Saturday, August 20, 2005

Crashing towards Truth?
A Thought on an Interview with Brian McLaren

...McLaren emphatically says that he is after the truth.

"One person who has talked about me has stated as a fact that I'm a relativist," says McLaren. The accusation is built on the foundation of one quote pulled out of context from one of his books, says McLaren: "There's a whole chapter in the book that he draws the quote from that repudiates relativism."

"It's such a wicked statement to say I don't believe in truth," McLaren adds, "It's very disappointing." He is adamant that he does believe in an objective truth, saying, "I can think of many places in my writing where I make that very, very clear. They're also accusing us of capitulating to post-modernity although we say in many places that we're not interested in being postmodern. I rarely even use the word."

subversive influence points us to a Covenant News interview with Brian McLaren.

I often read Brian's writings as iconoclastic. (I read Jesus speaking similarly at times with such statements as If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26, ESV). Such statements can right-brain us out of our comfortable theological and practical paradigms. Coming out of an age that celebrated the theological architect, statements of theological artistry aren't always appreciated. But they must not always be judged on architectural criteria. I'm not sure that criticisms of such writings aren't inevitable when the mode of discourse isn't understood.

One of the most valuable things I've ever heard Brian say is "Regard every complaint and criticism as a request for assistance." One can charitably view the higher waves crashing down in our recent emerging storm as just such dramatic assistance requests, sometimes leading us to underline where clear, non-artistic statements have been made.

Though the dance of accusation and response can be painful, these criticisms and the crisp clarifications they are evoking could serve to further the emerging conversation.

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mytruth said...

This sounds like me. I think things are relative to each person, but I do believe somethings aren't debatable.

Stephen said...