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They're not all right-wing nuts.
June 16, 2005 4:08 PM   Subscribe

10 Questions for Brian McLaren, pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church, contributor to the Emergent Village:

"[T]his power of consumerism, the power of money, and the power of the desire for more, and the idea that we live for the economy — I think this has an enormously subversive and subtle power. A quick example: Right now, I'm involved with a group of people who are very concerned about the situation in Darfur in the Western Sudan. I knew there was a genocide going on there twelve months ago, and four hundred thousand more people have died since then. I think I just assumed somebody would do something about it. And it’s just stunning to me about how little can get done. Meanwhile, Christians are arguing about what seems to me to be incredibly pathetic, trivial things compared to 400 thousand people dying, when, if they can get so much stuff out there about their national agenda, if they were to push this to the front, four hundred thousand lives could have been saved."

Where to look for other postmodern Christians: Sojourners, RELEVANT.
posted by heatherann (23 comments total)

 
The second thing [that makes my approach to Christianity different from others] would be an eschatology of engagement rather than abandonment. The idea that the world is going down the toilet and that we should just abandon and prepare for evacuation, I think, creates horrible possibilities of injustice. And so, we're trying to have an eschatology that thrusts us into the world as agents of justice and peace and reconciliation and service, rather than one that makes us stand on the edge with condemnation and judgment, because we're always planning to depart.

I approve.
posted by God Almighty at 4:24 PM on June 16, 2005


Yeah, you say that now, but how do we know you won't get all smitey after dinner?
posted by maryh at 4:29 PM on June 16, 2005


a-fucking-men
posted by pmbuko at 4:32 PM on June 16, 2005


I bet he'd get along well with the pope. Good stuff, heatherann. The interview was a nice read and calmed, briefly, my increasing worry that every single religious person in the country is going insane.
posted by billysumday at 4:32 PM on June 16, 2005


Refreshing (what billysumday said). Thanks, heatherann.

God and maryh made me chuckle.
posted by blendor at 4:43 PM on June 16, 2005


"Whenever everybody is trying to counter balance each other, it pretty much guarantees that everything we see veers toward Jerry Springer."

Amen brother. I know he was discussing the Christian Media but he also described modern day religion and politics in one sentence.
posted by j.p. Hung at 4:48 PM on June 16, 2005


"[T]his power of consumerism, the power of money, and the power of the desire for more, and the idea that we live for the economy — I think this has an enormously subversive and subtle power.

Amen !

can i get a witness ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:18 PM on June 16, 2005


This post has my seal of approval.
posted by whoshotwho at 5:24 PM on June 16, 2005


good stuff.

...They ought to at least be honest and say, "We want to strengthen the federal government for our agenda and not somebody else?s." I think it?s incredibly duplicitous to, in one breath, call for weakening the federal government and then try to use it for your advantage. I'm stunned that people who call themselves Christians would practice that kind of duplicity. It's stunning. It feels to me like George Orwell. ...
posted by amberglow at 5:50 PM on June 16, 2005


What a refreshing read.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:09 PM on June 16, 2005


Yet still, the assholes march on.
posted by billysumday at 6:22 PM on June 16, 2005


Thanks for posting this, HeatherAnn. I have a similar background to you but am not an atheist, though sometimes I'm tempted! McLaren and the Emergent gang are a breath of fresh air. Check out www.resonate.ca for a Canadian group of Emergent types. Where'd you go to Bible College? I graduated from OBC (now Tyndale)...and I went to York, too.
posted by jmcnally at 6:28 PM on June 16, 2005


I'm so glad you guys liked the interview. :) Sometimes I feel like we spend too much time at MeFi concentrating on the crazies and we completely forget that there are a lot more Christians (perhaps most of them) who don't fit that mold. Some more places to explore this surprisingly moderate/left-wing side of Christianity:

The Ooze, GinkWorld, Emerging Women Leaders, Allelon.

jmcnally: I went to Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener for a year, then to Tyndale for a year, now I'm between my second and third years at York (with a year of transfer credit, thank the non-existant God for Tyndale getting university status). Small world! My current roommates graduated from OBC back in the day (they're 30 & 31), so drop me a line if you're from the same era. I didn't switch straight into atheism after leaving Christendom, and the Emergent gang helped me stall a bit on leaving at all. I'm one of those shrugging-my-shoulders no-need-to-complicate-things-overmuch atheists. :)
posted by heatherann at 6:42 PM on June 16, 2005


...thank the non-existant God...

Shouldn't that be...a non-existant god...? ;-)

Nice post.
posted by jaronson at 6:58 PM on June 16, 2005


Shouldn't that be...a non-existant god...? ;-)

Hey now, who says I can't thank a specific non-existent god? ;)
posted by heatherann at 7:31 PM on June 16, 2005


Hey now, who says I can't thank a specific non-existent god? ;)

You're welcome. :: disappears in puff of smoke ::
posted by God Almighty at 7:48 PM on June 16, 2005


Christian right's alliances bend political spectrum
Humanitarian issues at the core of the unlikely coalitions evangelicals have struck with ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the Feminist Majority, liberal Jews and Tibet's Dalai Lama

USA Today
June 15, 2005
posted by mlis at 8:07 PM on June 16, 2005


My observation is that McLaren represents a small but growing resistance/reformation/insurgency within evangelical Christianity that is reacting against the last 30 years of "culture war" mentality. The so-called "emerging church" is positioning itself as an alternative to the irrelevant and increasingly ineffective mainstream evangelical movement.
posted by marcusb at 5:06 AM on June 17, 2005


The guy's too smart; no wonder he's considered a heretic.
posted by fungible at 7:57 AM on June 17, 2005


postmodern christianity sounds like a dream come true. you get to bust right wingers, AND go to heaven? DA BOMB!
posted by mcsweetie at 10:29 AM on June 17, 2005


Which sums up Christ's reported actions: busting the right wingers and going to heaven.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:34 AM on June 17, 2005


... the last 30 years of "culture war" mentality.
Speaking of them, they're going to be vetting all the GOP candidates

Will folks like McLaren even get a meeting?
posted by amberglow at 10:43 AM on June 17, 2005


Heatherann, this is a really wonderful post. Thanks.

And I just love this so much I will cite it too...

an eschatology of engagement rather than abandonment

...a bit unwieldy for a cheer, but it lifts my heart like one.

(God Almighty, I must say that I am generally not a fan of mysterious voices floating in the void, but you have persuaded me otherwise, if only for the perfect beauty of your contact list.)
posted by melissa may at 11:10 AM on June 17, 2005


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