That Whole Emerging Thing Emerges Again


Brian McLaren is guest blogging at TPM this week, in a cooperative effort to educate the latter’s readership on McLaren’s brand of Christianity. Thought some of the hippos and hipporeaders might be interested. His opening post is here.


10 Responses to “That Whole Emerging Thing Emerges Again”

  1. alsturgeon Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Don’t know your take on it, but I liked it. I might have to get the book – I didn’t fall in love with his “new kind of Christian” trilogy, though I did learn from those books (I don’t think fiction is McLaren’s specific gift).

    In my most recent thinking on life, I’m reminded of the way our old friend, Sharry Mathews from Habitat signed her letters (funny the things you remember). She’d sign off “for peace and justice.”

    That’s pretty much it for me right now:
    * Peace (breaking down all the walls that divide)
    * Justice (making things right for the hurting)

    McLaren seems to play in those worlds, which is why I liked his post.

  2. dejon05 Says:

    A lot of what I’ve read from the emergent folks really resonates with me. In the past most of the emergent stuff that really struck me was not written by McLaren.

    But this time I’m really snapping my fingers in agreement.

    McLaren states:

    Our world’s religions are failing to provide a story strong enough to inspire enough of us to deal effectively with the first three crises.

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve made no secret of my disgust for the way the church is currently conducting its business. A giant factor in my disgust is the thoughtlessness that some how seems to have been re-labeled “faith.” What a travesty.

    Faith has nothing in common with blind loyalty, unquestioning assumption, or a pooling point for ignorance.

    Some how the church I know has perpetuated certain archetypal stories that emphasize the (often empty) exercise of “worship” which often become a self-absorbed expression of faith with the same cost as attending a sporting event or a play. Its fun. And it makes God happy. Who could ask for anything more? Thats why attending church is mandatory for salvation, but no other sacrifice is required.

    What hogwash.

    Like McLaren says. These perpetuated stories that allow for cognitive atrophy appeal to no one outside of the church culture. They make no impact on those that Jesus served. They serve only those that believe them and count on them as an extension of their religious fervor.

    I’m not buying what McLaren’s selling wholesale, but he makes my head nod. And I’m glad to see some people smarter than me identifying the church’s crimes committed in the name of God.

  3. urbino Says:

    I thought McLaren’s post was pretty solid, as far as it goes. I haven’t read any of his books, though, so I can’t speak to anything larger than that one post. (I might have one of his books, but haven’t read it. I can’t remember. Honestly, I can’t tell these emergent guys apart.)

    I posted it mostly because I thought the week-long interaction between him and the TPM audience might be interesting. Those are mostly folks whose main (or only) exposure to contemporary Christianity is through the Religious Right’s politicking, and it’s not exactly love at first sight. I actually haven’t checked back to see how the dialog is going, though.

  4. urbino Says:

    the thoughtlessness that some how seems to have been re-labeled “faith.”

    Thoughtlessness relabeled as faith. That’s awfully good, DeJon.

  5. dejon05 Says:

    I just checked out how McLaren’s posts are progressing. IMO, the hits just keep on coming. I particularly like his non-speech by Bush.

  6. urbino Says:

    Thanks for the update. I think I’ll give it another look-see this weekend.

  7. sharrymathews Says:

    I look forward to reading the McLaren piece on my old friend Al Sturgeon’s recommendation above.


  8. urbino Says:

    Al’s doing a series of McLaren posts here, these days. Stick around.

  9. sharrymathews Says:

    I intend to stick around. I believe this little community may be just what I need at this point in my adventurous life.


  10. urbino Says:

    I won’t comment on how troubling an impression of your life that gives one. 🙂

    Anyway, welcome!

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