Brian McLaren (b. 1956) is a pastor, author, and speaker. He has been the pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church since 1986, a church he helped form in 1982. McLaren has a BA and MA from University of Maryland, and was awarded an honorary
Doctor of Divinity Degree from Carey Theological Seminary in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
McLaren is a noted spokesperson for the
Emerging church, having written several provacative books in this area. In his 2004 book,
A Generous Orthodoxy (Zondervan), he offers what amounts to a manifesto for the Emergent movement.^^
Critics say that McLaren's theological journey has now led him outside Christian orthodoxy altogether. Tim Challies notes that in McLaren's latest book, A New Kind of Christianity, "he denies the Fall, he denies original sin, he
denies human depravity, he denies hell. And that is just in the first few pages. Needless to say, all of this leads him to a radically unbiblical view of the cross and the purpose and work of Jesus."^^
- "I can imagine some impassioned critic of this book concluding a review with a statement something like this: 'It's bad enough that McLaren has undermined conventional understandings of hell, but in its place what has he offered? No clear
alternative. One cannot even tell for sure, after a careful reading of this book, whether McLaren is an inclusivist, conditionalist, or universalist. All one can say is that he is clearly not an orthodox exclusivist.' In response, I might offer,
as I have often suggested elsewhere, that clarity is good, but sometimes intrigue may be even more precious; clarity tends to put an end to further thinking, whereas intrigue makes one think more intensely, broadly, and deeply. Jesus' teaching
on the kingdom of God is a case in point; his parables don't score too well on clarity, but they excel in intrigue." -Introduction to The Last Word and The Word After That
- "I don't believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts."
—A Generous Orthodoxy
A Generous Orthodoxy Publisher's Summary at brianmclaren.net.
Review of McLaren's A New Kind of Christianity by Tim Challies, editor of Discerning Reader.
- ANew Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith (HarperOne, 2010)
- Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices (Thomas Nelson, 2008)
- Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope (Thomas Nelson, 2007)
- The Voice of Luke: Not Even Sandals (Thomas Nelson, 2007)
- The Secret Message of Jesus (Thomas Nelson, 2006)
- The Last Word and the Word After That (Jossey-Bass, 2005)
- A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-yet-Hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished CHRISTIAN (Zondervan, 2004)
- Church in Emerging Culture; Five Perspectives, edited by Frederica Matthewes-Green (Zondervan, 2003)
- Adventures in Missing the Point: How the Culture Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel, with Tony Campolo (Zondervan, 2003)
- A Is for Abductive (Zondervan, 2003)
- The Story We Find Ourselves In: Further Adventures of a New Kind of Christian (Jossey-Bass, 2003)
- The Church on the Other Side (Zondervan, 2003)
- More Ready Than You Realize (Zondervan, 2002)
- A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey (Jossey-Bass, 2001)
- Finding Faith : A Self-Discovery Guide for Your Spiritual Quest (Zondervan, 2000)
Favorable / sympathetic