Thursday, June 14, 2007

Update to Associated Press Story on Brian McLaren

UPDATE: On Monday 11 June, I posted questioning the accuracy of a story claiming to be from the Associated Press quoting Brian McLaren. In that post, I also published Brian's response to the story.

An emergesque reader, Scott B, seems to have identified the source of the story and brought it to our attention in comments to that post.

The source appears to be a Wed 4 June 2007 podcast by Steve Coleman, an Associated Press Religion Editor, where he makes comments over audio Brian McLaren quotes.

The podcast is only about 1 minute long and I've transcribed the complete text below:


Steve Coleman:

Thy Kingdom Come

I’m Steve Coleman, with A Closer Look.

The Chairman of the liberal Christian group Sojourners says he believes that

Brian McLaren:

“Jesus coming was not primarily about getting people into heaven versus hell. I think he was actually coming to proclaim the Kingdom of God, which is God’s will being done on Earth.”

Steve Coleman:

The Rev. Brian McLaren says that’s why congregations in the emergent church movement focus more on social action than trying to convert people to Christianity.

Brian McLaren:

“We want to share our faith with other people, but people who don’t want to accept our faith - they’ve very happy being Muslim or Buddhist or Jewish or atheist or whatever - we have to say: well you know what, our faith drives us to want to be good neighbors to them and care about them whether or not they ever accept our faith."

Steve Coleman:

Does he want them to become Christians?

Brian McLaren:

“I wish that everybody would find all the great things I’ve found through Christ, there’s no question about it. But that’s not the same as wanting to shoehorn them out of their religion and push them into mine.”

Steve Coleman:

The Rev. Brian McLaren.

I’m Steve Coleman.

This original podcast is more nuanced than the derivative text article we cited and Brian's explanatory response makes his position more clear.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The fact is, people who are satisfied with their religion won't be interested in changing. But if people see "the light of good deeds" in our lives, as Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, if they see love us love one another, if they sense the love and grace and truth and character of God in us, if they hear us bearing witness to God's reality in our lives, they'll be attracted to our message and eager to learn about the hope that we have. I'm all for that. In fact, as you know, that's what I've devoted my life to ...

My only concern here is how many “Christians” live at such a consistently high level of love and grace, truth and character? How many “Christians” don’t even have their own household in order? If you believe the polls about “Christians” the facts aren’t good at all relating to social and relational issues.

I agree with McLaren’s statement, what I am confused about is his message. What if someone asked Brian, or one of Brian’s disciples about the hope that is within him (them)? What would his message be to that person? This is the real issue to me and concern about Brian.

--GvR

brad said...

hi GvR,

you said... "My only concern here is how many “Christians” live at such a consistently high level of love and grace, truth and character? How many “Christians” don’t even have their own household in order? If you believe the polls about “Christians” the facts aren’t good at all relating to social and relational issues."

could you help me understand what you're getting at here?

you said... "What if someone asked Brian, or one of Brian’s disciples about the hope that is within him (them)? What would his message be to that person?"

i'm confused as to what you mean here as well. could you help me understand this question?

much appreciated GvR. i look forward to hearing more of your thoughts:)

brad

Groover said...

Hi Brad
I wanted to touch base even though I don't have time right now to reply.

Rather than make our exchange public, I'd be happy to comment on the "why" of what I said. I feel my responses are those you've heard before, but might want to hear my voice in the matter.

If so, feel free to email me:
scampydrums@hotmail.com

Write, 'Emergent' in the subject line

Anonymous said...

Just admit that McLaren is happy to deconstruct Christianity to the point that no one converts anymore. His followers are just spiritual lemmings.