9.22.2008

Wrong Answer

Prominent emergent-church leader Brian Mclaren was recently asked the question, "What is the good news?" As Michael Krahn reports, this was his answer: 

I think this is where it gets interesting because one of the ways that what we do becomes colonization, when we’re going to represent a religion and trying to make converts to a religion… but the good news isn’t the good news of Christianity, it’s the good news of the Kingdom of God.  And I think that Fatmire [Muslim peace activist also present at conference and sitting next to him on the panel] working for peace, is an agent for peace, and I’d much rather her be working for peace being who she is than… becoming a person in a church worrying about the list over there on that wall.  [on “the list” are things non-essentials like speaking in tongues, etc.)

So, to me there’s something we really have to grapple with about whether the border of a religion is the border of the kingdom of God.  And I think that’s a question we’d be wise to raise.  I liked what you said about there not being despair when you’re among the extremely needy people.   Wouldn’t it be interesting if we found out that God is present wherever there’s suffering because God is there bringing healing and God is really present wherever people are working against injustice because that’s the work of God, wherever people are working for peace. And then the we find that the place that God isn’t is where you have a bunch of affluent people who are self-absorbed… and that wouldn’t surprise me why they would get depressed, because, in some way, it’s not that God isn’t present but they’re snoring through the presence of God.”

In answering, Mclaren did expose certain things that are not the gospel.  But his answer is horribly wrong (It didn't include the person and work of Jesus!).  Here's a better one.  Compare the difference:

1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. (1 Cor. 15.1-8; emphasis mine)

HT: Tim Challies

3 comments:

Michael Krahn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Krahn said...

Hey Matt,

Thanks for the link. Most of the hits today come via a link from Tim Challies blog... which is why most of the comments are similar to yours.

Scot McKnight is going to link to the post on Saturday so we should see a few more pro-McLaren responses then.

Stay tuned...

Ed said...

Someone should take McLaren's straw man to the Burning Man Festival. It will burn for days. Just don't take his rabbit trails to get there.

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, even denying the Master who brought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. II PET 2:1-2