Thursday, May 01, 2008

Generous reading

I've just started the book A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren. It is an attempt by the author to present an approach to Christianity that looks at what we believe in a far more humbler and gentler way than many Christians approach each other. Given that so many turf wars occur (literally as in the Holy Sepulchre or doctrinally such as happens all of the time), this is a potentially sobering book.

I understand his book has been critically received as being far more generous than orthodox - but McLaren does two things early on that caution against judging the book by its cover so to speak. Firstly, he affirms the classic creeds. He notes that these don't say everything that might be fundamental and orthodox, and have been misused as clubs to beat others down (starting with Constantine).

Secondly, he identifies orthodoxy not merely with a body of knowledge that one group has securely in its grasp (a modernist notion) but in a humble and diligent process of seeking and cherishing truth. It seems also to be far most associated with the person of Jesus than a collection of dogma. Further, he seeks to identify generous orthodoxy with orthopraxis (what we do). Amen to that.

I'm looking forward to trying to understand what McLaren believes myself, and not pre-judge him.


Anonymous said...

But what is there is no (zilch) truth whatsoever in the usual stories re Saint Jesus of Galilee.

Or put in another way, what if "jesus" is just the main character in a piece of imaginative fictional story-telling?

No more real than the character named Krishna in the Baghavad Gits, or Bart Simpsons shorts?

How can someone who is a "natural" scientist possibly subscribe to the "resurrection of jesus".

Such an "event" is/was TOTALLY unprovable by ANY kind of reasoning.

And NEVER happened!


Dharmashaiva said...


You seem to be taking a very fundamentalist Protestant approach to biblical scripture. Surely, Adi Da would disapprove.

Anonymous said...

Mick, sounds like a good approach. can u send me your review when done by email?
Thx, Ron Choong