For those of you unaware, Brain McLaren is the leader of the Emerging Church movement. Also associated with this movement are prominent leaders and pastors such as Rob Bell and Tony Jones. This is a recent movement that is encouraging others to value relationships over Truth, and is also revamping the traditional view of salvation in Christ. I realize some of my readers are at least somewhat involved in this movement, so please tell me if I am being too subjective here. And I would appreciate any feedback.
Moving on to the book, Mclaren states that:
"With no apologies to Martin Luther, John Calvin, or modern evangelicalism, Jesus (in Luke 16:9) does not prescribe hell to those who refuse to accept the message of justification by grace through faith, or to those who are predestined for perdition, or to those who don't express faith in a favored atonement theory by accepting Jesus as their 'personal savior.' Rather, hell--literally or figurative--is for the rich and comfortable who proceed on their way without concern for their poor neighbor day after day."Tim summarizes views on heaven, hell, and salvation with this:
"Rather than being eternal realities, heaven and hell become states we create on this earth as we pursue or deny the kingdom of God. Because Jesus' message is not one of sinful men becoming reconciled to a holy God through an atoning sacrifice, those of any creed can seek and participate in the kingdom. People of other creeds may well be participating in it more fully and more purely than ones who claim to be Christians. Men and women of all creeds can be followers of Jesus living out the kingdom of God even if they have never heard His name."
Wow!!! Tim sums up the book with this statement:
"It seems increasingly clear that the new kind of Christian McLaren seeks is no kind of Christian at all. The church on the other side of his reinvention is a church devoid of the glorious gospel of Christ's atoning death. It is a church utterly stripped of its power because it is a church stripped of the gospel message. McLaren's new gospel is a social gospel, a liberal gospel and, in fact, no gospel at all. This Emerging Church has managed to do something remarkable--it has emerged into something the church has already seen, has already wrestled with, and has already defeated. The Emerging Church has gone suicidal."
The reason I point these things out is not to create arguments for arguments sake. The Truth is a very sacred thing, and I am interested in knowing God and the gospel as explained in the Bible. Obviously, some might point out that I have a skewed view because of my theological presuppositions, or just by the fact that I was born in the late 21st century. But as I explained in a recent post, my pursuit and understanding of Truth is only further confirmed by the history of the church throughout the ages.