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Where are the McLaren protests? Why are we not Picketing the other MarsHill?

2 Dec

So here is what I am learning. Apparently to some people the biggest sin in the world is being a big “meany”. Apparently the collective panties of many a blogger are in a a bunch because they thought Mark Driscoll made a point they disagreed with in a “strong” way. Boo hoo. Moral of the story in our generation seems to be “Be nice, it is all that matters.” The question posed by the collective “WWJD” bracelet of this generation seems to be answered by “Be nice, smile a lot and pat you on the head.” Welcome a world where people are so desperate to be affirmed that the truth stated is a harsh way is now way more offensive than than teaching complete falsehood about God. Because if truth mattered at all we would be protesting this morning in Doug Pagitt’s bathroom, or greeting Rob Bell this morning over his grapefruit and cheerios with protest, outrage and placards, perhaps painted on velvet.

Oh well, preach on, be strong Mark, part of why your preaching affects people is because it flows from who you are, don’t let whiny heretics steal that from you. What you are preaching is centered in Christ and therefore has power to save people from sin and death. The Preaching of others in our generation is centered in a human desire to be God, or a human desire to define and control God and has no such power. Oh course they get offended when you speak, you continually point to Christ and the coming of his kingdom…and that never bodes well for people who are busy setting up the kingdoms of this world, and especially dangerous when those setting up these false Kingdoms are doing it in Jesus name, because when you preach Christ it inaugurates Jesus kingdom and Jesus himself into our time and culture and it is much harder for these false kingdoms to flourish when the real Jesus is standing in the room.


Brian Mclaren and Erasmusvillage and the Unreformation2

11 Oct

So what if Martin Luther, Erasmus and Brian McLaren sat down for a conversation…Maybe it would be a little something like this:

Erasmus: “I find so little satisfaction in assertions that I would readily take up the skeptics’ position where ever the inviolable authority of Holy Scripture and the Church’s decisions permit…”

Brian McLaren: I agree “Ask me if Christianity (my version of it, yours, the Pope’s, whoever’s) is orthodox, meaning true, and here’s my honest answer: a little, but not yet. Assuming by Christianity you mean the Christian understanding of the world and God, Christian opinions on soul, text, and culture I’d have to say that we probably have a couple of things right, but a lot of things wrong, and even more spreads before us unseen and unimagined. “

Martin Luther “I assume (as in Courtesy bound) that it is your charitable mind and love of peace that prompts such sentiment..”

Brian McLaren: This is true. For me at least. I am unsure about ‘Ras but for instance, “I hesitate in answering “the homosexual question” not because I’m a cowardly flip-flopper who wants to tickle ears, but because I am a pastor, and pastors have learned from Jesus that there is more to answering a question than being right or even honest: we must also be . . . pastoral. That means understanding the question beneath the question, the need or fear or hope or assumption that motivates the question.”

Martin: But I say “To take no pleasure in assertions is not the mark of a Christian heart. Indeed one must delight in assertions to be Christian at all…”

McLaren: Well I guess that is ok with me because “I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts.”

Martin: “Now lest we be mislead by words, let me say here that by ‘assertion’ I mean staunchly holding your ground, stating your position, confessing it, defending it and persevering in it unvanquished. …And I am atlking about the assertion of what has been delivered to us from above in the Sacred Scriptures”

McLaren: Yes but “Scripture is something God had ‘let be,’ and so it is at once God’s creation and the creation of the dozens of people and communities and cultures who produced it.”

Erasmus: Word. I say it again: “I find so little satisfaction in assertions that I would readily take up the skeptics’ position wherever the inviolable authority of Holy Scripture and the Church’s decisions permit…”

Luther: “The Christian would rather say this: ‘So little do I like skeptical principles, that, so far as the weakness of my flesh permits, not merely shall I make it my invariable rule steadfastly to adhere to the sacred text in all that it teaches, and to assert that teaching, but I also want to be as positive as I can about those non-essentials which scripture does not determine; For uncertainty is the most miserable thing in the world…”

McLaren: Well I don’t know about that “clarity is good, but sometimes intrigue may be even more precious; clarity tends to put an end to further thinking, whereas intrigue makes one think more intensely, broadly, and deeply.”

Luther: Now you sound just like Erasmus…What was that you said about this Ras’?

Erasmus: Simply this “some [doctrine] is recondite [Concerned with obscure subject matter] , whereas others are quite plain”

Luther: Surely at this point you are either playing tricks with someone else’s words or are practicing a literary effect! However you quote in your support Paul’s words in Romans 11: ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!’ And Isaiah 40 ‘Who gave help to the Spirit of the Lord , or who hath been his counselor?’ It was all very easily said, …but…here is my distinction: God and his scripture are tow things, just as creator and creation are two things. Now no one questions that there is a great deal hid in God of which we know nothing. Christ himself says of the last day ‘Of that day no man knows but the father’…But the notion that in scripture some things are recondite and not all plain was spread by the godless sophist. I certainly grant that many passages in scripture are obscure and hard to elucidate, but that is not due to the exalted nature of the subject but to out own linguistic and grammatical ignorance; and it does not in any way prevent our knowing of scripture. For what solemn truth can the Scriptures still be concealing, now that the seals are broken, the stone rolled away from the door of the tomb, and the greatest mystery of all mysteries bright to light-that Christ God’s son became man, that God is Three in one. And that Christ suffered for us and will reign forever? Take Christ from the Scriptures and what more will you find in them? You see then that the entire content of Scriptures has been brought to light…”

To Be Continued…

Don’t Tell Him I Said So…

4 Oct

Rather shockingly while researching for a post I will soon write called “Erasmus McLaren and the Unreformation2” I found this quote by Brian McLaren:

“The church has been preoccupied with the question, “What happens to your soul after you die?” As if the reason for Jesus coming can be summed up in, “Jesus is trying to help get more souls into heaven, as opposed to hell, after they die.” I just think a fair reading of the Gospels blows that out of the water. I don’t think that the entire message and life of Jesus can be boiled down to that bottom line.” —Brian McLaren, from the PBS special on the Emerging Church

Now if you have been under the influence of crazy “The Kingdom is only for the Jews…Someday” dispensationalists, you might not realize it but he is exactly right. I the Really is a Kingdom and it really is advancing and John 10:10 means anything at all he is very, very right.