Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Are Brian McLaren's Teachings Soul Damning?

an excerpt from the article by Richard Bennet

In order to accomplish his first step of lumping Protestants and Catholics together, [Brian] McLaren has to redefine the Lord Jesus Christ, Holy God, biblical authority, theology, salvation, and conservative Protestant denominational distinctives. However, after the example of the Lord and the Apostles,

1. Sola Scriptura--true believers adhere to God’s written Word alone as the final authority

2. Sola Gratia--Before the all-holy God, according to the Bible an individual is saved by grace alone

3. Sola Fide--through faith alone

4. Solo Christo-- in Christ alone

5. Soli Deo Gloria--all glory and praise is to God alone

These five biblical principles, called “the solas,” are the foundation of true faith in the Lord. They are founded on Scripture, existed in the early Church, and have been the basis of all genuine biblical revivals since then. The solas were the foundational principles for which so many thousands of Evangelicals gave their lives at the stake —
John Huss
William Tyndale
John Rogers
Hugh Latimer
Nicholas Ridley
Anne Askew
John Bradford
John Philpot
....to name but a few — and for which millions were martyred under various tortures during six hundred years of papal Inquisition. Nevertheless, McLaren makes it very clear that conservative Protestants will have to compromise these basic biblical principles for the sake of community; otherwise they cannot be part of his “generous orthodoxy”.

According to McLaren, what we have just outlined in the solas must be discarded. Thus, he proclaims, “Calvinists in particular and fundamentalists in general” are to give up their “solas” or “alones” as distinctives because the word sola is not in the Bible. What he is telling the Bible believers is that they must renounce the five basic biblical principles — principles that were the distinctives, principles that separated the Reformers from the Roman Catholic Church. Hence, although McLaren has assured his readers that “emergent thinking” does not reject any of the thinking that has preceded it, yet when he applies his method, his words of assurance turn out to be of no value whatsoever.

On the most fundamental of these distinctives McLaren states, “Scripture is something God had ‘let be,’ and so it is at once God’s creation and the creation of the dozens of people and communities and cultures who produced it.” In this, as in most of his teaching, McLaren is in line with the Church of Rome. While Papal Rome does not say these words, she embodies the same concept when she states, “[Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God....” McLaren has clearly paralleled the Catholic line in attempting to equate man’s creativity on a par with God’s. The Scripture itself teaches something totally different, “...holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” 2 Peter 1:21. The Bible alone is the Word of God revealed to men as the Holy Spirit moved them. According to the Apostle Paul, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God....” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. It is not as McLaren would have one believe — “the creation of the dozens of people and communities and cultures.” It is especially serious to undermine the authorship of God’s written Word. Such belittling of the authority of the written Word prevents a person from coming to knowledge of the truth and embracing it as it is in Christ Jesus. This means that McLaren’s teaching is literally soul damning because it has “taken away the key of knowledge.”

(see entire article for references)

5 Comments:

Anonymous Vee said...

Rev 22:19 And if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and of the things having been written in this Book.


It is a serious thing to take away from God's Word.

1:21 AM  
Blogger Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Enticing words of men's wisdom. The foolishness of God is wiser than man. It has become unfashionable and unsophisticated to believe God's Word face value. We now have the DaVinci Code, the MacLaren Code, the Warren Code, the Schuller Code, all offspring of the Lucifer Code!

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Vee said...

Indeed we do!!!

9:21 AM  
Anonymous dPazos said...

It amazes me how such gnosticism has become popular in the 21st Century. After many centuries of gnostic philosophies being dormant. I guess the Devil recycles his tecniques of deception. Remember the Apostle Paul in his struggles during the First Century. He wrote many Epistles specially against gnostic heresies which were infiltrating both Judaism and Christianity in various cities and nations. The Contemporary Western World does not appear to be any better. On the contrary, we see the same types of issues coming into our mainstream culture and philosophical discourse. I recommend the Epistle of First John, because it was written specifically against gnosticism. I think the modern West has big issues with liberalism in general, although liberal thought is more random, and also harder to define, than gnostic thought. Maybe the rich nations and peoples are destined to fall into traps of arrogance, pseudo-intellectualism, and self-importance. Anyway, if the Western nations continue down such paths, God will simply have to use other nations to accomplish his purpose in the 21st Century. Let's keep the United States of America on the Christian map for the coming century.
Keep you minds from deception then.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous John Nichols said...

I have a real problem with what you're saying here.

You just got done talking about how crucial the "Solas" are...that they
are fundamental principles in our faith. You even said:

"These five biblical principles, called “the solas,” are the foundation of true faith in the Lord. They are founded on Scripture, existed in the early Church, and have been the basis of all genuine biblical revivals since then."

Well, you're essentially making an argument based on tradition. Even you must
agree that the "solas" aren't explicity in scripture. The early church developed
them as fundamental principles. I'm ok with that.

Two paragraphs later, though, you take McLaren to task for considering
tradition as a valid source of truth:

"Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God....” McLaren has clearly paralleled the Catholic line in attempting to equate man’s creativity on a par with God’s."

You can't have it both ways! Either tradition is valid or it isn't. If you're
insistent that Scripture alone is the only source of truth, then stay consistent.
That means you can't have the trinity or the solas or any other constructed theology
that we take for granted.

10:47 AM  

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