therefore he's wrong" responses aren't generally helpful.

In my experience, standard Protestant doctrine could use a second look. Afterlife doctrine is quite developed, and generally doesn't jive with Jesus' statements. The Pharisees and Jesus are generally talking about bodily resurrection. It's hard to say what Jesus brought to the table, cause he said so little definitively, but the Pharisees were talking about bodily resurrection when God asserted his reign over the earth and vindicated the martrys. Compare that to "believe that Jesus is Lord and you'll go to heaven after you die," and you can see why someone might question the "orthodox" position.

I generally find that McLaren has at least forced me to wrestle with my faith and seek the face of God - even when I don't agree with him. Then again, I generally find that doubt stimulates me to a deeper faith. (On at least some level - I don't really doubt that God is good, or that he will fulfill his promises)

That was a rather long-winded response to a short post, but I hope it was helpful.


Bluebird said...

I read the review. As I have never read McLaren, I can't say I agreed or disagreed with the review. But I'm going to start as soon as I can get one of his books on interlibrary loan. If the review is accurate, I think I'll find McLaren both challenging and enlightening, which I could use right now. Thanks loads for the heads-up.

Armando said...

Hi brother! Long time eh?
I have been going through some of the McLaren books, and indeed, he is missing not only one but several points of the Biblical faith. It's interesting and challenging how he points out the mistakes of evangelicals, as if the mistakes were inherent to the whole faith. Anyway, i was reading recently the first 20 pages of "A new kind of Christian", and already felt that there was something missing.

Probably is the radical message of Jesus what is missing. The point i want to make is that Jesus wasn't really preaching a compromising gospel, but a radical one. Although the gospel of King Jesus is good news for everyone (independently of ethnic origin, gender, height, weight, etc.), it does not mean that we have to compromise faith, principles and the place of King Jesus to make others feel at ease with us.

That's not why so many of our predecessors in the faith died for.

Blessings, and congrats with the new baby!