Brian McLaren – ‘A Dangerous Unorthodoxy’

Author: John Taylor

1. Introduction/Background

Brian McLaren is a popular and controversial author, conference speaker, Pastor and networker and is prominent not only in the emerging church circles but in the secular and Christian media.

His work has been included in Time, where he was listed as one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals. In addition, he has appeared on Larry King Live, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly and Nightline. In the Christian press he has been interviewed and featured in Christianity Today and Christian Century.

McLaren was born in 1956 and he recalls,

‘My own upbringing was way out on the end of one of the most conservative twigs, one of the most conservative limbs of Christianity, and I am far harder on Conservative Protestant Christians who share that heritage than I am on anyone else. I’m sorry. I am consistently over sympathetic to Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, even dreaded liberals, while I keep elbowing my conservative brethren in the ribs in the most annoying – some would say ungenerous – way. I cannot even pretend to be objective or fair.’ (p40 a.G.O)

In 1982 McLaren helped establish Cedar Ridge Community Church, a non-denominational fellowship in Baltimore, near Washington and in 1986 left teaching College English to Pastor there until 2006. In 2004 McLaren was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity Degree from Carey Theological Seminary.

McLaren’s public speaking engagements cover a broad range of interrelated interests including,

‘postmodern thought and culture, Biblical studies, evangelism, leadership, global mission, spiritual formation, worship, pastor survival and burnout, inter religious dialogue, ecology and social justice.’ (www.brianmclaren.net)

Three McLaren titles that are currently in high demand are ‘The Secret Message of Jesus’, ‘a Generous Orthodoxy’ and ‘Everything Must Change’.

‘Secret Message is “dedicated to all who work for peace amongst nations, races, classes, religions, ideologies, parties, families and individuals, because these people are part of something bigger and more important than we fully understand.” These peace workers, McLaren says, have “this unshakeable intuition that both (Jesus) and his message are better than anything they’ve heard or understood or figured out so far.” (www.christianitytoday)

The lions share of this review will focus on ‘a Generous Orthodoxy’ in which McLaren covers a lot of ground regarding what the emergent church represents and also provides the basis and underlying emphasis for many of his other publications.

“A Generous Orthodoxy” (Emergent/YS/Zondervan), is a personal confession and has been called a “manifesto” of the emerging church conversation. (www.brianmclaren.net)

Regarding the purpose of ‘Everything Must Change’ McLaren writes:

This book in many ways is a sequel to The Secret Message of Jesus. It also asks two essential questions: what are the world’s top crises, and what do the life and message of Jesus say to these global crises? … The two pursuits enriched each other in ways that I will never be truly able to communicate. This book is by far my most ambitious project yet, and I can’t imagine ever writing anything that is more important and urgent. (www.emergentvillage.com)

2. Mclaren’s Opinions

Whilst researching ‘a Generous Orthodoxy’ and reading through Brian Mclaren’s website and also related emergent websites, a number of fundamental issues that were a cause for concern surfaced immediately. Firstly, McLaren’s system of hermeneutics (Bible interpretation) was sketchy to say the least, which in turn has a detrimental effect in interpreting accurately that which relates to Biblical Christianity.

Secondly, a deliberate lack of clarity was evident, even in relation to the definition of the gospel. Thirdly, there was a potent ecumenical thrust which was predictably accommodating towards a vast plethora of peripheral Christendom beliefs and traditions yet simultaneously hostile towards conservative Biblical fundamentalism or terms such as ‘absolute’ or ‘Christianity’.

Fourthly, McLaren’s views on hell, homosexuality and the atonement attempted to question a straightforward and literal understanding of the Bible with unnecessary personal interpretations born out of his dislike for certain doctrines that he feels uncomfortable with.

McLaren’s concept of what hell constitutes, or whether it is real, is examined more in more depth in section 3.4. Regarding Mclaren’s opinion on gay marriage he responds,

‘You know what, the thing that breaks my heart is that there is no way I can answer it without hurting someone on the other side.’ (www.timemagazine)

However regarding homosexuality in general,

McLaren says that he is not sure “what we should think about homosexuality.” He called for a five year moratorium on making any pronouncements about whether homosexuality is a sin or not. “In five years, if we have clarity, we’ll speak” he said. “If not, we’ll set another five years for ongoing reflection. (p138 MacArthur)

Regarding the first point, since when has the idea of hurting someone’s feelings been a Biblical precedent to avoid commenting on gay marriage? Is it better to speak the truth in love and hurt someone’s feelings and tell them that God will not tolerate homosexuality, or not comment and fail to warn another of hell and judgement, just to avoid hurting them? More worryingly, why is there a need to have a five year moratorium on homosexuality, when 1 Corinthians 6:9 clearly teaches that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God? Does it take ten years to reflect on what is written in that verse, which is so unmistakeably clear? ‘Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10)

Still more alarming is McLaren’s views on the atonement.

Brian McLaren, for example, has repeatedly voiced misgivings about whether it is appropriate for Christians to describe the atonement as penal substitution. At one point, the hero in one of McLaren’s quasi-fictional books says that the notion of Christ being punished for others’ sins “just sounds like one more injustice in the cosmic equation. It sounds like divine child abuse. You know?” (p 169 MacArthur)

Little wonder that Evangelicals of the likes of John MacArthur, Millard Erickson, Norman Geisler, Ray Comfort, Todd Friel and D.A. Carson have sent out clear warnings concerning the clear and present dangers of the doctrines and ideas that MacLaren is presenting.

3. Review of ‘a Generous Orthodoxy’

3.1 Bible Interpretation

Brian McLaren borrowed the term ‘Generous Orthodoxy’ from Yale Theologian Hans Frei. This term sought to describe.

‘an understanding of Christianity that contained elements of both liberal and conservative thought. However, he also envisioned an approach to the Christian faith that moved beyond the views of knowledge and certainty that liberals and conservatives held in common.’ (p14 a.G.O.)

The crux of the problem here is that knowledge and certainty are both critical to the Christian faith in terms of determining what the Bible means and relating to assurance of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ alone.

Also, combining the Conservative and Liberal approaches is contradictory in itself, since they contrast so sharply in the way they consider the Bible to be understood. Generally speaking the former comprehends Scripture as literal truth, and seeks to put it into practise following prayer and careful study, whilst the latter is less concerned with whether the events as described are entirely factual as the emphasis is concentrated on moral application with less restrictive exegesis that permits numerous explanations to its intended meanings.

Moreover a view that has moved beyond the views of knowledge and certainty provides an open door for a new agenda whereby the Bible is recontextualised, which in reality means re-written.

However the Bible consistently upholds the necessity of knowledge and certainty as being important to faith in God. Hosea voiced God’s concern against Israel. ‘There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land…My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge I will also reject you from being priest for Me; …Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.’ (Hosea 4:1, 6; 6:3)

Jeremiah pleads ‘But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgement and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight.’ (Jer 9:24)

And what about certainty? It is impossible to please God without faith (Heb 11:5) ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ Luke also dedicated his epistle to Theophilus ‘that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.’ (Luke 1:4)

If someone seeks to move beyond the views of knowledge and certainty relating to faith in God then how can they possibly have assurance of salvation or have the ability to comprehend His word? McLaren sidesteps the issue though!

‘Perhaps the best way to use Scripture is not to concentrate on our use of Scripture at all but rather to focus on our pursuit of mission.’(p182 a.G.O)

While it is true that pursuit of mission is a good thing, how does one determine what mission to embark on if Scripture is not used as a mandate for mission?

Regarding the purpose of Scripture Mclaren turns to 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and comments that.

‘The purpose of Scripture is to equip God’s people for good works. Shouldn’t a simple statement like this be far more important than statements with words foreign to the Bible vocabulary about itself (inerrant, authoritative, literal, revelatory, objective, absolute, propositional etc.)?’ (p183 a.G.O)

In response to McLaren’s point, since Scripture is inspired (God breathed) then it must be inerrant, authoritative, revelatory, objective and absolute. The words used to describe the Bible ensure that it is held in high regard and treated in the same way. ‘The purpose of Scripture is to equip people for good works’ does not encapsulate that mini passage accurately. Because Scripture is inspired by God it is useful for correction, reproof, discipline and instruction in righteousness so that the man of God will be ‘complete’ (mature in their Christian walk – not just for good works) (c.f. 2 Tim 3:16-17)

After all, what was the purpose of John writing his gospel? Was it purely for people to be involved in doing good works? No! ‘These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31)

McLaren’s casual approach to the use and application of Scripture allows generous accompaniment from tradition.

‘The Protestant Reformation separated two brothers: Scripture and tradition. The older brother tells the story that leads up to and through Christ, and the younger brother remembers what has happened since. These brothers aren’t the same, but neither should they be enemies.’ (p255 a.G.O.)

McLaren ignores the fact that tradition was often esteemed on a par with Scripture immediately prior to the Reformation whilst Scripture is given from God and that traditions are created by humans. Scripture is objective whilst traditions are subjective. Scripture is authoritative and if it was not separated from tradition then the Protestant Reformation would have been meaningless!

Similarly McLaren favours ‘the deep beauty of liturgy’ over the importance of doctrine, despite the fact that the word doctrine is mentioned eleven times in 1 and 2 Timothy and that the words ‘teach’, ‘taught’ and ‘teaching’ are mentioned no less than fourteen times in the same two books. Paul wrote and encouraged Timothy saying ‘Take heed to yourself and the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.’ (1 Tim 4:16) We could take a wild guess here and assume that doctrine is more essential to the deep beauty of liturgy!

Nevertheless in his defence of Anglican liturgy McLaren writes,

‘it is their deep appreciation for the deep beauty of liturgy that helps them make room for one another. Even if they disagree on what the liturgy means or requires doctrinally, they are charmed by its mysterious beauty and beautiful mystery, and that is often enough to keep them together… In contrast to Christians who argue about the five points of doctrine but show little taste for the beauty of truth, the Anglican way (as I have observed it) has been to begin with beauty, to focus on beauty, and to stay with it, believing that where beauty is, God is.’ (p236 a.G.O)

Is it any surprise that McLaren is ambivalent in his understanding concerning miracles?

‘for some complex reasons that we can’t go into here, some (not all) liberal Protestants will question whether some or all of the miraculous deeds recounted in the Gospels and elsewhere in the Bible actually happened… While I believe that actual miracles can and do happen (though I notice they sometimes create as many problems as they solve, and so I see why they aren’t given “on demand”), I am sympathetic with those who believe otherwise, and I applaud their desire to live out the meaning of the miracle stories even when they don’t believe the stories happened as written.’ (p68 a.G.O)

Incidentally the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ was the greatest miracle. Paul wrote to the Corinthians saying ‘And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!’ and ‘If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.’ (1 Cor 15:17, 19)

3.2 Lack of Clarity

In view of the fact that ‘a Generous Orthodoxy’ has been called a ‘manifesto of emergent church conversation’ it is interesting to note why there is a lack of clarity in its content. McLaren writes.

‘A Warning; as in most of my other books, there are places here where I have gone out of my way to be provocative, mischievous and unclear, reflecting my belief that clarity is sometimes overrated, and that shock, obscurity, playfulness and intrigue (carefully articulated) often stimulate more thought than clarity.’ (p27 a.G.O)

Surely, though, a lack of clarity is not helpful, especially as Jesus said ‘you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.’ (John 8:32) How is an unconverted individual supposed to have the gospel explained to them, and how will they ever know whether they have an assurance of their salvation, if the good news is presented in an obscure and unclear manner that begs more questions than vital concrete answers? Ironically McLaren expounds on the meaning of ‘generous orthodoxy’ and in doing so increases the vagueness of what it actually represents!

‘Generous orthodoxy does not so much specify a particular point or position as it establishes a spacious territory defined by certain distinct boundaries in which there is space to live, move and breathe while exploring the wonders and mysteries of the faith.’ (P18 a.G.O.)

The above definition is better described as ambivalent than generous. It is nonsensical to define something within certain distinct boundaries if particular points or positions are not specified. It is like saying let us play a game of cards, and then saying there are no rules other than it would be beneficial for the structure of the game to progress in a clockwise direction, though each individual may choose to operate within their particular rules when it is their turn! If the above paragraph is an accurate portrayal of a generous orthodoxy within the emerging church then its governing principles are meaningless! Lastly, generous orthodoxy moves and breathes and explores the wonders and mysteries of what faith?

 McLaren then explains what other areas, he would have liked to have included in ‘a Generous Orthodoxy’.

Finally in addition to all these egregious shortcomings, this book is woefully incomplete. It lacks chapters on Franciscan, Benedictine/monastic, patristic/Eastern, Celtic, feminist, immigrant, and third world Christianity, for example, subjects of great interest to me that I have not covered, without any explanation as to why not.’ (p43 a.G.O)

Therefore, for the above reasons, I completely agree with Brian McLaren that,

‘No wonder some will call this book a generous unorthodoxy, or an ungenerous orthodoxy, or a dangerous unorthodoxy, or worse. At least, for all these reasons and more, it will be easy to ignore by those bound to disagree with it.’ (p40 a.G.O.)

3.3 The Gospel

Brian McLaren has an interesting opinion regarding what the Gospel constitutes. He states.

‘I became less and less comfortable being restricted to the “personal Saviour” gospel. (p109 a.G.O) and ‘No wonder many people feel that “accepting Jesus as personal Saviour” could make them a worse person-more self centred and less concerned about justice on earth because of a preoccupation with forgiveness in heaven. Again, although I believe in Jesus as my personal Saviour, I am not a Christian for that reason. I am a Christian because I believe that Jesus is the Saviour of the whole world. (p109 a.G.O.)

Mclaren’s version of the gospel is more concerned with social justice on earth now, then justification through grace by faith in the finished atoning work of Christ on the cross. McLaren’s response in an interview demonstrates that, as he questions the Biblical definition of the Gospel.

Interviewer:I think that with all the other change going on, one thing we have got to hold firm on is the Gospel.

McLaren: What do you mean when you say “the Gospel?”

Interviewer: You know, justification by grace through faith in the finished atoning work of Christ on the cross.

McLare Are you sure that’s the Gospel?

Interviewer: Of course. Aren’t you?

McLaren: I’m sure that’s a facet of the Gospel, and it’s the facet that modern Evangelical Protestants have assumed is the whole Gospel, the heart of the Gospel. But what’s the point of the Gospel?

(galatiansc4v16-wordpress.com)

The point of the Gospel was to reconcile God to mankind. However McLaren appears to be more intent on saving the planet.

‘God sent Jesus into the world with a saving love, and Jesus sends us with a similar saving love – love for the fatherless and widows, the poor and forgotten to be sure, but also for God’s little creatures who suffer from the same selfish greed and arrogance that oppress vulnerable humans. The same forces that hurt widows and orphans, minorities and women, children and the elderly, also hurt the song birds and the trout…plus a theology that cares for souls but neglects bodies, that focuses on eternity in heaven but abandons history on earth.’ (p269 a.G.O.)

The problem is that no matter how well intentioned our saving love may be, it cannot save sinners. Justification by grace through faith in the finished atoning work of Christ is the Gospel. McLaren’s chapter ‘Why I am Green’ is a kindhearted attempt to contribute to the wellbeing and sustainability of the planet. Indeed, we should be good stewards of what God has provided us with, and although certain green issues may be important they do not relate to the Gospel.

3.4 Hell

Again, Brian McLaren is also vague regarding the terrible reality of hell. In doing so, he skilfully evades his own question.

‘But what about heaven and hell? you ask. Is everybody in? My reply: Why do you consider me qualified to make this pronouncement? Isn’t this God’s business? Can’t we talk for a while about overthrowing and undermining every hellish stronghold in our lives and in our world?’ (p122 a.G.O)

And in another place he contends.

‘And doesn’t the preoccupation with hell tempt us to devalue other things that matter? In other words, isn’t hell such a grave “bottom line” that it devalues all other values? It so emphasizes the importance of life after death that it can unintentionally trivialize life before death.’ (p109 a.G.O.)

A couple of important questions demand a verdict here, especially with respect of the next quote. If hell doesn’t exist in the literal sense following this life, then how could a holy God fail to punish those who willingly choose to pour scorn on the fact God loved the world and gave His only begotten Son to die so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life? This leads on to the next question. If hell doesn’t exist then what did Jesus save us from?

McLaren then quotes Pieper (see below) who appeals to the emotions pleading a case in essence that all creation reflects God’s goodness and beauty and therefore that nothing and no one is lost. Sadly, since the fall of mankind the world is neither peaceful, plumb nor sound as Pieper describes. Whilst it is true that God is sovereign, the idea that no one is lost could not be further from the truth. Luke 19:10 confirms that ‘The Son of Man has come to seek and save that which is lost.’ Again we cannot escape the questions, what did Jesus save us from and what will happen to those who refuse to be saved?

‘Who among us has not suddenly looked into his child’s face, in the midst of the toils and troubles of everyday life, and at that moment “seen” that everything which is good, is loved and is lovable, loved by God! Such certainties all mean, at bottom, one and the same thing: that the world is plumb and sound; that everything comes to its appointed goal; that in spite of all appearances, underlying all things is- peace, salvation, Gloria; that nothing and no one is lost; that “God upholds in his hand, the beginning, the middle and at the end of all that is (84-85) (p202 a.G.O.)

3.5 Ecumenism

Brian McLaren’s subtitle to ‘a Generous Orthodoxy’ provides a good indicator of his ecumenical agenda. It reads.

‘why I am a missional + evangelical + post/ protestant+ liberal/ conservative + mystical/ poetic + biblical + charismatic/ contemplative + fundamentalist/Calvinist + Anabaptist/Anglican + Methodist + Catholic + green + incarnational + depressed- yet-hopeful + emergent + unfinished Christian’

Indeed Brian McLaren seems to delight in walking a tight rope between liberal Christianity and Universalism. In his words,

‘I originally titled this chapter “Why I am a Buddhist/Muslim/Hindu/Jewish,” seeking to echo, provocatively, Crawford’s words about being linked to all people. The original title proved excessively provocative, however, if not downright misleading. So the current, less provocative title emerged, affirming that a generous orthodoxy takes the incarnation very seriously, affirming that God’s movement “us-ward” in Jesus Christ sends us on a similar trajectory “them-ward,” (p281-282 a.G.O.)

In John 15:19 Jesus said ‘If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.’ Nonetheless McLaren has his own ideas.

‘Because I follow Jesus, then I am bound to Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Agnostics, atheists, New Agers,…Not only am I bound to them in love, but I am also called to, in some real sense (please don’t minimise this before you qualify it), become one of them, to enter their world and be with them in it.’ (p282 a.G.O.)

In essence what is being advocated here is a hybrid form of Christian Universalism under the guise of the misleading term ‘Generous Orthodoxy’, which is not clearly defined either. In fact if it was clearly defined it would quickly transpire that the views being presented are in many ways contrary to what the Bible teaches. Since Scripture claims to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, not man (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:21) and the claims Jesus made are exclusive, in particular with regard to salvation (Matt 7:13, John 14:6), then an undefined, inclusive, open to interpretation doctrine that deliberately lacks clarity is obviously not the same Gospel that Jesus preached!

John R. Franke wrote the forward for ‘a Generous Orthodoxy’. He considered one of the virtues of the book to be that,

‘the centrality of Christ is combined with openness appropriate for generous orthodoxy. For instance, the biblical witness to Jesus Christ as the unique Saviour and hope of the world does not demand a restrictive posture concerning salvation for those who have never heard the gospel of those in other religious traditions.’ (p17 a.G.O)

Franke is attempting to widen the scope of salvation here. Not having a restrictive posture concerning those who have never heard the gospel or those in other religious traditions includes almost everyone! Currently, eighty five percent of the world subscribes to some form of religion! Jesus taught that ‘narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.’ (Matt 6:14) To use postmodern emergent terminology the metanarrative is being rewritten, recontextualised, re-packaged and reinterpreted. In plain English, Matthew’s Gospel confirms that the gate to salvation is narrow though generous orthodoxy argues it could be broad depending on which way you look at it!

McLaren also misinterprets the parable of the wheat and tares, confusing Christianity and Christendom with Christianity and world religions.

I also propose (with Jesus’ parable from Matthew 13:24-30 in mind) that we don’t seek to root up all the bad weeds in the world’s religions (including our own), but rather seek to encourage the growth of good wheat in all religions, including our own, leaving it for God to sort it out as only God can do.’ (p287 a.G.O.)

While there are obviously merits in almost every belief as there are good people doing good deeds in most religions, the inescapable reality is that the gospel mandate cannot be ignored and neither can eagerly contending for the faith! The kindest and most gracious thing a Christian can do for someone else involved in another religion is to explain the Gospel to them, speaking the truth in love, because they are deeply concerned about another’s personal salvation.

Also Mclaren presents the view that,

‘One realizes that the spirit of St. Francis and the spirit of Mother Teresa are one and the same: the Spirit of Jesus, to whom the poor and sick and the sparrows and salamanders are all precious, each in a unique way.’ (p269 a.G.O.)

No doubt Mother Teresa was a kindhearted soul who was unselfish, altruistic and was deeply committed to putting others’ needs in front of her own. Sadly, though, she was by no means insistent that Jesus is the only way to the Father. On the contrary she made no attempt to persuade those from other faiths to convert to Christianity. Mother Teresa was simply satisfied that if those individuals became better people, and that if they had no doubt of their way to salvation, then there was no need for them to search any further than their way of salvation. Of course, the Bible consistently affirms otherwise. The spirit of Mother Teresa is not the same as the Spirit of Jesus. Here is a quote from one of her books ‘Life in the Spirit: Reflections, Meditations and Prayers’.

We never try to convert those who receive [aid from Missionaries of Charity] to Christianity but in our work we bear witness to the love of God’s presence and if Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, or agnostics become for this better men — simply better — we will be satisfied. It matters to the individual what church he belongs to. If that individual thinks and believes that this is the only way to God for her or him, this is the way God comes into their life — his life. If he does not know any other way and if he has no doubt so that he does not need to search then this is his way to salvation.” (Pages 81-82)

Lastly, while the quote below does incorporate a line from Acts 17:28, please ask yourselves, “Does this paragraph fit the Biblical description of God’s omnipotence or does it describe the New Age concept of God simultaneously existing and being everything?”

‘To return to our tree analogy, God is the air that surrounds the tree, the soil in which it is rooted, the sunlight and rainfall that beckon it to grow and become, season by season, ring by ring. In God we live and grow and have our being. In God’s wind we sway and our leaves dance.’ (p321 a.G.O)

4. Conclusion

In his favour Brian McLaren does encourage people to become involved in missions, engage in social issues and make a difference in people’s lives by putting faith into practise. Those things are Biblical and should be encouraged and actions can speak louder than words.

Nonetheless the whole rethinking of the faith process is so undefined and lacking in clarity, and the interpretation of the Gospel and the Bible is so broad and entrenched in ‘emergent recontextualisation’, that the views presented in ‘a Generous Orthodoxy’, if they mean anything, are irreconcilably opposed to Jesus’ presentation of the Gospel and to what Scripture upholds to be accurate and true.

McLaren’s teaching has proved popular and he is in a high demand, particularly at Youth Events such as the ‘Shift Conference’ at Willow Creek, Chicago and Spring Harvest at Skegness. It is therefore becoming increasingly evident that Brian McLaren and the emerging church are becoming subtly incorporated into Evangelicalism. Unfortunately the term ‘A Dangerous Unorthodoxy’ is strikingly apt as a generous form of ecumenism is being advocated that replaces proclamation of the Gospel with bring and share dialogue events.

The product is an appealing package of politically correct, non-offensive Christian Universalism where the narrow gate has been reinterpreted and broadened. The Emergent Church is a clear and present danger to the truth and its advocates and people that are under its influence need to be encouraged to be like the noble Bereans and to examine everything with the plumbline of Scripture. Please pray for Brian McLaren and the emergent church movement that they would abandon those teachings and that they would earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

References

www.brianmclaren.net

www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/September/38.59html.

www.emergentvillage.com

MacArthur, J.   The Truth War   Thomas Nelson   Nashville   2007

McLaren, B.   a Generous Orthodoxy   Zondervan   Grand Rapids   2004

http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101050207/photoessay/17.html

Spink, K. & Teresa, M.   Life in the Spirit: Reflections, Meditations, Prayers, Mother Teresa of Calcutta Harper Collins 1983

Categories: Apologetics

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