Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Peter-John Courson on Brian MacLaren

Peter-John Courson - son of Jon Courson - has posted a review of Brian MacLaren's book A Generous Orthodoxy.

As anyone who's read this blog over the last year knows, I don't much care for MacLaren, believe he's potentially one of the most wacked out guys in modern Christendom, which makes him all the more potentially lethal given his inordinate popularity.

However, PJC starts his blogpost with a very important premise that I sometimes forget and often need to be reminded of:

Eat the meat and spit out the bones. As true for Brian McLaren’s books as Luther’s.

...good point.

I maintain that MacLaren's got precious little meat in there, but...

PJC lists a "top ten" things that he came away with after reading Brian's book which are (mostly) good reminders.

Sort of gives the "other side" of the whole EmergENT deal...


Bryon Mondok said...

MacLaren is a great writer and challenges our tendency to process all information through party-line filters.

If you haven't read the book only because of emergent church paranoia, you're kinda missing out on a good read.

I agree with Peter-John. I employ the same policy when I read his dad's writing :)

mike macon said...

Actually, I fully intend to read MacLaren's book precisely BECAUSE of the whole ECM thing... I want to make sure I understand it.

I have been reading MacLaren's blog... and Out of Ur... and a few other ECM blogs of note. I have purposefully limited reading "anti-ECM" stuff so as to better form my own opinion.

My impression of MacLaren so far, quite honestly, isn't very complimentary, I'm afraid. I'm not impressed with questioning that which isn't open for question. However, since I don't make it a habit to read only those dudes I agree with, I read his and others' stuff as much as I can - challenging as a "bi-voc" working 50+ hours a week at my day job so as to support my habit.

Many guys I respect have read MacLaren more closely than I've been able to yet, and have run away screaming. Many others that I respect have read the same stuff and have been edified. That in and of itself makes me want to dig deeper.

But I'll tell you, I'm not impressed with pomo epistemology and deconstructive/reconstructive semiotics. But I'm sure that stems more from my own inherent presuppositionalism than anything else...

Bryon Mondok said...

no reason to run away screaming... it's not porn, the satanic bible, or oprah magazine for pete's sake :)

joe paskewich said...

Don't like pomo epistemology? Huh? Before Postmodernism was Modernism. Before Modernism was Pre-Modernism, the world of Jesus and the disciples. What difference do you see between postmodern epistemology and pre-modern?

For the believer "revelation" has always trumped epistemology of any stripe.

Postmodernism has dismantled the humanism of the Enlightment. Something apologists have been trying to do for 300 years. Postmodernism is defintiely the evangelists friend. For a while anyway. The postmodern mind is an open door. Or at least it's supposed to be.

mike macon said...

I consider myself a "premo" in many respects.

Probably the primary difference between pomo & premo is that the premo never doubted that truth was knowable; it was just that much of the corpus of truth could not be arrived at by independent investigation, but had to be received via objective (over against subjective - vital distinction) revelation.

The pomo, in the gleeful rush to deconstruct the world, questions whether objective, "first principle" truth can even be known with absolute certainty.

This is why dudes like Koukl and Zacharias get the Holy Ghost willies RE: the ECM.

BTW, Johnny Mac has made a fascinating case that pomo is really an extension of "mo" and is just as tied to fallen human mentation as is its epistemological predecessor.

mike macon said...

ABTW: Yet another reason I'm really diggin' on Driscoll; in his now-famous jousts with MacLaren, he effectively rebukes pomo presupps.

mike macon said...

Bryon - "Oprah Magazine." Tee hee hee.