So a few weeks ago I posted a review of a book by Brian McLaren entitled ‘Finding Our Way Again’. You can find that post here. In this review I mentioned that in some parts of the book McLaren seemed to be teaching a form of Pluralism. While reading the book I sent an email to Mr. McLaren questioning him about this paragraph. Mr. McLaren was very gracious and took the time to address my question via his blog. In the interest of being fair, and full disclosure, I don’t want to misrepresent Brian or his beliefs, so I am linking to his post here. I am very grateful for Mr. McLaren to address this question, and I think it’s great that he takes the time to dialogue with his readers.
In all honesty, I do wish he would be a little less ambiguous about certain issues. Ambiguity when it comes to the Gospel I fear is a dangerous thing. I understand the value of conversations, but the conversation is not the goal of our preaching. I do, like Brian believe that we cannot have an ‘us’ verses ‘them’ mentality in relation to our Muslim neighbors, and they must be treated with much love and respect and honor…As we would like them to treat us. All religions and faiths should be able to co-exist on our planet peacefully…that should be our goal. Yet we know that ultimately, true and lasting peace, won’t happen until Christ returns to make all things right.
As Brian would agree, we must love as Christ loved. Still, there were issues in which Christ was not ambiguous or vague. He drew the line at who He Himself was, and the nature of the God that He was faithful too. We should be no different. All of this being said, we must be careful not to beat around the proverbial bush of truth. But that truth must be shared in love, which I would admit, many of my brethren fail miserably at this, as do I.
After reading Brian’s response, I don’t believe him to be a Pluralist…but others can make that judgment if they so choose. I’ve heard others question his orthodoxy, and again, others can make those calls. I know too little about his overall theology outside of the two books I’ve read by him, “A Generous Orthodoxy” and “Finding Our Way Again“. Either way, I believe the man deserves credit for his willingness to dialogue with those who may not be so friendly to him, and some of the stances he takes, and to those who disagree with him. I too certainly don’t agree with some of what I’ve read by him…that being said, I do respect him as an individual, even if I do question his theology.