Tag Archives: Brian McLaren

Can a person be postmodern and a Christian at the same time?

Can a person be postmodern and a Christian? Not for long
Can a person be postmodern and a Christian? Let’s look at their leader

Wow. Postmodern “Christian” Brian McLaren has completely abandoned traditional Christianity. McLaren, you may already know, spear-headed the “emergent church” movement – an attempt to fuse postmodern relativism with liberal Christianity.

Greg Koukl and Kevin DeYoung analyze his latest book “A New Kind of Christianity”.

The MP3 file is here.

Details:

Kevin DeYoung – Brian McLaren’s New Kind of Christianity
Host: Greg Koukl

Guest: Kevin DeYoung – Brian McLaren’s “New Kind of Christianity” (00:00:00)
Commentary: Reality vs. Religion? The Modern Upper Story Leap (00:56:39)
Guest: Dennis Prager – Reality vs. Religion (01:52:25)

We’re interested in the first hour of the three-hour show.

Topics of hour one:

  • What is Brian’s view of Creation?
  • What is Brian’s view of the Fall?
  • What is Brian’s view of Scripture?
  • What is Brian’s view of Truth?
  • What is Brian’s view of sin and Hell?
  • What is Brian’s view of the Fall?
  • What is Brian’s view of atonement?
  • How did Brian’s leftist political views infect his theology?
  • How did postmodernism affect Brian’s epistemology?
  • How faithful is Brian in interpreting the text?

There’s also a nice blog post about Brian McLaren by Melinda from Stand to Reason, too.

Excerpt:

McLaren doesn’t think the Bible is to be taken literally. For instance, the Garden of Eden story isn’t about sin and the Fall, rather it’s a “compassionate coming of age story.”  Consequently, the whole idea of sin and Hell is a horrible overreaction and has caused the church to offer a violent message and image all these years.  It follows from this interpretation then, that there is no need for the cross and Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Those are violent ideas resulting from a bad reading of the Bible.

And a couple of longer reviews are linked.

Tim Challies and Kevin DeYoung have written excellent and more in-depth reviews of McLaren’s new book and I highly recommend them.

I highly recommend you listen to this podcast and if you know anyone who is being influenced by the (non) religious left, take a look at the articles, especially the DeYoung article, which is quite good.

A generous “orthodoxy”?

And finally, here is a review of another much earlier Brian McLaren book by Biola University professor of philosophy Doug Geivett – one of my absolute favorite people. This is back when McLaren was just starting to leave orthodox Christianity behind.

Excerpt:

Brian McLaren’s book A Generous Orthodoxy (Zondervan, 2004) has been called a manifesto of the “emerging church” — a movement that is rethinking Christianity against the backdrop of postmodernism. McLaren is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Md.

[…]In using the term “orthodoxy” for his position, McLaren is making a political move to subvert traditional evangelical theology. “Orthodoxy,” as he uses it, is whatever happens to be in vogue and culturally dominant. Also, an important theme among postmodernists has to do with the nature of belief — they doubt that people have, or need, good reasons to believe as they do, so they emphasize behavior over belief. (This probably explains why McLaren’s book relies less on evidence and argumentation and more on rhetoric.) However, in de-emphasizing the importance of belief, McLaren and other postmodernists overlook three things.

First, belief is the engine that drives behavior. The best way to cure wrong action is to identify false beliefs. Second, all people — even postmodernists — have definite beliefs about the things that matter most. They can’t help it. While McLaren resists the invitation to state clearly what he believes — for example, about the eternal destiny of nonbelievers — surely he has some view of the matter and that view influences his approach to the proclamation of the gospel. (As a pastor, he should have good ideas about this and a host of other issues of theological significance.) Third — though postmodernists sneer at the idea of evidence — evidence matters because it’s how we determine what’s true and is crucial to ordering our lives according to truth. In this respect, the postmodernist is out of step with the culture because human beings are by nature evidence-gatherers.

Very important to understand where these postmodern “Christians” are coming from, and where they end up when they’ve worked their mystical anti-realism through to its conclusions.

Useful idiot Jim Wallis accepts $150,000 more from leftist atheist George Soros

From World Magazine. (H/T Jay Richards)

Excerpt:

Last year Jim Wallis encountered a barrage of criticism when WORLD reported that his religious left organization, Sojourners, took $325,000 from the world’s most notorious billionaire, pro-abortion atheist George Soros (July 17 and Sept. 11, 2010). Now he’s at it again: In an email note to me, Wallis confirmed that Soros’ Open Society Foundation has just given Sojourners $150,000 more.

The donation is more evidence that Wallis and Sojourners are on the left, even though the organization appeals to young evangelicals by claiming to be apolitical—in Wallis’ summation, not left but “deep.” Sojourners has paid its bills through contributions from co-religionists but also with $250,000 from The Tides Foundation, $200,000 from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, and additional sums from Barbra Streisand and others.

For some contributors, Sojourners is a useful tool in reducing evangelical support for conservatives. Others have grander motives: Soros himself has stated, “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.”

I think all Christians should have a view of economics, because we need to understand how to be effective at helping the poor. It may sound like a good idea to raise the minimum wage, but economists understand that raising the minimum wage actually hurts the poor, especially the young. It never hurts to study and to understand the way the world works – in any area of knowledge. I think that Christians should know how Christianity relates to every area, from science to history to philosophy to ethics to marriage and family.

Related posts

Mary Jo Sharp responds to Rob Bell’s book “Love Wins”

I met Mary Jo Sharp and Roger Sharp at the EPS Conference in Atlanta. They are awesome. Mary Jo is really passionate and animated, and Roger is really friendly and engaging.

Here’s Mary Jo’s article on the trendy universalist pastor Rob Bell.

She quotes Bell:

Pastor Bell states that Mithraism was an influential religion of the first century and Mithra’s “followers believed he was born of a virgin, he was a mediator between God and humans, and Mithra had ascended to heaven.” He also makes similar comments on the god, Attis, and discusses a little about emperor worship. After discussing the emperor worship, he states, “In the first century, to claim that your God had risen from the dead and ascended to heaven, well it just wasn’t that unique. The claims of the first Christians weren’t really anything new. Everybody’s god had risen from the dead. What makes yours so special?”

What? That’s news to me… I thought the doctrine of a single bodily resurrection prior to the end of the world was unique to Christianity.

Mary Jo assesses Bell’s assertion:

Finally, I think the obvious problem that should be noted is Bell’s statement, “Everybody’s god had risen from the dead. What makes yours so special?” In the Roman worship of Mithras, there is no recorded death story. Hence, there is also no resurrection story. So, from the evidence we have on Mithras, we can know that not everybody’s god died nor did everybody’s god rise from the dead. How can a comparison be conscionably made between Jesus’ resurrection story and a non-existent resurrection story? This comparison is illogical and should not be made. I would respond to Pastor Bell’s rhetorical question by answering that Jesus actually died and rose from the dead. Therefore, the early Christians had a very unique story if they were approaching Mithraic worshipers in the first century with the good news!

So Bell lied. It sounds like he is using “The Da Vinci Code” movie as a historical source in order to equate Christianity with Greek and Roman religions, in order to make the case that all religions are the same. That way, people can believe anything and still not go to Hell.

There’s more in Mary Jo’s post, but there is one outright mistake (or lie) by Bell. Why are people buying this book? It sucks.

Glenn Peoples adds:

None of the Mithras mythology depicts him being killed for humanity. In fact, he is not depicted as being killed at all. On the contrary, it is Mithras himself who does the killing! As is seen in the most widely use image of Mithras, he was said to have slain a great bull. Actually the very earliest reference to this event is from the close of the first century (AD 98-99), so it is post Christian, but setting that aside, Mithras’ death is not depicted at all. For the earliest reference to the slaying of the bull, see R. L. Gordon, “The date and significance of CIMRM 593 (British Museum, Townley Collection),” Journal of Mithraic Studies 2:2. Read it online here. As there is no depiction of Mithras’ death in any ancient mythology, there is likewise no depiction of any resurrection.

Swedish scholar Tryggve N. D. Mettinger (I can only wonder how his first name is pronounced!) is professor of Hebrew Bible at Lund University in Sweden and a member of the Royal Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, Stockholm. Although he claims that there were in pre-Christian antiquity a few cases of myths of dying and rising gods, he makes two important admissions in his monograph, The Riddle of Resurrection. Firstly, he affirms that he is going against a “near consensus,” and a consensus held not by Christian scholars, but by historians in general. Secondly, while he suggests that there existed myths of gods rising from death, he never suggests that the accounts are similar to that of the death and resurrection of Jesus. In fact he concludes the opposite:

There is, as far as I am aware, no prima facie evidence that the death and resurrection of Jesus is a mythological construct, drawing on the myths and rites of the dying and rising gods of the surrounding world.

Tryggve N. D. Mettinger, The Riddle of Resurrection (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wicksell, 2001), 221.

I find it interesting that so many people will buy a book based solely on Bell’s stylish appearance, complete with trendy glasses and hair, and his appealing universalist message. No one is buying it because they think it’s true – Bell isn’t in a position to know what’s true.  Why listen to a stupid person? It’s like going to have your fortune told, or reading horoscopes. It sounds good, but it’s not real.

MUST-HEAR: Greg Koukl and Kevin DeYoung discuss Brian McLaren’s apostasy

Wow. Brian McLaren has completely abandoned traditional Christianity. Greg Koukl and Kevin DeYoung analyze his latest book “A New Kind of Christianity”. Hint: It seems to be mostly naturalism and leftist politics.

The MP3 file is here.

Details:

Kevin DeYoung – Brian McLaren’s New Kind of Christianity
Host: Greg Koukl

Guest: Kevin DeYoung – Brian McLaren’s “New Kind of Christianity” (00:00:00)
Commentary: Reality vs. Religion? The Modern Upper Story Leap (00:56:39)
Guest: Dennis Prager – Reality vs. Religion (01:52:25)

Caller Topics:
1. How do you prove an attribute of God’s to a non-Christian? (01:18:31)
2. When and how was Adam created on an old earth view? (01:26:37)
3. How do you answer claims of Bible contradictions by Bart Ehrman? (01:41:39)
4. Disagree on take on the Executive Order about funding abortions (02:18:18)
5. If materialism is true, can God recreate us on the Day of Resurrection and will us to be the identical person as before? (02:34:47)
6. Death before the Fall is wrong theologically and scientifically. (02:40:46)

Topics:

  • What is Brian’s view of Creation?
  • What is Brian’s view of the Fall?
  • What is Brian’s view of Scripture?
  • What is Brian’s view of Truth?
  • What is Brian’s view of sin and Hell?
  • What is Brian’s view of the Fall?
  • What is Brian’s view of atonement?
  • How did Brian’s leftist political views infect his theology?
  • How did postmodernism affect Brian’s epistemology?
  • How faithful is Brian in interpreting the text?

It’s a 3-hour national show. Greg has a monologue in Hour 2 which talks about the health care reform bill, Bart Stupak, and the fact/value distinction from Francis Schaeffer, and a short interview with famous Jewish scholar Dennis Prager in hour 3 to discuss the health care reform bill, Bart Stupak, and subjective religion versus objective religion. If you like the show, here’s the RSS feed for the podcast. Greg’s show was among the first things that got me started in apologetics so many years ago. He is a solid, but tolerant Calvinist, and so it’s fun for me to hear a perspective that is a little different from mine.

Please give the podcast a listen.

There’s also a nice blog post about Brian McLaren by Melinda from Stand to Reason, too.

Excerpt:

McLaren doesn’t think the Bible is to be taken literally. For instance, the Garden of Eden story isn’t about sin and the Fall, rather it’s a “compassionate coming of age story.”  Consequently, the whole idea of sin and Hell is a horrible overreaction and has caused the church to offer a violent message and image all these years.  It follows from this interpretation then, that there is no need for the cross and Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Those are violent ideas resulting from a bad reading of the Bible.

And a couple of longer reviews are linked.

Tim Challies and Kevin DeYoung have written excellent and more in-depth reviews of McLaren’s new book and I highly recommend them.

I highly recommend you listen to this podcast and if you know anyone who is being influenced by the (non) religious left, take a look at the articles, especially the DeYoung article, which is quite good.