Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Brian McClaren File

This Changes Everything: An Interview with Brian McLaren
posted by Melvin Bray @ 2/06/2008

"Q: Some might say that heretofore environmentalism, conservationism and other such movements have been very much focused on staving off the catastrophe that is our inevitable future. In this perhaps they find some small common ground with the predominant trends in eschatology. In what ways do you believe the way of Jesus speaks into these convergent themes of inevitable doom, transforming them into meaningful efforts of hope and sustainability?

A: Many Christians seem to believe that God’s relationship with the universe is deterministic, that God has already filmed the future in his mind, and what we’re seeing unfold in history is the showing of a movie that’s already “in the can” so to speak. I don’t believe that. I believe God’s relationship with creation—including us—is interactive. God gives us warnings, which are an invitation to change our ways. God gives us promises, which are an invitation to persevere when the going gets tough. A great example is the prophet Jonah. He was sent to Nineveh to prophesy doom, in hopes that the people would repent so the prophecy wouldn’t come true."

[Brian misses again.... For him God is not sovereign. What about all the prophecy that was fulfilled?]

Interview with Author Brian McLaren
~ by Samir Selmanovic Sep 18, 2007

"This is really one of the key themes of my life – this belief that the issue isn’t Christianity, but Jesus. Depending on your background and what you’re exposed to, the Christian religion can have more or less credibility and appeal. But Jesus has an almost universal appeal. So that’s where I want to work from – not a “Christianity-centered” viewpoint, but from a Christ-centered viewpoint. In the book, I try to take Jesus’ teachings and example and show what resources they can bring to people today in grappling with global crises – whatever the religion of the people is who are getting involved. I don’t want to make the Christian religion the issue, or Western Civilization the issue, or whatever … I want to help people see the resources that Jesus offers to everybody as we and future generations face unprecedented global crises."

[ Is it just me, or is this another reiteration of the old quest for the "historical Jesus"?]

Leaders call 'Emerging Church Movement' a threat to Gospel Posted on Mar 23, 2005 by David Roach

"When asked whether a person must trust Christ as dying to make atonement for sin in order to be a Christian, McLaren replied, "I want to help people understand everything they can about the cross. ... I wouldn't say that having that understanding (Jesus dying as a substitute for sinful humanity) is all that it means to be a Christian. I think that some people might have that understanding and not be interested in following Jesus. They want Jesus' blood to pay for their sins so they can go to heaven, but they aren't really interested in following Jesus in this life."..."

[So what if "some people might have that understanding and not be interested in following Jesus." What a few "might" do invalidates the doctrine? Maybe it is not all there is to being a Christian but the Apostle Paul makes it a pretty core and indispensable item in I Cor. 15.]

Saturday, May 24, 2008


We went into the restaurant and the hostess directed our group to a table. We sat down. A waitress came and took orders for drinks.

"Coffee with cream. Thank you."

I looked through the menu, There were the familiar items this particular restaurant chain always has, and there were a few new things I may have seen, but never tried.

Then I noticed the stir fry dishes. Stir fried veggies and your choice of meat over rice. OK... Sounds healthier then some of the usual stuff. Maybe I'll try it.

The waitress returned with our drinks and then proceeded to take our orders. I ordered the stir fry and choose chicken as the meat selection for the stir fry.

It was the banana bread, biscuits, and dinner rolls that did me in. The bread is always brought out first so you can munch on it while waiting for the main dish. Problem is it fills you up and then dinner is served and the portions are relatively large.

The stir fry was actually ok, though the seasoning sauce on the rice was a little to much. I ate the veggies and the chicken pieces, and even managed some of the rice, but finally came to the point where the adage to "clean your plate" has to give way to the concerns for un-necessary over-eating... I was plain stuffed, and made the decision to not finish the remaining rice that was still upon the plate.

I looked at that rice. There was more food left over on that plate then many people in this fallen world eat in a given day let alone at a single meal. In fact there are people in the world who would consider that amount of rice to be a real feast. I also sadly reflected on the fact I was not going to be able to package that leftover rice up and send it to those hungry people....

Yes, I could have asked for a box, and taken the leftovers home with me, but this particular time I chose not to.

What's the answer... Whatever it is, the answer is NOT socialism... Historically Socialism gets an "F" when it comes to feeding hungry people...

We were done eating. The waitress came and cleared the dishes. I doubt very much that my leftover rice was going to be "recycled". The Health Department would make sure of that.....

My leftover rice gets thrown out, and somewhere in this fallen world a child is literally starving to death... I utter the "D" word to myself....

Maybe next time, I'll make my choice from the senior citizen part of the menu... But even then someone will still go to bed without having had anything to eat that day... Again I utter the “D” word to myself.

Come quickly Lord Jesus....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

No Place for Complacency
David Wells on The Courage to Be Protestant. Interview by Collin Hansen

During the last 15 years, David Wells has cried out like a voice in the wilderness against the ills of modern evangelicalism. His latest book, The Courage to Be Protestant, conveys the essence of his argument in four preceding books: No Place for Truth (1993), God in the Wasteland (1994), Losing Our Virtue (1998), and Above All Earthly Pow'rs (2005). Wells, the Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, spoke with CT editor at large Collin Hansen about "truth-lovers, marketers, and Emergents in the postmodern world."

Click on link above for full article from Christianity Today.
Chicken/Road and Imperialistic Order

[Satire] To ask why the chicken crossed to road is to miss the point, and any answer given is an irrelevancy. The only truth-reality in the incident of the chicken crossing the road is that which the chicken constructed for itself. What comes to us from that reality-perception is colored and distorted becoming for us only narrative myth.

We have no way of knowing if the chicken ever really existed at all, let alone that it crossed a road; however, the narrative myth meets us and we encounter in that story not the reality-construct of the chicken, but our own encounter with the chicken/road concept colored by our own meaning and our own reality-perception.

Our imperialistic notions of "chicken" and "road" thus become exposed, and we can then reconstruct those concepts into a broader narrative-mythology that will meet the need for a chicken/road construct consistent with the demands of current post-modern thought patterens. [/Satire]
Step Into Eternity

I am walking home from work. I take a step, then another, then another. Each step takes x amount of time. Time from our mortal finite perspective only goes forward. A nano-second gone by can not be recovered.

Science can not explain why we die. It can observe we die from auto accidents, cancer, or by means of homicide, or what ever. Science can only observe that we die, but does not explain why we get older, weaker, slower, more and more feeble, and at some point or another we physically expire. Science can only observe and describe the process. It can not explain why the process happens.

So we step through this mortal life to the end, and then eternity. The same with breathing. Breath in. Breath out. Nano-seconds of our life flying by never to be recovered. In... Out... In... Out... Step. Step. Stepping towards eternity...

How many non-seconds are you closer to eternity since you first started to read this?

Some think eternity is oblivion. We die and that's it. Others see eternity as a cosmic Merry-go-round, as we take various forms and shapes whirling around on some great mandela. The Bible says it is appointed unto man once to die, then the judgment. The Bible points to the resurrection from the dead, and the new heavens and new earth. The Bible also talks about hell.

Step by step. Step by step. Step by step towards eternity, not knowing at what un-escapable moment we will take that last step... That last step into eternity. Are you ready?

~ The Billy Goat ~