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In case you didn’t see it at the end of the long post yesterday, here’s the whole review in a nice printable format. Thanks to Mike Pohlman and especially Josh Sowin for getting this set up.

I’ve cleaned up a few typos since yesterday.

Christianity and McLarenism

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24 thoughts on “Christianity and McLarenism (PDF)”

  1. Warren Cruz says:

    I’m downloading this now. Thanks, Kev.

  2. John Nielsen says:

    Great job Kevin! This the the BEST analysis/book review of NKoC I have read—and I have read a lot of them. Thanks for all the work you put into this!

  3. Thanks for putting this together. Great resource!

  4. Joan Kirk says:

    Thank you!!

  5. Dwight says:

    A excellent review and a fair one I think. You cited this portion of the book that I would like to ask a question about:

    “A large number of both Protestant and Catholic leaders aligned with a neoconservative political ideology, trumpeting what they called “conservative family values,” but minimizing biblical community values. They supported wars of choice, defended torture, opposed environmental protection, and seemed to care more about protecting the rich from taxes than liberating the poor from poverty or minorities from racism. They spoke against big government as if big was bad, yet they seemed to see big military and big business as inherently good. They wanted to protect unborn human life inside the womb, but didn’t seem to care about born
    human life in slums or prisons or nations they considered enemies. They loved to paint gay people as a threat to marriage, seeming to miss the irony that heterosexual people were damaging marriage at a furious pace without any help from gay couples.
    They consistently relegated females to second-class status, often while covering up for their fellow males when they fell into scandal or committed criminal abuse. They interpreted the Bible to favor the government of Israel and to marginalize Palestinians, and even before September 11, 2001, I feared that through their
    influence Muslims were being cast as the new scapegoats, targets of a scary kind of religious inspired bigotry. (7)”

    You commented something to the effect that few Conservative Christian would recognize themselves in that description and I would agree with that, but is that the complete issue? Is it possible that the “light and salt of the world” is seen this way by those we are called to minister to and even more to the point have we given them cause to view us this way?

  6. Kevin:

    You are too kind. I knew Brian McLaren 30 some years ago and did a weekend marriage retreat with him. Brian is now an apostate from the faith once delivered unto the saints. You cannot hold what he holds and be regenerate. Soft pedaling this is no help to the Lord’s people.

    I read your book as well. It was good but could have been written in half the number of pages. You need to remove the filler so that the average saint will read it.

    Keep on keeping on.

    With love in Christ,


  7. wee sam says:

    hey kevin,

    Thanks for this great review, really helpful. sadly his books are now very popular in the UK.

  8. AerodynamicPenguin says:

    Excellent — thank you for taking the time to read that work, which sounds like it must’ve been painful.

  9. Thanks, Kevin. This ‘new’ teaching is confusing many young people who want to do something, be active, but are not wise enough to see how dangerous McLaren’s teachins are. Doing something for the sake of it, or without the right motive is not pleasing to God at all. McLaren is preaching Christianity without a Christ.

  10. Violet says:

    Thorough and insightful. Thanks for your work on this!

  11. Matt Woods says:

    I really appreciated your concise, thoughtful review of Brian McLaren’s theology. I’m wrestling with the fact that leaders of the church I serve at buy into the lies of false doctrine perpetrated by these false teachers hook, line and sinker.

    It is most unfortunate that leaders of the church today are more concerned about hurting people’s feelings then they are about making sure those same people escape the coming wrath that will be poured out on all who haven’t confessed Jesus as both Lord and Savior.

    I pray that comments by people like yourself and others that love the truth and hate the lie will spread to so many “Christians” who are enamored by the cult of the “hip and ambiguous”, lead by the likes of McLaren, Bell, et, al. Keep the faith and continue to fight for the truth because it matters!

    Your brother in Christ,

    Matt Woods

  12. Zach Washburn says:

    Nice work cutting through Mclaren’s rhetoric to the underlying heresy in his thinking. I find myself in agreement with you on just about every point.

    I’ve not read the book, but from your review it seems as if Mclaren’s underlying motivation is to conscript the Gospel into the service of a liberal political agenda. If that’s true, your condemnation is very much deserved.

    In my experience both sides of the political aisle are equally guilty of trying to wield Jesus as a mere political weapon. Evangelicals for the most part tend to be very adept at pointing out the inconsistency of this tactic when it is utilized either by the left or the right, but it is rare to encounter one man who exposes the hypocrisy of both sides with equal skill and zeal.

    So my question for you, without knowing anything about you except what I learned from one review, is would you have been equally vehement in taking apart a similar effort from the other end of the political spectrum?

    Again, thanks for taking the time to write this review.

  13. Jon says:

    You said:
    McLaren’s not finished. He says that in this exclusivist mindset the only options are: (a) convert and eliminate otherness, (b) colonize and dominate, (c) ignore and exclude, (d) persecute and shame, or (e) cleanse the world through mass murder. I’m not making this up. You can find the breakdown on page 213. Why not say “Offer the bread of life that they might experience forgiveness of sin and enjoy God forever”? I can’t tell if McLaren thinks he is describing actual people and positions or if the “them” for him are so heinous that he can’t imagine describing them in any other way. Either way, the demonizing hardly invites ongoing dialogue.
    McLaren is speaking about exclsuivists, not the inclusive Christianity he dreams of. To the point that one is exclusive in his/her claims he/she will fit into one of the exclusivist categories. It’s not demonising. It’s stating the obvious in a way modernist minds can understand. In your suggestion” Offer the bread of life that they . . .” you have started subscribing to the exclusivist mentality because you are creating an “us and them” division. The only “us and them” Jesus saw were those who were part of the kingdom of God and those who opposed it by harping on about their religious traditions, law-burdened mindset, and exclusivist leanings.
    While you make some valid arguments in your review, I believe you started with an agenda and then set out to prove that you were right. Not quite the way I see of achieving an honest outcome.

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Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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