A Sampling of Brian McLaren’s Views


I have been sending out emails to folks from my church and other friends, on a regular basis for the last eight months or so, trying to get many people aware of the Emergent church movement, and the New Age style practices invading our churches today.  Many of them had never heard at all about “emerging” or any of the recognized leaders in this heretical movement.  (Heresy: any opinions or doctrines at variance with the orthodox position regarding essential core beliefs.)

Since many were not aware, but have expressed an interest in receiving my information, I will also post the content of some of my emails on this blog.  So here is the first one.  I plan to put up some short “bios” of the primary culprits of the movement, along with some of their most incriminating statements from their books or interviews.

Here is the first installment of “profiles in emergent”, and it will cover Brian McLaren.  Although sometimes small sample quotes don’t tell us the whole picture, just the quotes by themselves have left me no doubt as to which way Brian McLaren leans to as far as theological beliefs regarding Christianity.  I have done more extensive research on him, and I encourage you to do the same.  I leave you to decide where you stand, and if you need further info, I will gladly provide it or link you to more resources.

As a Nazarene, I am disappointed that several Nazarene universities have invited Brian McLaren to speak.  He has appeared at Northwest Nazarene University for  a three day seminar, and most recently, spoke at the student chapel at Point Loma Nazarene University. Other Nazarene universities (Mid America, Mt Vernon,Trevecca) have invited either Brian or many of his colleagues such as the infamous Tony Jones, who I will feature in the next few weeks.
Brian McLaren
Author, speaker, pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church, a nondenominational church in the Baltimore-Washington region.
Some of his more well known books are:
“A New Kind of Christian”, “A Generous Orthodoxy” which is a personal confession and has been called a “manifesto” of the emerging church conversation.
“The Secret Message of Jesus”, explores the theme of the kingdom of God in the teachings of Jesus.

He is on the international steering team and board of directors for emergent, a growing generative friendship among missional Christian leaders (www.emergentvillage.com, http://www.emergent.info). He is also active in global networking among emerging leaders (amahoro.info).

Take some time to read through these quotes and comments of his and let me know if you agree with me that Brian McLaren is a false teacher:

(Much thanks to thinkerup.blogspot.com for their excellent compilation of these quotes)

“I hesitate in answering “the homosexual question” not because I’m a cowardly flip-flopper who wants to tickle ears, but because I am a pastor, and pastors have learned from Jesus that there is more to answering a question than being right or even honest: we must also be . . . pastoral. That means understanding the question beneath the question, the need or fear or hope or assumption that motivates the question.”
–Brian McLaren on the Homosexual Question, Out of Ur, Jan. 2006

“Frankly, many of us don’t know what we should think about homosexuality. We’ve heard all sides but no position has yet won our confidence so that we can say “it seems good to the Holy Spirit and us.”
–Brian McLaren on the Homosexual Question, Out of Ur, Jan. 2006
“Tony [Campolo] and I might disagree on the details, but I think we are both trying to find an alternative to both traditional Universalism and the narrow, exclusivist understanding of hell [that unless you explicitly accept and follow Jesus, you are excluded from eternal life with God and destined for hell].”
–Brian McLaren’s Inferno 2, Out of Ur, May 2006

“The church has been preoccupied with the question, “What happens to your soul after you die?” As if the reason for Jesus coming can be summed up in, “Jesus is trying to help get more souls into heaven, as opposed to hell, after they die.” I just think a fair reading of the Gospels blows that out of the water. I don’t think that the entire message and life of Jesus can be boiled down to that bottom line.”
—Brian McLaren, from the PBS special on the Emerging Church
“What if Jesus’ secret message reveals a secret plan?”…. What if he didn’t come to start a new religion–but rather came to start a political, social, religious, artistic, economic, intellectual, and spiritual revolution that would give birth to a new world?”
––Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, p. 4
“Ask me if Christianity (my version of it, yours, the Pope’s, whoever’s) is orthodox, meaning true, and here’s my honest answer: a little, but not yet. Assuming by Christianity you mean the Christian understanding of the world and God, Christian opinions on soul, text, and culture I’d have to say that we probably have a couple of things right, but a lot of things wrong, and even more spreads before us unseen and unimagined. But at least our eyes are open! To be a Christian in a generously orthodox way is not to claim to have the truth captured, stuffed, and mounted on the wall.”
––Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 293

“…many Hindus are willing to consider Jesus as a legitimate manifestation of the divine… many Buddhists see Jesus as one of humanity’s most enlightened people…. A shared reappraisal of Jesus’ message could provide a unique space or common ground for urgently needed religious dialogue—and it doesn’t seem an exaggeration to say that the future of our planet may depend on such dialogue. This reappraisal of Jesus’ message may be the only project capable of saving a number of religions.”
––Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, p. 7
“…. Alan Jones is a pioneer in reimagining a Christian faith that emerges from authentic spirituality. His work stimulates and encourages me deeply.” (Brian McLaren’s comments on the back flap of Alan Jones’ book Reimagining Christianity where Alan Jones states the following about the Christ’s crucifixion: “The Church’s fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it.” (p. 132)
“The other thread of just criticism addresses the suggestion implicit in the cross that Jesus’ sacrifice was to appease an angry god. Penal substitution [the Cross] was the name of this vile doctrine.” (p. 168)
“Perhaps our ‘inward-turned, individual-salvation-oriented, un-adapted Christianity’ is a colossal and tragic misunderstanding, and perhaps we need to listen again for the true song of salvation, which is ‘good news to all creation.’ So perhaps it’s best to suspend what, if anything, you ‘know’ about what it means to call Jesus ‘Savior’ and to give the matter of salvation some fresh attention. Let’s start simply. In the Bible, save means ‘rescue’ or ‘heal’. It emphatically does not mean ‘save from hell’ or ‘give eternal life after death,’ as many preachers seem to imply in sermon after sermon. Rather its meaning varies from passage to passage, but in general, in any context, save means ‘get out of trouble.’ The trouble could be sickness, war, political intrigue, oppression, poverty, imprisonment, or any kind of danger or evil.”
––Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 93
“How do you know if something is true?…First, you engage in spiritual practices like prayer, Bible reading, forgiveness, and service. Then you see what happens; you remain open to experience. Finally, you report your experience to others in the field of spirituality for their discernment, to see if they confirm your findings or not.”
––Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 199
“The church latched on to that old doctrine of original sin like a dog to a stick, and before you knew it, the whole gospel got twisted around it. Instead of being God’s big message of saving love for the whole world, the gospel became a little bit of secret information on how to solve the pesky legal problem of original sin.”
–Brian McLaren, The Last Word and the Word After That, p.134
“The Christian faith, I am proposing, should become (in the name of Jesus Christ) a welcome friend to other religions of the world, not a threat”
–Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy McLaren, p.254
“This is how I feel when I’m offered a choice between the roads of exclusivism (only confessing Christians go to heaven), universalism (everyone goes to heaven), and inclusivism (Christians go to heaven, plus at least some others). Each road takes you somewhere, to a place with some advantages and disadvantages, but none of them is the road of my missional calling: blessed in this life to be a blessing to everyone on earth.”
–Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy McLaren, p. 113
“I must add, though, that I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts.”
—Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 260


Not much more comment from me here, I leave you to “rightly judge” these statements in light of scripture, and decide whether Brian McLaren would be a welcome speaker at your church or college. Again, this is a short summary to highlight Mr. McLaren.  There are many sources of extensive research material, such as Lighthouse Trails Research, and Apprising Ministries, and more.  Check out the links on my main page to find out more and come to your conclusions.

6 responses to “A Sampling of Brian McLaren’s Views

  1. Excellent! Thank you for taking the time to present the research. I look forward to further postings on chapel speakers and their beliefs which are presented to the student body in an undebated format, therefore, giving a stamp of approval on, and endorsement of their views.

    There is a HUGE accountability problem taking place.

    Unfortunately, our pulpits and staff/ministry positions have been compromised with these influences. It will take people with backbone to take a stand and call for leadership accountability.

    God always started cleaning house with the leaders first who didn’t listen or incline their ears.

    We are experiencing judgement. Just as in the days of Daniel, our finest young minds have been, and are being taken captive by the enemy. A few will stand for truth.

  2. Thank you for bringing Brian McLaren to my attention. At long last someone is asking the questions that we all deal with if we get out of the insulated Christian ghetto. When you actually live and work with a variety of Christians and Muslims and agnostics and people who’ve been seriously burned by the church, you can see where Brian is coming from. I’m delighted that someone is asking the questions he’s asking. ANd I hope those who haven’t been hurt by the church have the “eyes to see” that Jesus talks about, and are able to see that Brian might be onto something profoundly Christ-like.

  3. Ex-Naz, thanks. But you are doing a nice job on your blog making people aware of this serious problem in our universities. Keep up the good work. It will take more people coming together and standing firm in this battle, and I am encouraged by the new voices I have met in the last few weeks. I pray that more Christians become aware of this serious threat and will jon the fight for truth.

  4. Hello Jarrod.
    Could you tell me which of the quotes by Mr. McLaren are particularly endearing to you? What is Christ-like about anything he is saying in these quotes? He rebels against the authority of scripture. Is that what you like about his questions? What is your authority?

    I believe the Bible is THE WORD OF GOD. Do you?
    It is THE one and only 100% reliable, FINAL authority for our lives. Do you believe that?
    And please don’t say that Jesus is the Word, not the Bible. I have heard that already. I like to usually hear simple, straight to the point answers about these issues.

  5. I was Nazarene in my youth, but now am Reformed. I applaud your blog, and I applaud your efforts at educating Nazarenes about the errors in Emergent theology.

    For the last three years, I’ve been in numerous discussions with Emergents about the errors in their theology, and have been amazed to discover that many of them are former Nazarenes. False theology has found a foothold among the Nazarenes–why is this? I find many of them greatly lacking in a solid foundation on Scripture and sound doctrine.

    I think you are absolutely correct that emergents have rejected the authority of Scripture. Sadly, too many Nazarenes are willing to tread the same territory.

  6. I just don’t understand how Emergents can discard what Scripture says, and still call themselves followers of Christ.

    Has anyone seriously looked at what following Christ means? 10 of his original 12 Apostles were KILLED for their belief in Him. Walking with Jesus is not this lovely, airy-fairy existence.

    Jesus was the ultimate man of steel and velvet. He was loving and caring when He needed to be, but also very hard and unyielding when He needed to be. He was able to balance the very tough nature of the Truth, but also with Love. Because He is Truth and Love.

    However, we cannot let our interpretation of love get in the way of truth. We can’t be afraid to “judge” for fear of offending and alienating. If you were a friend of mine and took up a habit of smoking crack and shooting heroin, I would bring that to your attention. Why? Because I love you. Loving you does not consist of watering down the reality of the situation just so you can feel good about it.

    McLaren and the other emergents water down the Gospel, perverting it and transforming it into something completely different. The reality is this: Believe in Jesus and repent of your sins to have eternal life. Not believing in Jesus, and not repenting means you will suffer eternal damnation, which is Hell, the complete separation from God for eternity. That’s a hard truth. Choose life, or death.

    McLaren and the other apostates makes me so angry because they are leading people to hell, but under the pretense of being “loving and accepting”.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s