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Monday, May 15, 2006 

Mondays With McLaren

About three weeks ago I finally decided to sit down and read cover-to-cover Brian McLaren's book, A Generous Orthodoxy (Zondervan, 2004). I bought the book shortly after its release in September of 2004 and, while I had often skimmed, scanned, or read whole chapters of the book, until now I had not taken the time to read it straight through. What I discovered is that A Generous Orthodoxy is a dense and provocative little book to say the least and there is much more to it than I have the time or space to discuss in a single post. In the midst of even a single chapter McLaren would surprise, delight, irritate, anger, and challenge me. I know of no other author who can produce such the array of emotions in a reader like myself in only the span of a few short pages. And if I were to inform him of this, likely McLaren would just smile and tell me he was glad to know that his book was performing up to its intended effect. McLaren is truely a complex guy and his books do not betray this fact. For this reason, I have decided to react to the book chapter by chapter or even page by page over the course of several weeks in hopes that we might together glean from McLaren his best and most challenging statements, all the while filtering it through an Evangelical and Biblical Theology, as one might tea or coffee through a strainer. In this way we may be able to produce a beverage that we as Evangelicals will find refreshing and stimulating, one that awakens us to act on behalf of Christ and helps us sustain our calling to be ambassadors of Christ to a world of depravity and darkness.

I will be critical of McLaren. There is no doubt about that. Even fans of the author know that there are glaring problems in his book and with his worldview. McLaren, himself, discusses many of these criticisms early on in A Generous Orthodoxy. In the end, however, maybe McLaren's words can be contextualized into contemporary Evangelical Christianity and there produce "a rich harvest of good deeds." Next week, I will begin with his introduction and hopefully discuss this seemingly oxymoronic phrase he has chosen as the title of his book. And while this discussion might take a while, I hope to eventually move on to his latest book, The Secret Message of Jesus. So readers, with all that said, I present to you "Mondays With McLaren."

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so can I borrow the book or do I "need" to buy it myself.

- sean

Well, you can't borrow mine. I will "need" it to do these posts, but speaking of borrowing books, I still need to get that one from you.

my mouth is watering. simply watering.
"Mondays with MacLaren"- brilliant! with titles like that, who needs actual posts? ; )

you know, kevin, not only is the title catchy but i think a picture of brian (and it's just "brian" for me, 'cuz we're practically buds) really spruces up a blog. and here i am adding a picture of andrew fuller to my post today, what a mistake i've made!

well good news; SBTS had a copy when I went to the library tthis morning. I thought for sure they would make me sign a disclaimer.
you know maybe I should do a "Fridays with Fuller" I have his complete works so there could be plenty of material to draw from. The only problem is I'm scared who mihgt be drawn to the site, all this world needs: another blog that Reformed Baptists are clamoring to!

Sean,

When are you going to quit the charade and admit that you are a Baptist? Seriously man, it so sad that you have deluded yourself for so long now. Remember, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

I am a baptist.
There I said it.
I also believe that my brothers and sisters who have incorrect understandings regarding the significance/mode/meaning of baptism can be in full fellowship with me in the context of the local church. Now the millennium issue, that's another story...

YES! I did it! I got Sean to admit he's a Baptist! My work is now done here. I can officially end this blog. Thanks to all my readers -- all four of you for making this time special. I will now go into retirement. Any future correspondance can be forward to my email address -- baptisthunter@efcaNO.com. Thank you.

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Paul was not interested merely in the ethical principles of religion or of ethics. On the contrary, he was interested in the redeeming work of Christ and its effect upon us. His primary interest was in Christian doctrine, and Christian doctrine not merely in its presuppositions but at its centre. -- J. Greshem Machen.

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