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    August 10th, 2012 @ 9:33 am by Kevin

    If you want to know why, check out his latest piece in the Huffington Post. No, Brian hasn’t become a weatherman. But he does make an insightful connection between hostility and identity that we would all do well to ponder. This is just a taste of the broader argument he makes in his upcoming book Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?, which comes out this September.



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  1. My favorite part (which made it worth slogging through McLaren’s hippie drivel was LA Brother’s response:
    The evils of violence and hatred stem from a sinful heart – not from social causes. McLaren questions the existence of evil and Hell, both of which Jesus (apparently one of McLaren’s heroes along with those other guys) explicitly taught about, fought against, and overcame with his death and resurrection. It’s no surprise a heretic like Mr. McLaren would try to look for answers elsewhere and attempt to promote himself as some sort of enlightened, new age thinker and crusader against some kooky, made up syndrome.

    • David: your anger and disgust are palpable. A far cry from the gracious spirit I have experienced in Brian’s writings and in my personal interactions with him. Something to think about in light of Jesus’ admonition in John 13:34-35.

      • Guilty as charged. I am angry and disgusted. (Please don’t take that personally. I’m a big fan of ‘Expelled’ and, as an aspiring screenwriter myself, would love to read any fiction you’ve written)
        The real question is not do I sound like Brian McLaren (a shuddery thought) but does Brian McLaren sound like Jesus, John the Baptist, Paul, etc. Obviously he doesn’t. We must HATE evil and abhor heresy, so the Bible says.

  2. David. I’m sure you know that the Nicene Creed was in part the church’s attempt to fight against the heresy of arianism. But did you know that Gregory Nanzianzus, who was voted to be head of the council that gave us this creed by over 100 bishops, was known to have believed in ultimate reconciliation. Also that Gregory of Nyssa, who wrote up the final draft of this creed taught ultimate reconciliation, and at least one of these sermons can be found in the internet.

    So if believing in ultimate reconciliation, instead of eternal hell ,is a heresy then that means that a heretic was voted as president of the Nicene council (which puts into question the bishops who voted for him) and a heretic wrote up the final draft of this creed. Which would of course make the Nicene Creed itself (being one of the foundational creeds of the Christian faith) as being questionable…. if not downright heretical.

    As well the majority (if not all) of the founding fathers didn’t believe in eternal torments and they of course were the people that decided which writings were inspired scripture. So if they were heretics then that would bring your bible into question.

    In other words, the very foundations of the Christian faith was built on people that would have been heretics according to your understanding.

    By the way Ultimate reconciliation can be found in both Jesus words and Paul’s writings, as well as a different teaching on God’s wrath than you believe.

    • I’ve never been that impressed with the so-called early church fathers. The only fathers I’m listening to are John, James, Paul, etc. Paul warned about those who would come after…even from within the church.
      So I suppose since the early church fathers allegedly believed in the ‘Eucharist’ and veneration of the Blessed Virgin that you would allow a man in a funny costume occupying an office not found in scripture to tell you to worship a piece of bread. NO wait, that’s right, you reject Catholicism but accept whatever ancient apocryphal writings support your pacifist god view.

      • But it was the early church fathers who decided that the writings of Paul were canon. Paul clearly taught a different view of wrath than you are espousing, and the majority of ultimate reconciliation texts are from Paul’s writings.

        The early church fathers didn’t have all of the same beliefs as Roman Catholicism would later have…. such as the wrathful pagan God that came into the church from Christians, under the influence of pagan gnosticism which you believe in..
        This included the Roman understanding of transubstutation at the Eucharist. The early Christians believed in “real presence” at the Eucharist…. in other words God was present with, and around them during the eucharist.

        Paul’s writings, and Jesus’ sayings in the Gospel support my view. Are you saying that they are apocryphal? 😉


        Do you believe that we are supposed to act Godly as the Bible says? Do you believe that we are supposed to imitate Christ (being fully God) as the Bible clearly says? So then, if I acted like the God your teaching I’d deserve to be thrown into prison. Even more….. The God you believe in would clearly throw people into hell for acting just like him, would he not. I mean, according to your understanding, would not someone who vengefully slaughters millions of their enemies deserve to go to hell?


        But as well….. I suspect that you think that someone who doesn’t act like God (Godly) would deserve to go to hell. Right? So I guess that means that a person deserves to go to hell for acting like God…. but also deserves to go to hell for not acting like him (by not slaughtering millions of their enemies).

        • Obviously we can;t do what God does, slaughtering our enemies…

          Ro 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

          It is always my hope that my enemies would repent and be saved. But any realistic reading of scripture shows this will most likely not happen. Broad gate, many…narrow gate, few…or is that just my interpretation?

          • David. I’m not sure if your still looking at this blog, but just in case.

            I believe you need to learn about the love of God, and learn how to properly “divide the word of God”.

            For instance. Take the Romans 12. Notice that it says “for it is written”. Paul is quoting this text from Deuteronomy 32: 35 (as Hebrews 10 also does) where it says “Unto the times of vengeance and requital. Unto the time their foot shall totter? For near is the day of their fate and their destiny speeds on”.

            Now take a look at Deut:32 34 – 43 closely. Just after the above text (in relation to it) the writer says – Deut 32:36 “For Yahwe will VINDICATE his people, and upon his servants WILL HAVE COMPASSION”

            The Hebrew word here translated as vindicate is “Mishpat” and essentially means vindicate in the sense of SETTING RIGHT WITH GOD.

            Later on in Deut 32:39 the text then says “I kill – AND MAKE ALIVE, I wound, AND I HEAL…. and there is none from whom my hand can deliver”.


            So here God is saying that this “vengeance” sets people right with God as well as “kills” and “wounds” in order to “make alive” and heal”.

            So then the text goes on to talk more about this “judgment” ending up with this interested passage.
            Deut 32:43 “SHOUT FOR JOY ALL THE NATIONS WITH HIS PEOPLE. For the blood of his servants he avenges. And the vengeance he turns onto his adverseries.

            In other words the “vengeance” ultimately brought them to the place where they are given life, healed, and vindicated (set right with God), to the point where the Bible declares that they should be joyful.

            So then getting back to Romans 12: 19 that is quoting from Deutronomy it says “Being at peace with all mankind you are not avenging yourselves beloved but be giving place to his “Wrath” for it is written, Mine is vengeance I will repay.


            So then with this in mind we have to remember Paul’s understanding of wrath that I have been talking about as shown in Romans 1. This simply being allowing people to follow their own paths deeper and deeper into their depravity.

            Thus pulling it all together Paul is saying something like “Be at peace with all mankind, don’t avenge yourselves but give place to God’s allowing people to follow their own paths into darkness from which they will learn their own lessons. This “wrath” or “vengeance” will allow them to go to a bad place that will “wound, bruise, cause destruction of self” but God is longsuffering with them and is waiting for them to return to him after they have learned their lessons”. When they do repent and turn to God they will be “vindicated” (set right with God according to the way – in the New Testament – justification), healed, given life, and will Sing for joy because of God’s mercy.


            Just like the parable of the prodigal son. So Paul is saying…. don’t repay evil for evil… but instead allow them to go their evil ways in God’s “wrath”. God in his wisdom mercy and love will bring good out of their evil.

            Because thats the kind of God we serve.

            The Jonathon Mitchell Bible’s translation of this Romans passage makes these concepts clearer.

            “….. but on the contrary, you folks must yield the position held in anger, for it has been written.

            “In me is maintenance of justice; I Myself will give away, instead (or; I will be making a recompense to you) the Lord is habitually saying (Deut. 32: 35; comment; If we are not to practive giving away evil in exchange for evil then we should not expect the Lord to do this).”

            Notice the translators comment at the end of the text. You had commented on the “broad gate and the narrow gate”. That can be translated as the broad “way” or the narrow “way”. The early Christians called themselves “the Way” as mentioned in Acts. This was because of this text amongst others.

            They were, with Christ’s help, following the narrow way or simply “the way” that did not lead to destruction like the broad way. This “destruction” was the bruising or destruction of self as I have mentioned. In other words falling off of “the way” (God’s “wrath allowing this) leads to self destruction, while following “the way” leads to life, peace, joy happiness. People who do fall from the way are the prodigals who come back to God and are vindicated and justified (set right with God according to “the Way”).


            The path of vengeful violence is not the path (the way) that we are supposed to take. It is indeed the path leading to “destruction”. Is that not obvious in our world?

            But here’s the thing. Jesus said “I AM “the Way”, the truth, and the life. “The Way” is the path of truth and life.

            But also…. If something is against “the Way” for us (such as vengeful violence), and Jesus (being the fully representation of God) IS “the Way”, then it is also outside of “the Way” for Jesus and thus for God.


            This understanding of “vengeance” that you are expressing is clearly outside of “the Way” for us, and thus outside of “the Way” for God. therefore Jesus (God) being “the Way” doesn’t (dare I say can’t) express or act according to your understanding of vengeance.

            Thus earlier on in Romans, in the context of this, Paul says “how else will he be judging the world”. How else can God judge the world without going against “the Way” but to allow us to go prodigal and learn our own lessons and therefore come back to our loving God’s mercy which was towards us all along.

            Romans says that God has locked up ALL in disobediance so that he might be merciful to ALL. In other words ALL mankind has gone prodigal at some point to some degree, and all mankind will return to God in his mercy.

            ALL of the prodigals will eventually come home, and come to “the Way” being the narrow gate of which you have spoken.


            Thus fitting with the plethora of ultimate reconciliation texts that so many Christians overlook, or try to explain away (which by the way is impossible).

  3. What is plain here is that this post is full of dead theology that attracts spiritual carrion. No one here accepts God as He has revealed Himself and thus they shamelessly reinvent Him. Idolatry, I think they call that.

    I’m through casting the pearls of the precious word of God before hippie swine. Over and out.

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