Deception is a tangled web. It requires some carefully crafted twisting of the truth in order to make the lie sound believable. That’s why we must know the truth and be prepared to ask targeted questions when addressing false teaching in the church today. For example, the Mennonite Weekly Review’s blog tells us that recently, Brian McLaren was asked a very important, specific question.
Editor’s note: Someone recently asked Brian McLaren, “who do you say Jesus is?” Here is McLaren’s response.
The original statement to McLaren:
It seems that the “emergent” position is that Jesus is the awesome and excellent hero, who had the way-humanitarian heart. But that He had to bleed, and that His (God’s) blood was the only blood that could help our dire human circumstance, seems to be “The Lost Point.” I love a radical heart. I love asking hard questions of the “established” church. Believe me … I understand the heart of a zealot. That’s not the question … Who [do you] say that Jesus is? And what are The Scriptures?
After dancing and skirting around the issue [ANSWER THE QUESTION, BRIAN!!!!!], he finally came up with a (partial) answer (read his entire response at the link below). Here is the last part of his unsatisfactory answer:
“…I would say that Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela and Dr. King and Aung San Suu Kyii are good examples of “awesome and excellent heroes, who had the way-humanitarian heart.” I do not restrict Jesus to the category of a great human being or hero.
For me, Jesus fills and transcends that category — Jesus is in a completely unique category. I love him, follow him and believe about him everything the New Testament teaches about him. I believe with all my heart that he is the Word of God, the Word made flesh, the Son of God, the Christ, the Lord, the friend of sinners, the savior of the world. That’s what I preach, teach, write about and seek to embody in my daily life. I can’t imagine why you would say anything otherwise about me — unless you haven’t read any of my books.
And that’s the third response I want to offer. It appears from your statement that you haven’t actually read any of my books yet … or those of my friends who are part of the emergent conversation. You hold beliefs about “the emergent position” without the benefit of first-hand research. The good news is that this unhappy state of affairs is easily remedied. Really, by writing to me at your friend’s suggestion, you’ve already taken the first step.”
–Common misconceptions about emergent, who Jesus is
By Brian McLaren
The World Together blog
Mennonite Weekly Review
What about the Old Testament, Brian? Do you believe Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophecies? Do you believe he was our substitute and paid the penalty for our sins on the cross? Is he the only way, is he returning to judge the earth, is he your Lord? It’s God’s book that matters, Brian. Is His book infallible and inspired? Do you believe all of it from cover to cover?
Maybe someone will ask some more direct questions about McLaren’s beliefs at CMU this week where he will be speaking at the Refreshing Winds conference. If so, don’t expect a direct answer. The new kind of Christian does not believe in belief statements.
Who do you think that I am?