Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Brian McLaren Comes to Louisville
It is not a faith that takes sides…
Actually, isn’t it? We are either for God or against. And there is only one God, one way to Salvation.
I’ve read a bit of McLaren’s stuff. And you’re exactly right, McLaren doesn’t state the words “Christ isn’t the only way to salvation”*. But McLaren certainly falls short of always giving a reason for the hope that we have. There is no “defense and confirmation of the gospel”. He certainly ignores the preponderance of scripture saying that Christ is the way to eternal life with God. When we refuse to see others as outside of Christ’s flock, we cease to weep “that they are enemies of Christ” (Phil 3:18). That is what McLaren misses. We weep for them. He wants to be nice to, not love his neighbor. If my neighbor were in the lake and carrying an anchor while trying to stay afloat, if I were nice to him, I might tell him that that’s some nice water and a very pretty anchor indeed and chat about the wonderful boating weather. If I love him, I might tell him the same, but will tell him to drop the anchor and take this life preserver, it’s the only means that can save him.

Which actually goes into McLaren’s statement of You bring more credibility to Christian faith…. Both of these two give far too much on what we do. What I say doesn’t convert anyone (and on that note, I think that McLaren and others similar have it right). The Holy Spirit does. My duty is to tell them who Christ is, what he did and why. It makes my heart ache to read things like this.

On another note, Denny, I was looking for you and Articular Infinitives in the Greek of the New Testament at the Christian Book Expo here and Dallas and it seems both are glaringly missing. I’ll have to complain to the organizers.

* - Although one of the essays on his site says that Christ’s words in John 14:6 is not that Christ is the only way (he attempts to debunk Christ as the way saying instead that we are trying to attain something here on earth).

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You know what, I can’t let this go. This is too sorrowful for me to read. McLaren sidelines the gospel. He may not outright deny it, but it’s secondary. The message of the gospel to him (based on what he writes and says in public) is to be good and to do good things. That’s not the gospel. That is being ashamed of Christ’s work on the cross. That’s being ashamed that God has spoken to us. That’s thumping your chest and saying “I know better”. That is glorifying man and reducing the power of the cross (denying the power of). Piper got it right today, not McLaren.

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What about my accusations is false?

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Also, just to muddy the waters, Dr. Burk did not say that McLaren’s words “set him against”, but rather “chafe”. He rubs against, irritates. To extrapolate, he wears down the idea of exclusivity to nothingness. They both contend against evangelism that relies on an exclusive redeeming of the world through Christ alone.

And if saying that we should rely solely on the Gospel or that “Christ is the only way otherwise you face the consequences of sin on your own merit which is none” or point out that never preaching Christ alone is counter to what we are called to do emboldens supporters, then I suppose I’ll have to take that and claim Christ as superior. God and man are separated. God loves us, but we have all sinned. And we cannot “will” our way over or work our way to God. We have transgressed Him and we will be judged and our rightful sentence would be eternal life without Him. But God sent his son to die in our place. He that knew no sin was found guilty of our crimes and served the sentence for us. And by faith in that atoning work we are able to cross over (that’s a pun) to God to spend eternity with Him. And if anyone is too ashamed to boldly proclaim that, then that brings great sorrow to my heart.

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