Saturday, March 14, 2009


I saw something this week that has about made my blood boil a few times as I was thinking about it: a poster promoting Brian McLaren at Eastern Mennonite University on April 1, 2009 on the wall of the church I attend; this shouldn't really come as a surprise since this is a Mennnonite Brethren church. What really bothers me though is that ignorance of McLaren's theology is so prevalent, and that people blindly endorse a speaker because they are promoted by a trusted source. (I, however, no longer consider the MB Conference to be on that list). I would no more send one of my children to hear McLaren speak than I would throw them into a den of ravenous hyenas. (The lecture at EMU is being promoted as for Senior High youth).

These thoughts prompted me to do an internet search to see if I could find a comprehensive article on McLaren's theology in case anybody would ask me for more information about what he believes. The best article I could find is entitled Formula Zero: Racing Towards Oblivion ~ Brian McLaren and the Emergent Church in the July 2007 issue of Vanguard Magazine by Neil Richardson. Using quotes from McLaren's own books, (especially A Generous Orthodoxy, which begins with chapter "0", hence "Formula Zero") Richardson reveals the aberrant theology held by McLaren.

Here is Richardson's fine conclusion to the article:
Brian McLaren’s brand new formula of Christianity when tested by the Word of God proves to be, like the first chapter of A Generous Orthodoxy, nothing but a big zero. He dismantles every single major doctrine of the Bible: the authority of Scripture, the nature of God and Creation, the nature of Man and Sin, who the Lord Jesus is, why He died, who the Holy Spirit is, what His work is in converting unbelievers, what the unchanging Gospel is that we proclaim, what being part of the Body of Christ means, how truth and unity must connect, the doctrines of hell and the devil.

The Emergent Church, like a souped-up theological race-car, makes a lot of noise, has a lot of va-va-voom, has every possible denomination label stuck on the side (each cancelling the rest out). McLaren goes round and round in circles, leading his followers, not to the finish line of a Christ-filled eternity, but to the hellbound pit-stop of a Christless social gospelism. 1.
I hope you will find his article as helpful as I have.


Additional articles revealing McLaren's theology:

Quote from the Lighthouse Trails review of 'Finding our Way Again", McLaren's latest book, the first in a series of seven:
In the last chapter of McLaren's book, "Theosis (via Unitiva)," he sums up his calling by stating that "The purpose of the via purgativa [the practices] is to prepare us for the via illuminativa [the awakening], and the purpose of the via illuminativa is to prepare us for the via unitiva [all is one], the union of our nature with the nature of God" (pp. 171-172). He calls God "fire" and says, "We join God in being fire ... Before the beginning ... God was All, and All was God" (p. 175). This is the exact same message that Eckhart Tolle and Oprah are propagating. But while many Christians are now condemning Tolle's message, they don't realize that the very same message is permeating their very own churches. For those readers who care about the spiritual future of their children and grandchildren, it is vital they understand the meaning of McLaren's spirituality in particular and the emerging/contemplative movement in general. We believe this is an extremely compelling motivation and should prompt us as believers to defend the faith and the gospel message of Jesus Christ. 2.

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