Brian McLaren, Evolution, and the Fall

Brian McLaren, one of the top emergent gurus, is a dangerous man.  I read his book A Generous Orthodoxy last year and it was a painful read — the only book that I’ve recently read that was worse was The Shack.  McLaren’s latest book is A New Kind of ChristianityMike Wittmer is reviewing it here.  One of the interesting things that Wittmer notes is that 1) McLaren embraces the theory of evolution, and 2) his view of the fall is twisted as a result.  A couple of quotes to wit:

He does not believe that there was a Fall (or original sin or total depravity or hell) but that what we have traditionally called the Fall is actually “a coming-of age story” which—wait for it—describes “the first stage of ascent as human beings progress from the life of hunter-gatherers to the life of agriculturalists and beyond.”

[…]

Brian does not seem to believe that there was a first man and a first sin, but that Genesis 3 is a myth which describes how the entire human race became farmers.  This view fits with his acceptance of evolution, as most who embrace evolution find it hard to believe that there was a first man who rebelled in a cataclysmic Fall.

There are consequences to adopting evolutionary dogma, especially if you are consequent.  I’ll give McLaren credit for doing that.  My guess is he has nothing to lose and he certainly has nothing to prevent him from heading in that direction.

(h.t. Martin Downes @ Against Heresies)

About Wes Bredenhof

Pastor of the Free Reformed Church, Launceston, Tasmania. View all posts by Wes Bredenhof

7 responses to “Brian McLaren, Evolution, and the Fall

  • Brian McLaren, Evolution, and the Fall (via YINKAHDINAY) « Living Journey

    […] http://brianmclaren.net/archives/blog/q-r-gospel.html Brian McLaren, one of the top emergent gurus, is a dangerous man.  I read his book A Generous Orthodoxy last year and it was a painful read — the only book that I’ve recently read that was worse was The Shack.  McLaren’s latest book is A New Kind of Christianity.  Mike Wittmer is reviewing it here.  One of the interesting things that Wittmer notes is that 1) McLaren embraces the theory of evolution, and 2) his view of the fall is twisted as a re … Read More […]

  • thewordofme

    I doubt that Adam and Eve ever existed. We know for a fact that modern humans (Homo-sapiens) have existed on earth for close to 200,000 years.

    That doesn’t really fit with Christian dogma…and evolution is very real, contrary to creationist propaganda.

  • purgeoutheleaven

    Evolution doctrines lead people to Atheism. Richard Dawkins author of the God Delusions was not an atheist until he decided to study evolution. Anyone can believe and follow anything he wants to. Doesn’t mean what they believe is true. There is no hope offered to us through Evolution. But there is hope offered to us through Jesus Christ. Evolution is a lie whether you choose to believe that during your earthly life or not. But one day you will stand and see that Jesus Christ is real as will ALL. Then you will know what christians have been saying for years was the truth and that you believed a lie. God have mercy on the souls of men who choose to believe the lie and hate Jesus Christ who laid down His life and shed His blood for the remission of sin and offer as a free gift eternal life by just believing on Him.

    Candy Henderson

    • thewordofme

      Hi Ms. Henderson, thanks for your reply.

      First I would say that I don’t hate Jesus at all. One does not hate a mythical creature, you either accept the myth or you don’t…I don’t.
      Actually thinking critically leads people to atheism. I was 13 and a student of religion when I came to the realization that the stories did not make sense.

      I suppose you don’t know or accept that the Bible is riddled with errors and many of the old stories are disproven by circumstantial evidence.

      You say:
      “But one day you will stand and see that Jesus Christ is real as will ALL. Then you will know what christians have been saying for years was the truth and that you believed a lie.”

      You luck out on this one for when you are dying you think you will end up in paradise and once you die you won’t know that you’re just dead…nothing else. I on the other hand know that once a person dies…that’s all there is. It tends to put a little spice in my thoughts, and a realization that I need to make the most of what I do.

      I don’t despair though, I live a good life. Married for 35 years, five great kids, six grand-kids, and live what you would think of as a moral life, volunteer and contribute to causes, have even saved a life once. So I am doing great, and don’t worry about those old goat herder myths.

      You really ought to do some critical research on Christianity…you seem to be caught up in a delusion about the reality of Christianity (or any other for that matter) religion.

      Just think about this: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all pray to the exact same God. They couldn’t all be right, and they are so darn different, and they are all at each other’s throat constantly, and they all have nuclear weapons.

      Religion is a threat to the world, and to me and my family. If religion were to go away, the whole world would benefit. The three Abrahamic religions just continue to kill each other and they are all praying to the same God to help them kill their “enemies.”

      Oh, by the way, evolution is not a lie…it is one of the strongest pieces of science out there, and it gets stronger in proofs every year.

      Peace and prosperity to you,
      twom

      Bill Galloway

      • Wes Bredenhof

        Bill,

        Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to interact. There are several points that I could take issue with in your latest comment. But let’s start with this one:

        “Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all pray to the exact same God.”

        Is that your evaluation? Or do you believe that Christians, Muslims and Jews themselves assert that they pray to the exact same God?

  • thewordofme

    Hello again Mr. Bredenhof,

    Regarding praying to the same God, you write:
    “Is that your evaluation? Or do you believe that Christians, Muslims and Jews themselves assert that they pray to the exact same God?”

    Well I believe this is historical fact. Christianity was more or less started by Paul, and he used Jesus as his Messiah, and Jesus was preaching the Hebrew “Kingdom of God” was coming. Of course it never did and many followers of Jesus were kind of surprised and a lot of backtracking and readjustment of dogma went on, but basically Christendom was pulled from the Hebrew religion.

    Regarding the Muslim faith; much of the Christian Bible was used, some even word for word I’ve been told, to establish the basis for Islam. Allah simply means God, so they are praying to “God” and they make no distinction between “theirs” and “ours.”

    Have you heard something I haven’t regarding this? 🙂

    Bill Galloway

    • Wes Bredenhof

      Thanks, Bill, for explaining what you meant.

      I agree that historically speaking there are connections between Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, even if I would describe those connections differently than you do.

      The question is whether today Jews, Muslims and Christians pray to “exactly the same God.” I don’t think so. Let’s just start with Islam and Christianity. Christianity teaches that God is Triune — three persons in one being. Islam rejects that understanding of God and finds it heretical. Christianity teaches that God is both transcendent and immanent. Islam rejects the immanence of God and posits a God who is entirely transcendent. Christianity teaches that God ought to be addressed as our Father (think of the Lord’s Prayer). A Muslim would never refer to God as “Father.” Christianity teaches that God must be approached through a Mediator (Jesus Christ). Islam does not have a mediator — Muslims pray directly to Allah. Christians believe that God has absolute personality. Muslims deny it. And I could go on and I could also provide the biblical references, as well as the Qur’anic references to support everything I have just said. Please let me know if you’d like them.

      To say that Christians and Muslims pray to and worship exactly the same God does not do justice either to Christianity or to Islam. There’s a reason why Muslims who closely follow the Qur’an believe that Christians are infidels. They do make a distinction between “theirs” and “ours.”

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