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On letting our Lord define the Gospel, how does He define it at the end of Mark? "Go and preach the Gospel to all creation." And then He tells the gospel: "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe, will be condemned." Hence, exactly as you say the Gospel as defined by our Lord is in zero discordance with that entrusted to St. Paul. You can really see this in action in Acts 8, where beginning with Isaiah 53, St. Philip preached to the Ethiopian eunuch the good news about Jesus in such a way that as soon as the man saw water, he begged for the gift of baptism!

Rev. Zachary Bartels

This is great analysis, Chris. Keep it up! Between your series and Mike Wittmer's review, I may not even have to bother reading this thing (although I do feel honor-bound to devote at least one blog post to it, which would require reading it).

What's funny is that when you were on Doug P's show, he kept on using the "stop making us out to be these liberal heretic monsters" move. But here McLaren seems to be letting the cat out of the bag and confirming that these guys are who we feared they were all along...

Paul L.

"Shouldn’t you read Paul in light of Jesus, instead of reading Jesus in light of Paul?"


This ignores the principal of progressive revelation. The four Gospels record the preaching of Jesus *before* he was crucified and resurrected, before his post-resurrection teaching to the apostles (Luke 24:27,45), and before the Holy Spirit was given to the church.

The righteous men of the Old Testament were justified by their faith in God, but they could not have known about the Trinity or God's incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth because these things had not yet been revealed or occurred. We, however, have no excuse not to hold to these truths.

To ignore the teaching of the apostles is like saying you will only read the OT because if it was good enough for the righteous and justified men of Israel it is good enough for us.

cynthia curran

If every evangelcal read Augustine's confessions, the emergating church movement and the growth movement would be died in their tracks.

cynthia curran

Mclaren is a modern Marcion except he doesn't like Paul. He is trying to contrast Jesus and Paul because Paul opposed homosexuality, supported the government using force if necessary, and other issues that diagree with anabapists liberalism. Also,Ignatius and other early fathers agree with Paul.


Imo, Jesus in the gospel of John is perhaps even clearer about salvation by faith alone than Paul is. Pitting Jesus against Paul is stupid.

John Nielsen

You loaded the bases and hit the ball out of the park with this analysis, Chris. Every point you made was compelling. Brian McLaren seems to be making things up as he goes along, (and tries to posture himself as being wide open to the 'conversation') but from the outset I think he has had a plan to steer the show where he wants it to go. I see him as an old fashioned social gospel liberal dressing up like something new in order to make a splash with the postmodern youth. He is no Luther, who called us back to the foundation. He is a heretic and a false prophet who seeks to destroy the foundation and hijack the Christian faith.

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