Posts Tagged ‘Brian McLaren’

Christian Exclusivity

Monday, September 19th, 2011 by JEL

The term “Christian Exclusivity” refers mainly to God. Is God a Christian? Is God *only* a Christian? Does he/she care only about Christians? If you’re an Exclusivist, the answers are a resounding “yes.” R. Kirby Godsey recently published a book called Is God a Christian?: Creating a Community of Conversation in which he argues against the Exclusive perspective:

… we Christians have to come to grips with the reality that there is not much that appears exclusive about the mind or the actions of Christ. Beggars, lepers, adulterers, and Samaritans were all welcome. Jesus broadened the circle of God’s embrace. Insofar as the Christian religion has come to offer itself as the exclusive bag of answers to life’s most difficult questions or a proprietary window through which the light of God shines on the human race, Christianity has simply become one more world religion competing for center stage.

Brian McLaren has written a  review of the book where he helps to explain the dangers of closed mind/faith:

When Godsey speaks against Christian exclusivity—which he does passionately and often, he doesn’t mean that Christians should love Jesus less. He isn’t arguing that Christians should dump Jesus as their exclusive commitment and “date around.”

He’s saying that to truly and deeply love Jesus, to be rightly and fully committed to his message and mission, Christians must resist the temptation to let the boundaries of their own religion define the circle of God’s embrace. Christians must do this, not as an act of compromise with pluralism, but as an act of faithfulness to Jesus, who proclaimed in word and deed that God’s love does not push anyone outside its infinite circumference.

One Wild Goose

Monday, June 20th, 2011 by JEL

If you’re in the North Carolina neighborhood this week, you might want to stop in and check out the Wild Goose Festival. Festival organizers describe it thusly:

The Wild Goose is a Celtic metaphor for the Holy Spirit. We are followers of Jesus creating a festival of justice, spirituality, music and the arts. The festival is rooted in the Christian tradition and therefore open to all regardless of belief, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, denomination or religious affiliation.

Michelle Shocked, David Wilcox, and T-Bone Burnett are among the musicians to perform, and speakers include many highlighted in this very blog: Brian McLaren, Jim Wallis, and Shane Claiborne. The festival is a whopping ten years in the making.

I’ll leave you with two quotes from today’s USA Today story. The first is from festival organizer Gareth Higgins:

“We gather to learn what Jesus came to teach us, which is not how to be a Christian, but how to be human.”

The second is from Ken Silva, a Southern Baptist blogger of New Hampshire-based Apprising Ministries:

“The wise Christian will have nothing to do with these neo-Gnostic fools who’ve unbuckled themselves from the Word of God and have embarked upon their Wild Goose Chase of subjective experience.”

Positive, Evolving Change

Monday, February 7th, 2011 by JEL

Brian McLaren was one of the first people who reviewed our book. I have always found him a voice of logic and reason in a spiritual world that is often lacking in those areas. This piece talks about his belief that Christians are in denial over the ongoing change of their faith. While he points out numerous areas where the Church has changed over the centuries, he still finds many clinging to the Old Testament and traditions mindlessly passed down through the generations.

“The call to be a Christian and a follower of God and of Jesus, that call is a call to the future and not a call to the past. My Christian identity is more about joining God in the healing, restoration and development and evolution of the world moving toward a brighter, richer and deeper future. Whereas the identity of joining the Christianity apart from an evolutionary understanding is joining the ranks and we’re holding the lines of something that is 2,000 years old.”

“Jesus, Reconsidered”

Friday, March 26th, 2010 by JEL

The title of this post is taken (hence the quotes) from this NPR story by Barbara Bradley Hagerty. You can read the text of the story, but I recommend listening as the voices add a lot. It concerns reaction over Brian McLaren’s new book, “A New Kind of Christianity.” McLaren is a prominent and influential evangelical and a writer of both books and blogs.

He was also one of the first people to give us a review of What He Said. Again, listen to the story.