Friday, May 12, 2006

Brian McLaren on The DaVinci Code

The more I read from Brian McLaren the more I am convinced he is completely out of his mind. There are so many whacked-out things he says in THIS BRIEF INTERVIEW that I do not even know where to start. It's like trying to help your kid clean his room and as you survey the damage you become aware of the fact that the mess is so horrendous you are overwelmed and you do not even know where to begin.

This is the feeling I get anytime I read McLaren.

McLaren finds good from The DaVinci Code. He seems to have more positive things to say about the heresies in this book than negative. He also spends more time criticizing the contemporary evangelical christian church than he does Dan Brown.

Below is an excerpt from the interview.

"Ultimately, The Da Vinci Code is telling us important things about the image of Jesus that is being portrayed by the dominant Christian voices. [Readers] don't find that satisfactory, genuine, or authentic, so they're looking for something that seems more real and authentic."

-Brian McLaren
an excerpt from Brian McLaren on The Da Vinci Code
Interview by Lisa Ann Cockrel, 5-9-06 from Sojomail



Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Is it possible that, even though Brown's fictional version misleads in many ways, it at least serves to open up the possibility that the church's conventional version of Jesus may not do him justice?"

Why was this comment not included in your post?

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why not include this one?
McLaren: The book is fiction and it's filled with a lot of fiction about a lot of things that a lot of people have already debunked. But frankly, I don't think it has more harmful ideas in it than the Left Behind novels. And in a certain way, what the Left Behind novels do, the way they twist scripture toward a certain theological and political end, I think Brown is twisting scripture, just to other political ends. But at the end of the day, the difference is I don't think Brown really cares that much about theology. He just wanted to write a page-turner and he was very successful at that.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

or this:
In light of The Da Vinci Code movie that is soon to be released, how do you hope churches will engage this story?

McLaren: I would like to see churches teach their people how to have intelligent dialogue that doesn't degenerate into argument. We have to teach people that the Holy Spirit works in the middle of conversation. We see it time and time again - Jesus enters into dialogue with people; Paul and Peter and the apostles enter into dialogue with people. We tend to think that the Holy Spirit can only work in the middle of a monologue where we are doing the speaking.

So if our churches can encourage people to, if you see someone reading the book or you know someone who's gone to the movie, say, "What do you think about Jesus and what do you think about this or that," and to ask questions instead of getting into arguments, that would be wonderful. The more we can keep conversations open and going the more chances we give the Holy Spirit to work. But too often people want to get into an argument right away. And, you know, Jesus has handled 2,000 years of questions, skepticism, and attacks, and he's gonna come through just fine. So we don't have to be worried.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...


To answer all three of your questions, it seems as though McLaren believes the way the Holy Spirit works is through the conversations of people. I have never heard anything more bizarre or biblically inaccurate. The Holy Spirit does not need us to do anything. God chooses to use the preaching of his Word which is the Holy Bible. When the bible is the ultimate standard for truth and that is final moderator of our conversations and as we glorify God through uplifting Jesus Christ as he is shown to us through scripture then the Holy Spirit does His convicting, drawing sinners to the Savior. Consider God's word in 2 Timothy 3:16-17

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. "

McLaren's point of view through this entire interview is that it is good to have a conversation. He loves to have conversations, all the time I guess. Sometimes people just need to be quiet and listen to God's words and quit talking and quit trying to rewrite, rethink, re-imagine, re, re, re blah blah blah. With McLarens and his buds everything is re

(Romans 3:19)

"Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God."

The Word and the Truth will never change.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous said...

Good for you for discerning the many problems with McLaren and the emergent church in general. My husband and I left our church because the pastors didn't see that McLaren is a heretic. I've actually read over 4 of his books. He is a wolf in sheeps clothing.

12:11 PM  
Blogger billy westwood said...

I do agree that Christians don't have to worry about the DVC, God is not threatened by a book of fiction, but at the same time...

I think Mclaren is totally moving in the anti-christ spirit and I don't see how true christians can take him serious...say like Scot Mcknight.

2:28 PM  
Blogger billy westwood said...

Scot is right. We don't need to worry about DVC, but he is still to moving in the anti-christ spirit.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are all pharisees!!!

9:17 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

I believe it to be true that the Holy SPirit can and does work through conversation. I think this is Brian's point. I do not think that he is only limiting the Holy Spirit's work in conversation. You may believe that GOd does it all. But I believe that we have a part in the work (not salvation)...
"there are two extremes to avoid:
1. "I must do it all!" and
2. "God must do it all!" THe first describes the activist, and the second the quietist, and both are heading for failure. "Let go and let God!" is a clever slogan, but it does not fully describe the process of Christian living. What quarterback would say to his team, "OK, men, just let go and let the coach do it all!" On the other hand, no quarterback would say, "Listen to me and forget what the coach says!" Both extremes are wrong." (Warren Wiersbe) God must work in us if we are going to do anything. (John 15:5) As we apply ourselves to the things of the spiritual life, God is able to mature us and strengthen us for this life we are living.

I look forward to the Da Vinci Code conversations. Truth will be revealed!

9:55 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

If the Holy Spirit is to move through our conversations it must be because our conversation reflects truth which is his word. Why would the Holy Spirit want to move through my opinion? Isaiah claimed he was of unclean lips when in the presense of God.-Isaiah 6:5––"I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."

My opinion means nothing. Only God's truth matters.

You referenced John 15:5 which says "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

The way we remain in Him is through His word abiding in us. The following verses in John 15 make that very clear.
7-If you remain in me and my words remain in you

10–If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.

That is what I am referring to when I say the Holy Spirit can use our conversation, only when it reflects the Truth from His scripture. McLaren shows no evidence of doing this. He does the opposite. He challenges, questions, and attempts to "rethink" God's truth rather than accept it and learn from it. He places his own opinion above scripture.

I am very curious why so many people continue to defend and try to explain the comments from people like McLaren. I am very confused as to why this happens.

I think McLaren, Rob Bell, Campolo and many other authors are very dangerous to the church today and so many believers are more concerned about trying to sound unified than trying to clarify God's truth clearly which the Holy Spirit uses to convict men of sin and prepare them for His grace.

11:53 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

When the enemy is outside your camp you can rest , re coup , heal, reload etc. , let your guard down . But when the enemy is in your camp you have to find the evidence and expose them and get the cancer out.
When"christian" "leaders" sound more like the political leaders of the day and try to unite the world with the church then that needs to be exposed.
When the quarterback starts to change the plays and go against the coach then the team needs to correct him or get rid of the problem. Wait , I can see it now.... the team is 1st and goal to go on the 10 yard line and the quarterback , on his own , starts to change the game plan that has worked and has gotten the team all the way down the field in scoring position and now they stop and sit down to have a conversation. Then the quarterback starts to tell everyone on his team they have been doing everything wrong , that they have to be nicer and not hit the other team so hard and not to score on them because they have been scored on so many times and beaten up so much by us . The Q.B. continues " Lets give them more touchdowns than we have to make them feel better , after all they are people with problems and hurts and feelings conditions ." A football team would never say or do such things , they would just keep pouring it on until they won the game. Many coaches have equated football to war, which I don't believe is comparable but I can see how you would and the christian life is equated in the bible to a battle , which it truly is a battle against the devil and our sinful nature ( ourselves ) . If you want to live in peace you will have to fight, that is why we , America , have always had to fight. The devil is the bully and you have to fight the bully to not be the slave of the bully. This is why I love the old hymns that sing of war , battles , fights .. like Onward Christian Soliders. Pretty much every church is to scared to sing any of those songs .
It is hard for me to deny the arrogance that these " christian leaders " have . They seem to be of the world, they care what the world thinks .
What is extreme is that the Coach is always right and to believe that is extreme today .
The fact is there will always be enemies in the camp ..... so when one is exposed you have to deal with him.

12:38 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

If the Holy Spirit is to move through our conversations it must be because our conversation reflects truth which is his word. Why would the Holy Spirit want to move through my opinion?

I believe it my opinion that is moved through the Holy SPirit.

Why do i continue to defend? For me personally, if it weren't for the some of them I would not be doing what i do today. Granted I understand it totally under the unfluence of GOd, but if it were not for some of the very people you have mentioned on this blog... my spiritual walk would not be what it is today. That is why I continue to defend, not agree with all that they are doing.

Sidenote: we are coming down on the 26th and i will be there for a week.. would love to get together with you and the family!

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Kenny and I know you pretty well going pretty far back and we both have an incredible respect for you and the right decisions you have made in your life. I was just talking to your inlaws the other night admiring you and your family. However, we must never assign our loyalty to individuals over the truth. Our loyalty must be to God and his truth revealed in scripture, never neglecting to hold up the truth loud and clear. Sometimes even in spite of leaders and writers who have helped us and benefited us greatly! The leadership of UBC is a perfect example. UBC is going in the wrong direction as a church in many ways. Therefore, my family and I have made the decision to leave. They're great people whom we love very much BUT I do not want them as the spiritual leadership for my family. With that in mind, I have told my kids many times that yes we have benefited greatly from them, have grown spiritually from people like Bill White and Mark Lesher and others. But because I and my family love the truth of God revealed in scripture more, we can no longer attend there. I think the same could apply to authors or popular church leaders. No matter what they have done for us or how we have grown under them, loyalty to them must always be a lower goal than our loyalty to God's truth. That's why we must ALWAYS test ALL things (teaching and techniques), Hold on the what is good (biblically sound) and avoid the rest (1 Thess. 5:21, 22).

You said you continue to defend, not agree with what they (some mentioned on this site) are doing. How do you disagree with them? Is your disagreement based on how you have observed their drift from biblical standards and truth? Or is it based on minor personal preferences which are not essential threats to the truth? My disagreements with the people Kenny mentioned is because I see great dangers to undiscerning christians as they practice and follow many (not all) of the teachings of McClaren, Bell, Foster. Yes, they have some good to say, but they are wells with tainted water. Anyway, we care about you guys a whole lot and I hope you understand what I'm trying to get at.


10:13 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

yes i do.. keith. I respect the both of you along with your dad and rest of your family to no end. I find Paul in the book of Philippians speaking to this very subject:
Phil. 1:15-18
It is true that some preach CHrist out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that i am put here for the defense of the gospel. THe former preach CHrsit out of selfish amibition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while i am in chains. BUT WHAT DOES IT MATTER? THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT IN EVERY WAY, WHETHER FROM FALSE MOTIVE OR TRUE, CHRIST IS PREACHED. AND BECAUSE OF THIS I REJOICE!

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now what I'm about to state does NOT apply to you Ryan. I know you. This is for the today's church in general:

Isn't it amazing that you can dance a false teaching right directly in the face of christians today and you hardly even get a twitch from them?

But as soon as you say something that SEEMS in the slightest bit to be a hair insensitive to the one teaching the doctrine, eventhough it is clearly false, they jump all over you like you have just had dinner with the devil.

Where's the backbone? Where's the love for the TRUTH of God's Word. If we would defend God's Word like we "defend" the feelings of teachers of falsehood then we wouldn't be in this mess!

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quoting Phil.1:15-18 is great and true but these "teachers" are not preaching the true gospel and Jesus is NOT being glorified. They avoid such truths as Jesus being the ONLY way to God. "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6. If a teacher avoids that truth or is unsure if there are other ways to God it does not matter if their intentionsare good they are still wrong and the teaching is false and needs to be exposed.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You got read this interview. Mclaren comes accross like he has everyone figured out. He is tough to take , reading his answers.
Now I realize that I have been overemphasizing the Diety of Christ ( I thought you could never do such a thing ) so when I think of Christ I will try to do 50% human and 50% diety and not commit sin by thinking 51% diety and therefore overemphasizing His diety. If I think 51% humanity or more 100% I'm safer.
I can't wait to read the DVC so that I can see what the church or wait.... the fundamentalist christians , the real enemy of the world , ( notice I didn't say Christ follower) is missing when it comes to my concepts of Jesus. Hopefully I will see how Jesus was alot like me ... His humanity yea YEA his humanity ....his humanity .
Does anyone have Brian's phone # so if I get confused I can give him a ring and he can explain it all to me? Maybe Brian is a relative of Jesus .

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Kevin Lewis said...

One of the flaws in Kennyo's anti-McLaren vitriol (anti-Christ Spirit - oh please, do me a favour) is when you argue God chooses to use the preaching of his Word which is the Holy Bible'. Preaching is not The Word, the Bible is. When you preach the word, you are preaching your interpretation of it. As you are in conversation. And you know, in conversation people are actually listening. So maybe loosen up a bit on the preaching emphasis, as if all Jesus did was Jesus preached.

12:19 PM  

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