Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Did Not Write This, and You're Not Reading It

I've been having discussions with several friends lately about how it's important that we don't spend our whole life on "truth patrol." Of course, we need to maintain good theology and sound thinking, but if we spend all our time on search and destroy missions, looking to stamp out godlessness and heresy wherever it may occur, we won't be spending our time focused on constructive things that will help us grow, love others, and become godly (Christlike) people.

So in this spirit of not always grousing about everyone who's doing anything wrong, I am not going to write a blog post about Brian McLaren celebrating Ramadan this year. I am not going to point out that if I ever thought he was an OK guy who was just misunderstood, I now think he's lost it when it comes to orthodox theology. I won't say that he has somehow become the Splenda of faux Christianity...his words may taste sweet, but they're not real sugar.

I also won't say that McLaren's practice of Ramadan with his Muslim friends bears no resemblance to the Apostle Paul's commitment as stated in Colossians 1.28,29:

We proclaim [Christ], admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
I won't say that the last thing from McLaren's mind seems to be the proclamation of Christ. Or that his solidarity with others trumps fidelity to his putative Savior.

No, I won't say any of those things. I just won't do it.

But I will tell you that you can read his Ramadan posts on his website. The first of the series is here.


  1. Arnold,

    The timing of your McLaren post and my McLaren post is uncanny. But it just goes to show how un-current I am. While others are commenting on his latest shenanigans with Ramadan observance, I'm still picking apart the old material that helped him to get to this point. I won't say he's probably twice as heretical now as he was when he wrote A Generous Orthodoxy. I won't say he's turning into a (post)modern-day Gandhi wannabe. No, I won't say that . . .

    Your Splenda comment is perfect!


  2. An interesting issue came up for me yesterday at work. A young believer who is in Bible Study with my wife and I asked me about homosexuality. She expressed her belief that if two people love each other why not get married, and much more. Typical Seattle ideas.

    Instead of trying to "set her straight" on the issues, I did mention a few verses, but focused on the the universality of sin. We talked mostly about the internal liberation that a life of faith offers, and how everyone needs Jesus's words of healing.

    In my thinking she is a young believer living in a very secular context. She has numerous gay friends, and there are much bigger fish to fry in her life than this controversy. So I sort of eschewed it.

    I would like to hear from readers from others about your opinion of this circumstance. Not sure if I handled it with wisdom, or just copped out.


  3. Hey Ron! My opinion is that you and Kerri are amazing, and as long as you guys nurture your relationship with this young believer and keep sharing the Gospel and how it applies to everyday life, I think that your friend will come to a deeper understanding than she has now. Maybe reading Romans together some day would help her see a bigger picture. I found that "Pursuit of Holiness" to be very helpful.

  4. arnold, as always, you are on point... and funny! mcclarain is an unanchored wack job, i'm waiting for him to start preaching out of the koran! and BTW, i'm not on a theological witch hunt... although you did make a comment or two at lunch yesterday that made me wonder about you.. all that Jesus talk!

  5. Sorry. I'll try harder to leave Jesus out of it. Too many people talk about Him already...You're right.

  6. you are sending him web traffic - that in a way is like spending a unit (time/money/etc) in favor of him due to how we perceive the web. Analytics can't tell if the visitor is opposed, thus the 'board' or Brian will sit back and think they are making an impact, etc. May be better served actually pulling in the data/information you wish others to see in order to prevent an 'internet vote' (by way of a visit) from entering his camp.

    -just a thought - not necessarily well formed.

  7. Roy -

    Fair point, though I suspect you give me too much credit when you suggest my readership is numerous enough to make a dent in McLaren's web hit numbers.

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