Admittedly, that may well have happened a long time ago, but can we finally agree that the erstwhile emergent guru and Sojourners contributor has finally made a public declaration of heresy? He chose a really peculiar way to do so, too–a column in the “On Faith” section of the Washington Post addressed at the lunacy that is Harold Camping. McLaren wants to eliminate any and all possibility that anyone can know the time of the Second Coming, so he proceeds to throw out the baby with the dirty bath water:
Now I, like many others, have migrated to a very different understanding of the future. More and more of us are calling it a “participatory eschatology” or a “participatory view of the future.”
Instead of assuming that the future is predetermined, that the script is written, that the movie is already filmed in God’s mind and is only “showing” in the theatre of the now, we believe the future does not yet exist.
We believe that we are called to work together with God’s Spirit – with creativity, for justice and peace, nonviolently, and both passionately and patiently – to create the kind of future that fulfills what Desmond Tutu calls “the Dream of God.” Of course, we can’t presume to know what that world looks like: we can’t presume it’s communist or capitalist or works on some as-yet undreamed-of economic system.
But we work with this confidence: that when we show love, when we seek God’s justice for all, when we care for the vulnerable and forgotten, when we try to take the logs out of our own eyes before working on the splinters in the eyes of others, when we care for the birds of the air, flowers of the field, and fish of the sea, when we admit our wrongs rather than hide or deny them, when we give rather than hoard, when we seek reconciliation rather than revenge … we are nudging the world one small step forward in our journey towards that dream of blessing and peace.
So, in the interest of a statist “social justice” agenda that was old before I was young, McLaren takes apart the doctrine of God. He repudiates God’s omniscience, as well as His foreknowledge, and for good measure anything that might resemble His sovereignty. Oh, and though he doesn’t mention it, he also implicitly repudiates Scripture as God’s revelation of Himself and His plans for humanity, since all of its many promises and prophecies become nothing more than fond wishes and vague guesses in the face of a future that is as much a mystery to God as it is to us.
I don’t whether Brian McLaren is a Christian or not. It’s up to God alone to judge his heart. But I think that if it has not been before, it is now clear that no church that values the souls of its members, and no publication that values the souls of its readers, should give him a forum from which to preach what the Scriptures would call anathema. In particular, it is time for those evangelicals who continue to be enamored of McLaren to get over him, and give him over to the mainline theological wasteland for which he so obviously pines.