Skip to content ↓

In Deep

This morning I began writing my review of Brian McLaren’s A Generous Orthodoxy. As of 3:45 PM I am several hours in, but not near enough finished to seriously think I will be able to post it today. There go my plans for the day! I have written most of it, but now need to go back and edit it, clean up the introduction, and attempt to write a charitable conclusion.

It is a difficult thing to read a book, written by one who claims to be a believer, treasured by many more who are definitely believers, but so contradictory to the faith. I have not yet decided how I will handle this. Do I just say what I believe and indicate that McLaren’s writings are heretical and thus he is a heretic? Would I be uncharitable to label him in this way or would it be a greater sin to pretend he is not? I believe this review will be ready by many and will likely generate some discussion. If my articles on the labyrinth are any indication, the discussion will not be all positive.

But how can I not label as a heretic one who says the following:

  • He apologizes for his continued use of masculine pronouns to describe God. He proposes several solutions to this dilemma, including interchanging he and she or using the clumsy s/he. In the end he merely apologizes for the use of he, affirms that he considers God neither male nor female and tries to avoid using pronouns altogether. He goes on to say that the usage of the Father/Son imagery so prevalent in Scripture “contributes to the patriarchalism or chauvinism that has too often characterized Christianity.”
  • That we have “misunderstood and misused Paul.” He believes that traditional views of Paul have pitted him against Jesus so that we have “retained Jesus as Savior but promoted the apostle Paul to Lord and Teacher.” He tells us that the result of today’s Christianity is “a religion that Jesus might consider about as useful as many non-Christians consider it today.”
  • In regards to Mary he expresses a realization that his Protestant faith has been impoverished “with its exlusively male focus.” He explains how much we have missed, as Protestants, by failing to see the beauty of the incarnation through Mary.
  • That he rejects TULIP, all of the solas and biblical inerrancy, Further, he mentions the people who most understood what it meant to be biblical Christians as St. Francis, Mother Teresa and Billy Graham.

So what do you think? Do I just out and declare that he is a heretic and let the chips fall where they may, or do I instead take the charitable approach, drawing out the good and merely warning against false teaching?

Regardless of what I do I am looking forward to finishing this review and turning my attention back to the five solas, useless though they may be in McLaren’s eyes.

  • We All Have To Do With God

    We All Have To Do With God

    Every one of us must deal with God. Every one of us must, at some time, face God. Every one of us must be prepared to give an account to God. For, as Scripture says, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (February 24)

    A La Carte: Wherever he leads, he’ll go / Britain’s loneliest sheep / Helping your teen with porn / How do the Arminian and Calvinist views of election differ? / Exposing the good in digital distractions / Kindle deals / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Coram Deo Pastors Conference)

    This week the blog and this giveaway are sponsored by the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. Dear brother pastor, In a spirit of prayerful expectation, I want to invite you to the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. This new event is hosted by Clearly Reformed (a new ministry I help to lead) and Christ Covenant Church (where…

  • The Kindness of God

    God’s Goodness in a Cruel World

    There is much to love and appreciate about our God, much for which we ought to give him praise and thanks. One of the attributes we may consider too seldom is his goodness, and as an aspect or component of his goodness, his kindness. And that is the subject of

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 23)

    A La Carte: Order, preparation, and the Spirit’s leading / Desecration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral / Why did God stigmatize the disabled? / Who would I be if I was happy? / 7 parenting errors that can influence adult children to leave the faith / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.