Monday, August 16, 2010

Does Brian McLaren Want a Glass of Milk?

Watched this exchange between Brian McLaren and Scot McKnight and was astounded at how awesomely McLaren is able to give lengthy answers to simple questions that don't really answer the questions. He's above the questions somehow, like Neo from the Matrix. It led me to imagine this exchange in the McLaren household.

Q: Brian, would you like a glass of milk?

McLaren: Why do you ask about the glass of milk, a reductive question, when the larger question is whether cows are meant to provide sustenance for non-cows? I'm very sympathetic to how hard it is for you to step into the bovine paradigm and see from this other perspective. In my writing I try to drive more into the core issues of hunger and thirst, universal issues elevated far above the overly narrow constraints of questions like yours, which you can't even see from the outside because of the confines of the udder-consumer narrative in the dairy/household paradigm. I was a milk-drinker for years, I've come out of that background, so I understand why you'd ask the question.

26 comments:

Trent Tanaro said...

Jared, I read a lot of mclaren. I like his view on a lot of things, but you hit the nail on the head. He does tend to over analyze a simple question. A good humorous way of putting it Bro! Good one!
Trent

salguod said...

I tried to listen to that video, but my mind kept wandering. I got through the first, where at least he admits to being deliberately vague. Yeah, got that.

Reminds me how my friend Pinakidion used to call the emergent church "The Church of the English Majors" because of their frequent use of impressive-sounding words and their tendency to be very wordy.

aaron said...

I feel like McLaren just wants to take the "minority report" from every theological debate in the history of Christendom.

Or, better said. . he wants to take sides with the folks who "lost" every major debate. Which, of course, leads him to taking up all of his false dichotomies.

Yes, some of those controversies helped us understand things better perhaps, . . but there was a reason why someone "lost" and a reason why orthodox was better defined because of those issues.

(which makes one wonder how he can all it a "new" kind of anything, since he's just taking the losing side of past debates and adding it to his belief system)

Jason_73 said...

That is a very funny example Jared.

I have very little in common with McClaren but I tend to do what he does though. I think some of us struggle with thinking way too much about everything all the time, and then trying to explain it all to people.

Teach me how to stop doing it and I'll pay you $5!

@craig_bradley said...

I once asked Brian McLaren after after a question after he spoke at Mars Hill, Grand Rapids (hereafter referred to as "Mars Hell". His "sermon" (for which he did not once open the Bible) discounted the "Judging Jesus," who says there will one day be "...hell to pay." I asked him how he lined up his disbelief in Hell and a Jesus that will judge the world with Jesus coming back in Revelation in order to do just that (chapters 20 and 21). His response was "...if you read Revelation, you see that the sword comes out of Jesus' mouth."

And that was it. Never mind that the in the passage the sword actually "slays" people, as in killing them, and that 2nd Thessalonians also describes Jesus actually killing people with his mouth.

2 Thessalonians 2:8

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

DerekLBrowning said...

You write this from the wrong paradigm. That's the problem with you milk-drinkers, I know, because I still am one even though I'm not. You always try to separate mammals into those that lactate and those that don't. I've been thinking so much deeper about the narrative of lactational history, that I can empathize with your unenlightened approach, and yet still reject it while claiming that I believe it. I'm just so far beyond that. Even though "you" and "your people" are "others" when compared to "me" and "my people" I still expect you to someday not judge mammals from my viewpoint. The dichotomy isn't those that lactate and those that don't, but those that believe there's a dichotomy and those that don't. If only I could do a better job of showing you how foolish you are, you would one day sit down in my field and join hands with those without hands drinking soda with those who aren't soda drinkers.

And when all is said and done, the real important question isn't: Mr. McLaren, do you want a glass of milk" It's "Why do you milk drinkers hate mammals who don't lactate."

Alan said...

Jared,
This was great example of story telling at its finest. I could just picture you sitting in the bleachers at a rodeo in Texas having this exchange with a drugstore cowboy sitting near you.

BiF said...

Excellent!

I read the introduction to one of his books and he qualified everything that he was writing in the book so much that if you agreed with him or not, you were right. I've not yet read the book partly based on the intro.

Bird said...

McLaren is a heretic. He's not just heterodox, or eccentric in his theology, he's flat out heretical (on so many levels, with so many doctrines).

I admit that some of his ideas have resonated with me, but his conclusions based on those initial ideas have wandered far from the orthodox faith.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

I don't personally know of any people who subscribe to heterodox teachings that don't subscribe to heresy. I know some Orthodox Christians who consider Calvinism a heresy and Calvinists to be heretics but that's somewhat different.

Jacob Riggs said...

From a guy who has never read McClaren but always heard he was a "heretic," the video was the most uninformative informative video I've ever seen. The guy would make a great politician.

Jeff said...

Or, the way Jared might answer that question:

Q: Would you like a glass of milk?

A: Let me ask Mark Driscoll and John Piper first, and if they recommend it, then I will drink it. Also, it'd be a bonus if I could incorporate another gospel-dash phrase into my reply because if you use the word "gospel" in front of enough words, it means you are more in love with Jesus. That's what Jesus likes: Cool-sounding, trendy catchprases that grow more and more devoid of true meaning to people who desperately need to actually understand the good news of Jesus' life, death and resurrection. Gospel-trendiness mixed with gospel-vagueness.

Oh, by the way, Driscoll just told me I couldn't drink the milk, because it is the most pagan drink he has ever tasted, and the tastiness of the milk has been put there by Satan to entice believers to embrace the false gospel of delicious milk. So, no, I will not drink the milk. But I will go have a beer with you because Driscoll says real men drink beer.

Jared said...

Jeff: Hilarious.

Brandon said...

Brian McClaren's Milk is Too Safe.

Jared said...

Anonymous, if wish to insult me, at least have the courage to leave a valid email address and name.
Respectfully requested.

Bill Kinnon said...

You made me snort milk out my nose, you bad banana! Too funny and a little too accurate.

CAPCHA: latra

Aidje said...

Interestingly (to me, perhaps because I am allergic to dairy), 70% of humans are incapable of digesting lactose, because cow milk is indeed intended for cows and not for humans. But most white people—those most likely to be able to digest lactose—would never consider the question because they themselves happen to be able to digest lactose, and so they generally assume that all humans can consume milk that is in fact intended for baby cows. Only someone like Brian McLaren would bring up the question (often resulting in mockery).

(I'm not trying to debate or argue. I'm merely taking an analogy much further than it intended to go. I couldn't help myself. But I know where you're coming from because I was a milk drinker for years before I lost my capacity to digest casein. :-)

Bob said...

Jeff: on a more serious note, if there was a cool-sounding-catch-phrase fight between Jared and Brian--imagine it taking place in Vegas, and we'll resurrect Howard Cossell for ringside commentating--well, anyway, the bookies would put the odds at a million to one in Brian's favor. Sorry, Jared, you wouldn't stand a chance. First round knockout!

Larry said...

Reminds me of one of my favorite Spurgeon quotes:

‎"Above all things beware of letting your tongue outrun your brains. Guard against a feeble fluency, a garrulous prosiness, a facility of saying nothing...My brethren, it is a hideous gift to possess, to be able to say nothing at extreme length."

Bird said...

Finally watched the clip last night. I can't believe that BM can keep a straight face while denying being a universalist ... and then explaining how his "narrative" doesn't allow for the phrase. Huh?

Aaron E Elmore said...

DerekLBrowning's reply was hilarious! Oh my, I used to be a big fan of McLaren until I figured out what he is all about. Here is the deal though: He is a decent writer, and many Christians are reading him (and often agreeing with him without even knowing it), so the deep thinking Christians need to figure out how to respond to this stuff. McLaren gets people thinking for sure. The problem is how they are being led to think. For those who are not mature and solidly grounded in the Scripture, it seems to be leading them down a slippery slope to heresy.

It seems clear he has fallen into the postmodern philosophy of relativism, and is trying to still be a Christian but be "relevant."

Well, all I know is that the gospel is still the power of salvation for those who believe.

Todd Pruitt said...

Beautiful!

Roberta said...

A guy like this used to be called a pseudo intellectual. One cure for it is a beer poured on the head!

Anonymous said...

Jared,

Am I right to think wrongly that... somehow.... Jesus + nothing seems to be the hardest thing for many people to say in answer to any question regarding what they believe as a Christian... including McLaren and McLarenites...?

I continue to marvel at how the mysterious tapestry that God has woven is mental busy work for heretical thread un-ravelers... who somehow believe they can actually un-ravel it... let alone... then re-weave it...

Marveling in the simplicity of simply accepting the Word of God is apparently dated, old-fashioned or theologically unstylish... when, in fact, it's perhaps the hardest easiest thing for any of us to do... each and every day... but we easily harden against the very thought of it... in our comfort zones of open uncomfortableness...

Meanwhile... a book sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ... sits on a shelf somewhere getting dusty... in a room... on top of a mysterious tapestry... next to a door that leads everywhere when you exit... except to the simple truth.. of Jesus + nothing

And the world at large... can't see the entrance for all of the heretical books blocking it's view from the outside... and all the authors of heretical double-speak standing there espousing their theories on... how what's inside the room is really outside the room once you realize there never was a room to be inside of or outside of... unless you turn your beliefs inside out...

So, I think I've made myself clearly unclear about what I just said or didn't say... Jared... and you can tell McLaren... I'm a universalisttislasrevinu... which makes me just like him, and him just like me... while we both were made in God's image... that cannot be seen but be believed... the way I see it... : - )

--------------
So, forget to remember me not... I was never here... before I am.. once I arrived after I depart ?
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I'm thirsty... Got Milk?

C. Evan Leonard • 1955 - 5591 "norB oT eB dliW tuobA suseJ"

Blue Collar Todd said...

His non-answer/answer to if he is a universalist is just like the milk response. He essentially says he is so far off the road that question does not make sense. What? He clearly attacks exclusivism in his articles. I am with those who think people should stay away from McLaren. Sorry his support for "Other" theologies are not compatible with Christian belief. The Bible is filled with us/them language: light/dark, righteous/wicked, sheep/goats, and wheat/chaff.

Is he not a full Preterist?

Blue Collar Todd said...

Just to let you know, McLaren has now perfectly used your milk question format when responding to a question about Mormons.