Well, I finally broke down and did it. I read McLaren's 'Generous Orthodoxy.' I went back and forth for 4 or 5 months about reading this one. I really didn't want to pay full price for it, but eventually I did it anyway. It was a fun book to interact with. Obviously, McLaren is a very sharp and gifted writer. Just look at the amount of followers he has produced with his books. I came into the book knowing where I would disagree, w,hich was with the majority of the book. But there were some good things in it. In it, he "seeks to find a way to embrace the good in many traditions and historic streams of Christian faith, and to integrate them yielding a new, generous, emergent approach that is greater than the sum of its parts" (22). He walks through many traditions and takes what he thinks is good, and leaves what he deems irrelevant. Early in the book, he admits that he has 'gone out of his way to be provocative, mischievous, and unclear" (27), which is quite annoying at times. He also admits that it is an "absurd and ridiculous book" (31).
Knowing all this, I just wanted to pick out anything good he had to say. I do appreciate the humility, honesty, and charity with which McLaren writes, although in the beginning he does confess that he is harder on conservative protestant Christians (40), because this is where he came from. Here are some of the things I liked: the book "sees orthopraxy as the point of orthodoxy" (35), the emphasis is on life here and not just heaven or hell, Jesus Christ was not American, emphasizes the gospel as much or more than Paul's epistles, good works are very important, and I liked his chapter on being missional too. I don't like the fact that McLaren has no theological backbone. He is very vague on issues that Scripture is explicitly clear on, like eternal torment, and the exclusivity of Christ.
McLaren definitely does not believe in the sanctifying work of Scripture. He would not agree that right thinking leads to right living. It is funny that Paul spends 11 chapters in Romans on the deep things of God, then in chapter 12 he begins writing about right living.
McLaren also does not want anyone to be offended by Christianity. You cannot walk away from the gospels without being offended. Jesus had some very hard words. We can't neglect them. The cross will always be offensive. There is nothing we can do about that. I hope that the Lord continues to use McLaren to stir the affections of his people, in spite of what I consider to be some serious errors. Read Mohler's take on the book.
"the use of alcohol as a beverage can and does impede our testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ...our [SBC] leaders should take the high road in our walk with the Lord Jesus." - Jim Richards
Wow! I was never aware of the fact that in the SBC, our leaders are called to walk higher than that of Jesus. No wonder our denomination is the biggest. I wonder if he really said 'abuse' rather than 'use.' Probably not. Read Steve McCoy's rant, and Joe Thorn's thoughts..
"You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate,that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man,oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart." --Psalm 104:15
A lot has happened since I last posted. Things have been a little crazy, but good. I got married, went to Playa Del Carmen, then moved to Louisville, KY. We are still settling into our apartment. Things have been great. We still have a lot of transitioning to do. The blog dropped down on the priority list, but I should get back to posting regularly in the near future. You can peep the wedding pics here.