A New Kind of Christian
Carlos printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Nov 25, 2005 at 12:49:17 PM EST
While Russell Moore is trying to popularize a  narrrow, judgmental and patriarchal reading of the Bible, Brian McLaren is trying to popularize a postmodern and open reading of the Bible. What is interesting is that both Moore and McLaren come from similar evangelical backgrounds. As a professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Moore is directly linked to the current highly politicized leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention which in turn is connected to the wider goals of the Christian Right. McLaren is connected to what is known as the emerging church movement. McLaren is a good example of the growing number of new voices in the evangelical world that are challenging the Christian Right. Understanding the contradictory impulses in American evangelicalism is puzzling and uncertain, but I see in McLaren a sign of hope that there are forces within the broader evangelical movement that may eventually move American Christianity away from its current theocratic tendencies. Some quotes from Brian McLaren:
From a Beliefnet interview:

Congratulations on making TIME magazine's '25 Most Influential Evangelicals' list. How did you feel about being included?

It's complicated because my sense is that the article was really trying to equate the word 'evangelical' with 'conservative Republican.' Although I think there are many wonderful things about conservative Republicans, I don't fit in that category. So I felt I probably was the oddest duck in the article (laughs). On the other hand, I was glad if I could be an example of someone from an evangelical background who is not happy with the tone of the religious right. So if I provided an alternative voice, I'm glad that I could be included.

From an interview in the Dallas Morning News:

Many conservative Christians feel that the interests of America and the interest of the kingdom of God are closely aligned - they might even say the interests of the Republican Party. (Laughs). I think that is a deep area of tension. Many of us certainly love our country, but we don't think that the kingdom of God is in the pocket of any political party, or in a nation, or even in Western civilization.

From an interview on PBS's Religion and Ethics Newsweekly:

A lot of critics are really frustrated that homosexuality is a question you're not very definitive on. Why do you not want to go on the record on that?

That's a great question, and we could talk for hours about this. I think, as I said before, when an issue is badly framed, we're not wise to just rush in and try to answer it. And I think the issue of homosexuality is badly framed. One of my concerns about the framing of it is that I'm worried that the religious community is being manipulated by the political world and that the political community, in some ways, has decided this is a wedge issue, and we can use this issue to shave off voters from one party or another party. And so they've wanted the issue to be a political issue. I'm worried that the religious community has been manipulated by some of this political machination. I don't mean that as a conspiracy theory, but I just mean let's be realistic about how these things work. It seems to me it's worked that way; that's the first thing.

The second thing is that the issue of homosexuality is so complex, and as a pastor I have to sit across the table from people, from a young man who's raised in a wonderful Christian family and says, "Look, you know, I'm 19 years old. I've never been attracted to women. I didn't ask for this. I've been ashamed to tell anybody. You're the first person I've ever told." Well, when I have a conversation like that, or with a young woman who grew up -- her father is a minister, and she lived with this deep self-hatred for many, many years. She considered suicide and all the rest. When you have conversations like that, you can't just walk around making pronouncements like so many people in the media do. You realize these are real human beings we're talking about. And you realize that the issues are not as simple as many people make them sound. Then add to that the biblical dimension of it and the way of interpreting the Bible that yields these very easy, black-and-white [answers], throw people in this plastic bin or in that plastic bin and now we got them sorted out, here are the good ones, here are the bad ones. You know, I just think that's absurd. The Bible's so much more complex then that. If people want to start picking out a verse from the Bible here and picking out a verse there, and picking out a verse, we're going have stonings going on in the street. It's a crazy way to interpret the Bible, in my opinion. Now that doesn't mean that we just throw out the Bible, but we've got to learn ways to engage with the wisdom in the Bible that help us be more ethical and more humane and not less.

From an article in Christianity Today where McLaren responds to Mel Gibson's recent Jesus movie:

There are millions of poor Muslims who see the West as decadent, strident, arrogant, selfish, careless, and pugilistic, and of course, they are right. Can you see how offering them a fine movie could just make things worse? Instead, why don't we show them some Christians (in the West but not of it) who are honest, upright, peacemakers, compassionate, humble, and generous?

Our world is torn by ethnic, class, and religious hatred. Don't show the emerging culture a movie about Jesus: show them a movement of people living like Jesus--people who like him love the different, even the enemy, whose doors are open and tables are set with welcome.




Display:
Thanks for posting these comments by McLaren.

Now I know why SBC leadership has become so hostile to the emerging church movement.

by Mainstream Baptist on Fri Nov 25, 2005 at 08:15:50 PM EST


In my August 15 < http://civicconnections.blogspot.com/2005/08/evangelical-sect-in-politics-community.html> blog, titled "The Evangelical Sect in Politics & Community; Why I am Not a Christian Republican Anymore," I became alarmed by the intensifying levels of political maneuvering within the houses of worship. "Money-changing" political strategists have hijacked the Christian assemblies -- for the love of wealth and riches and not God.  I am angry about the hijacking of my church. I found your post edifying. It's good to know I am not imagining things because when speaking to "real" Christians, they insist that I am. Thanks.

by CivicConnections on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 08:40:45 PM EST

Another Southern Baptist leader attacked Brian McLaren and the "emerging church" movement in the Baptist Press yesterday: Baptist scholar sounds a warning to 'emerging church' - (BP).

Having read A Generous Orthodoxy over the summer, I found it to be extremely thought-provoking and inspiring. I highly recommend the book to anyone looking to deepen their relationship and be challenged to think. However, many Southern Baptists and other Christians are afraid to think about issues of faith and would rather paint the world in simplistic and judgmental terms.

Also in yesterday's Baptist Press was an article by Russell Moore attacking fellow Christians for accepting some of the tenets of feminism: Many evangelicals unwittingly live as feminists, Moore says - (BP). The article reports on a speech in which he also defends patriarchy. His words there are enough for me to want to be counted amongst Brian McLaren's new type of Christian.


by Kaylor on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 05:14:51 PM EST



WWW Talk To Action


"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (0 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (3 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (7 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (6 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (6 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (21 comments)
Religious Freedom is Not Just for Christian Conservatives
Religious freedom is one of the central issues of our time. Arguably, it a central issue in any time, and every time, at least......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Dallas and its Historic Connection to the Religious Right
There has been a recent rash of demonstrations outside of the famous First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.  The current pastor appears to be......
By wilkyjr (4 comments)
Fr. Frank Pavone Claims the 2016 Coughie Award!
Yes, folks it's time for the presentation of the annual Coughlin Award. As always, the competition was fierce. But this year, the gold......
By Frank Cocozzelli (1 comment)
Christmas Broadcasting Traditions
It is time to once again note the preposterous-but-malevolent claims that there is a War on Christmas. The annual revival of this repulsive anti-Semitic......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Steve Bannon: Alt-Right Anti-Catholic or Political Opportunist?
In March 2016 Trump campaign strategist and CEO Steve Bannon made a comment that could be construed as being blatantly anti-Catholic. He accused the......
By Frank Cocozzelli (5 comments)

Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (3 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (4 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (3 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (4 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (3 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (0 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (13 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (8 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (2 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (11 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.