Today I have come across a few things that I want to remind myself to read next week. It’s all about Brian McLaren’s new book called “A New Christianity”. I am guessing you have heard of it? Anyway, it actually goes along with the current theme that I keep coming across in blog world; that theme being “liberation theology’.
I have learnt a new word from McLaren such as “Ubuntu". This word is new to me so I googled McLaren and Ubuntu and found a pdf file entitled ‘Christianity and McLarenism’ Ten Questions and Ten Problems by Kevin DeYoung. I was way excited to find a critique of McLaren’s book and I plan to go through the essay sometime next week.
Also, I thought I would check out the Amazon store to see if anyone else had written anything about his book. There is one review which talks about McLaren’s big wish for Christianity. McLaren’s wish is to tear up the old contract completely in hopes of writing a brand new one! In fact, this one review has generated many comments which of course I just had to go and have a sticky beak at… just to see where peoples head are at and if said reviewer got flamed for his review!
The comments that follow the review are just as enlightening with one person saying…
This whole notion of Brian’s reinventing Christianity as if what he’s proposing is wholly new or even heterodox is being WAY overblown! His theory of Incarnation very much resonates with that of Duns Scotus and the Franciscans, who believed that Jesus’ coming was not occasioned by any human felix culpa (oh, happy fault!) in response to a need for a grand cosmic repair job for some ontological rupture located in some vividly-imagined past. Rather, the Incarnation was in the divine cards from the cosmic get-go as a teleological striving oriented toward the future and we are active participants as created co-creators. This also resonates with the teilhardian and whiteheadian perspectives of process theology. These would be considered "minority views" of atonement even in Catholicism but they are clearly not heterodox, except, perhaps, to fundamentalistic Biblical inerrantists, who consider a penal, substitutionary atonement as the only acceptable narrative.
Certainly the above quote will have me googling things like…
What is the ’Duns Scotus’, ‘teilhardian’ , ‘whiteheadian’ and what is ‘process theology’’ all about?
So, I will just ask Jeeves and hope to come up with some answer that will explain all of this to me.
If any of you kind people know off hand what these people/moves/methods are? Please let me know. Some informative links would be appreciated. 😀
Also, I have just read about someone on McLaren’s site; this person was once a blind fundie and has now become an enlightened supporter because of McLaren’s work. The name is not disclosed, nor does it matter really. What does matter is how orthodoxy is being challenged because of the ‘Social Gospel aka ‘liberation theology’…
I experienced God as a gracious and compassionate being instead of monarchical and condemning. This led to a change in my outlook on faith and now, one might say that I am "emergent" or "postmodern" in my theology. My favorite Christian writer is Marcus Borg and I now attend church at the Salvation Army, because of their charitable work and tolerance toward modern science and Biblical scholarship.
What I am basically saying is that in less than two years time, I’ve gone from being one of your blind opponents to one of your enlightened supporters.
And another person says to McLaren…
I have learned to be more gentle, more gracious, more understanding and tolerant of all viewpoints while still holding fast to what I feel is true and right. In short, you have taught me to be more Christ-like.
I can’t imagine what it feels like to get so much mean-spirited criticism as you do, simply for trying to help others see what God has revealed to you. The fact that you are able to do this and still be the gracious person that you are, speaks volumes about the God you serve.
Yet apparently in his book, McLaren isn’t necessarily so kind and gracious to those of us who still like the old contract, you will see that if you open that PDF file up now! Do it!!!!
It seems obvious to me that Brian McLaren is a strong advocate of ‘liberation theology’. You just have to read his ten questions and his answers that DeYoung has written about and critiqued to see that!