Friday, August 29, 2008

CT article on Brian McClaren

I received my Christianity Today magazine in the mail today. I am always interested to find out what will be inside. This magazines, if nothing else, tells what is being talked about in American Christianity. This issue contains an article written by popular writer and blogger Scot McKnight about often controversial Brian McClaren.

McKnight begins with some context of how he views McClaren and all things emergent and then asks a few of the critical questions that many are asking.

Questions like: What about clarity? Why does McClaren enjoy stirring up controversial thoughts without explaining what he means? What about the cross? McKnight asks some other questions that I would have about McClaren's understanding of the purpose and significance of the cross. McKnight quotes McClaren's descriptions of the purpose of the cross as a movement of peace and liberation. Nothing about total depravity. Nothing about man's desperate need of a savior. Lastly, McKnight poses some questions about the failure to mention the role of the church in the "kingdom" agenda. He points out that the message is always about the kingdom, but never mentions the church.

McKnight states "according to the New Testament, the kingdom vision of Jesus is, is seems, only implemented through the church". So he questions why the church is rarely if ever mentioned in McClaren's writings.

Overall, I felt that Scot McKnight asked some of the critical questions that need to be addressed. I would have asked more, but it was only a magazine article and not a book so I understand.

McClaren has made a habit of making outlandish statements in the name of Christianity. He also seems to enjoy interpreting God's will from his own personal perceptions of the world how he feels about what the Bible says. He really has a problem with people who simply read the Bible and believe that it means what it says.

I have long been concerned for the many Christians who believe that McClaren's opinions are from the Bible so I am thankful for some healthy critique of his teaching in a very respectful way. I would encourage you to read the article for yourself if you have interests in the emergent movement or any forms of post modern Christianity.

If you read the article, what did you think of it?

What are your thoughts on McClaren and his many writings and teachings?

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