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I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Friday, January 06, 2012

Brian McLaren Speaks

Is he political? He can be.

Does he confound conservative thinkers in the church on a variety of issues? Yes he does.

Is he guilty of pushing young evangelicals to consider theology from some non traditional angles? Most certainly.

And do I love reading him, wrestling with his conclusions, and seeing how he challenges the established church? You know I do.

Here's the latest article from one of my favorite writers, Brian McLaren, a former New England Pastor who has really connected with a new generation of Christian leaders. Mainline thinkers and Pastors ignore him at their peril.

Even if they do not agree with him, he is speaking the language of the people with whom they are are trying to connect.

In “America the Exceptional,” an article published in the January 2012 issue of Sojourners, I intentionally misquote Genesis 12 as follows:

“And the Lord said to Abraham, I will bless you and make your name great. I will make you a great nation and all nations will submit to your exceptional status. They will kow-tow to your interests, submit to your invasions, and defer to your economic policies. You will act unilaterally and lead, not cooperate with, unexceptional nations. You will use and abuse the alien and stranger among you as you please, for they are not my chosen people blessed by manifest destiny.... For I am the Lord who shows favoritism to whom he will, and you are my chosen people.”

Then I added, “Oops! That is not Genesis 12 -- but it might as well have been,” based on projects and attitudes promoted via distorted notions of the theory of American exceptionalism.

Read the entire article.

Comments on "Brian McLaren Speaks"


Blogger Wunder Inc. said ... (9:55 AM) : 

I think you, and McLaren have a warped view of American Exceptionalism. The Exceptionalism CAN be take to mean special and exclusive and unfortunately it does in most extreme liberal circles as well as extreme conservative circles. But the Exceptionalism has NOTHING to do with the people of the United States. Let me say that again: American Exceptionalism has NOTHING to do with the people! I get so tire of that statement being warped into some exclusive club of people when it really is only about the American system.

American Exceptionalism is the unique way in which ANYBODY from ANY COUNTRY can and DOES have an opportunity to succeed. American Exceptionalism is all about starting your own business, failing and succeeding through your own efforts, being rewarded for hard work, and for getting PAID for that hard work. American Exceptionalism is all about opportunity NOT about a specific group of people.

So McLaren relating it to Gitmo is ridiculous. I like so much of his work but he is WAY OFF base here.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (10:15 AM) : 

Steve, in my comments, I was speaking generally about McLaren, as opposed to specifically about this article.

I do think, even if leaders disagree with his take, it is important to understand where he is coming from, even if for no other reason than so many people are listening to him.

This is where many young people, both in and out of the church are...

I am probably more in the middle on American Exceptionalism... somewhere between there is no such thing and we are the only nation that is exceptional.

Clearly, as I've expressed elsewhere, America is exceptional in that McLaren is even able to post and article like this, alter scripture, and not have evangelicals calling for his execution. Our freedom to be openly critical of our government is one of the greatest virtues, in my opinion, of America.

It is, in fact, exceptional...


Blogger BB-Idaho said ... (10:19 AM) : 

The US Army Field Manual for Counterinsurgency clearly forbids
torture (including waterboarding).
That was written under the guidance of General David Petreaus.
THAT is American exceptionalism.
..as far as 'Mainline thinkers
ignore him at their peril', if we
look a little closer at the
National Religious Campaign Against
Torture, we find-
American Friends
Disciples of Christ
Evangelical Lutheran Church
The Episcopal Church
Lutheran World Relief
Presbyterian Church USA
Sisters of Mercy
Universal Church of Christ
United Methodist Church
Unitarian Universalist
Mennonite Central Council
World Council of Churches....
..and many others.
Can we say conversely, there is
Dick Cheney and Fox News?


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