I think that Leadership and Pastoral Leadership conferences have jumped the shark. They are sooooo 2006 and they quit being innovative a long long long time ago. I knew things were getting desperate in the world of leadership conferences when Rick Warren slapped a new label on his same old tired Purpose-Driven leadership materials and renamed it Radicalis. Did he think that no one would notice that its the exact same curriculum he's been pushing for 25 years?
Yawn. Boring. Stale. Been there done that. I even have a t-shirt to prove it.
I can think of hundreds of other things I rather be doing than attend an outdated rehash of leadership leftovers in yet another multi-day so called 'transformational' leadership experience.
And has anyone noticed that it is the exact same people who keep getting invited to speak at these events? Seriously, how many times do I need to hear Perry Noble complain about the mean bloggers who aren't 'man enough' to come out from behind their laptops? Even the young avant garde emergent types are getting old and fat and their kewl trendy jeans, shirts and glasses are looking as relevant as a re-run of Love American Style.
Yawn. Boring. Stale. Been there done that.I even have a t-shirt to prove it.
Seriously, the pantheon of so-called innovative church leadership demi-gods sure seems to be seriously lacking innovation lately. Apparently the well spring in their "valley of vision" has run dry and there's nothing really new under the leadership sun. So they have nothing better to do than invite the same speakers to say the same things in the same auditoriums singing the same songs delivering the same leadership pep talks. Even Perry Noble wore the exact same clothes two years in a row at the conference that his church hosts (No kidding! Here's Perry at the 2009 Unleash Conference. Here's Perry at the 2010 Unleash Conference.)
Yawn. Boring. Stale. Been there done that. I even have a t-shirt to prove it.
Some have tried to keep the leadership industry alive by creating a new Christian Leadership Code Language that we're supposed to read their books in order to decipher and apply to ministry. They throw around words like missional, intentional, incarnational, experiential and relational as if these words actually mean anything real. But these words are now as cutting edge and edgy as venti, grande, macchiato and frappuccino. I think those terms are yawn-al, boring-al, stale-al. I even have a t-shirt to prove it.
R.I.P. Leadership Conferences. You taught us that if you live by relevance you also die by relevance. You were kewl for a season. But I'm bored with you now.
Been there done that. I even have a t-shirt to prove it.
By today’s new ‘Church Leadership’ standards Jesus was a clueless leader who obviously wasn't in tune with the 'worship experience' needs of His time and culture. Fact is, when you read the New Testament biographies you don’t read about Jesus discussing the latest leadership philosophies, church branding strategies, church marketing practices or the latest ideas for designing and creating holistic audio visual environments to help create the perfect mood for people to have an engaging worship experience.
Instead, when you read the New Testament you discover that Jesus often taught outside and Jesus’ teaching events were far from seeker-sensitive. When you compare Jesus' leadership practices to the new and improved leadership principles of Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Leadership Network and others you'd have to conclude that Jesus was a complete failure as a leader and was in the dark when it came to meeting the felt needs of His target market.
A prime example of Jesus' utter cluelessness is found in the Gospel of Mark chapter 8. In the opening verses of that chapter we learn that Jesus held, for lack of a better term, a three day long “outdoor church conference” where He was the featured speaker. Here’s what Mark records about the event.
“In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” (Mark 8:1–3)
Yes, you read that correctly! Those who attended Jesus' three day long ‘outdoor church conference’ were outside, exposed to the sun, the wind and the elements. Oh and there was no food provided until the END of the event. What was Jesus thinking?!
Can you imagine the comments that Jesus and His disciples received in the customer satisfaction response surveys after the event? I’m sure they got responses like the ones listed below.
Question: Were you satisfied with the location for this conference?
Answer: Are you kidding me?! The Judean countryside is no place to hold a three day long church conference. Not only did I get a sunburn and a windburn, but the stench from 5,000 sweaty men being baked alive for three days totally ruined my ‘worship experience’.
Question: What did you think of Jesus' teaching?
Answer: First of all it’s difficult to listen to a man drone on and on and on for THREE DAYS without anything in your stomach. Why didn’t Jesus just keep His teaching down to 30 to 45 minutes? Seriously, how does Jesus expect us to remember all of that stuff? Laptops, the internet and Twitter haven’t even been invented yet and most of us are poor uneducated people and don’t have the resources to even take notes. It would have been way better if Jesus had passed around some handouts with fill in the blank sentences so that we could at least have some way of applying His relevant points to our lives and experience some ‘life change’. This was no way to motivate people to become world changers.
Question: What did you think of the food?
Answer: We were baking and starving in the sun for three days before the the first and only meal was served. Jesus waited until we were all ready to pass out from hunger and exposure before He decided to throw us a bone and miraculously divide up some bread and some fishes. Why did Jesus wait until the end of the conference to feed us? Why didn’t Jesus do that neat little miracle two or three times a day during the conference so that we didn’t have to listen to him on an empty stomach?
Question: What were your overall impressions of the conference and what would you like to see done differently at our future conferences?
Answer: Aside from the fact that I was hot, got sunburned, windburned, had to endure the smell of 5,000 sweaty Judean peasants while listening to a Bible teacher drone on for THREE DAYS without the ability to take notes or follow along on Powerpoint, with no porta potties and no food in an environment that is nearly impossible to have a descent worship experience...I thought the conference was a raging success (that was sarcasm). I’d rather be boiled in oil by the Romans than attend another outdoor teaching conference hosted by Jesus.
By the way today’s Church Leadership Gurus talk you’d think that the New Testament was just brimming with Leadership wisdom ready to be picked and applied by today’s innovative visionary leaders. Yet, when I read the Gospel accounts, the leadership that Jesus modeled doesn’t even remotely look like the ‘new leadership’ that today’s gurus are selling. The reason for these differences is that Jesus' Leadership Model NEVER had anything to do with customer satisfaction or positive customer experiences.
I know that I am running the risk of being branded as a "Leadership Heretic" but I think that there was obviously something FAR MORE IMPORTANT happening at Jesus' three day long 'outdoor church conference' than religious consumers having their felt needs met or customers having a 'life changing experience'. The key to understanding what that "more important thing" was can be found in Matthew 4:4 which states:
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’””
Are some in the Emergent church openly embracing polytheism? I have just posted an article that addresses the polytheism being taught by Emergent author and contributor to the Huffington Post, George Elerick. Click Here to Read.
I've begun a series of posts that will challenge the thoughts and ideas put forward in the new book Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola. Despite the books correct contention that the church is focusing on too many distracting ideas rather than on the person of Jesus Christ, I strongly believe that the book is seductively deceptive and chock full of very serious unBiblical ideas, philosophies, errors and false doctrines that must be challenged, debated and answered.
In this video Helen Thomas tells the Jews to get the hell out of Palestine.
Question: Do you think this an example of the Neo-Fascist Anti-Semitism?
Whether or not it is an example of Neo-Fascist Anti-Semitism it is one of the ugliest displays of blatant racist bigotry that I've seen in a long time. I thought that the members of the left wing media were against racial bigotry. Maybe, those on the left believe it is wrong to be racially prejudiced and bigoted except when it comes to the Jews.
In light of how the mainstream media butchered the truth regarding the Israel / "peace flotilla" story it makes me wonder if Helen Thomas' racially bigoted and historically uninformed views are beating in the hearts of others in the left-wing media.
What do you think the media would have done if one of the leaders of the Tea Party Movement had said something as outrageous as this?
“And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost.” 
Sixty-seven years ago, the combined blood, treasure and matériel of the free nations of Western Civilization defeated the most horrifically evil regime to ever arise in the known history of the sons of men, Nazi Germany.
Since the defeat of Hitler and the Axis powers, scholars have been looking for an answer—an answer to a vexing and perplexing question, “How does a society comprised of reasonably well educated citizens, modern technology and an affluent culture turn into a collective pack of murderous thugs devoid of a moral compass or conscience?”
The standard schoolbook answer put forward by historians talks about the political and economic hardship and unrest in Germany in the wake of her defeat in World War I and the humiliating terms of the Treaty of Versailles as the primary reasons for the rise of the Nazi party.
On the surface this answer seems reasonable enough but when you study the writings of those who fled Nazi Germany shortly after the rise of Adolf Hitler you discover that economics and wounded national pride are not considered to be the core explanations given for the rise of the Nazis. Those who lived through those turbulent years instead point to the spiritual break down of Europe and the rise of irrational philosophy as the primary forces that breathed life into the Fascist regimes of Franco, Mussolini and Hitler.
Many people today have a woefully limited understanding of the philosophical and political ideas that gave rise to Hitler. Most give little or no thought to the subject. It’s as if Hitler fell out of the sky or was a fluke of nature. Many simply dismiss the subject and think that Hitler was “just a madman” who hated Jews and thought the Aryan race was superior to every other race on the planet and he was tragically in a position that allowed him to act on those beliefs. But, few understand or remember that Hitler was a Fascist and that in the 1930’s, prior to World War II and the establishment of the concentration camps, the word “Fascism” had a definition and a meaning. Rather than being a fluke, Hitler was instead a true product of his time and his political ideas were the direct result of the philosophical, political, religious and economic ideas of the Völkish period.
Said Mussolini, “If each age has its doctrine, the innumerable symptoms indicated that the doctrine of our age is the Fascist one.” When Mussolini penned this sentence he did not have in mind the currently popular and historically ignorant definitions of Fascism that most people possess today, definitions like:
Fascism = Arizona’s 2010 immigration bill.
Fascism = The Conservative Political Platform of Ronald Reagan.
Fascism = Anti-Semitism
The phrase “Epic Fail” comes to mind when I read such ignorant and uninformed definitions of Fascism. Anyone who truly understands Fascism understands that it is notoriously difficult to define precisely because it CANNOT be primarily defined by means of a positive ideology.
Here is how the late Peter Drucker, who grew up within the philosophical conversation of the Völkish milieu of Austria and Germany and who later fled the Third Reich in 1934, described Fascism:
“Fascist totalitarianism has no positive theology, but confines itself to refuting, fighting and denying all traditional ideas and ideologies...Fascism not only refutes all old ideas but denies, for the first time in European history, the foundation on which all former political and social systems had been built...”
A good illustration would be to liken Fascism to antimatter. Physicists tell us that matter has an evil twin called antimatter and when matter and antimatter come in contact with each other they are both destroyed. Antimatter is difficult for us to comprehend because of the fact that we have only experienced matter. Its difficult to imagine a substance that is the exact opposite of matter. Fascism is equally difficult to understand because its hallmark is NOT that it affirms anything but that it denies practically everything. Fascism is ANTI transcendent truth. Fascism is ANTI individual rights. Fascism is ANTI rational thought. Fascism is man taking his God-given gift of reason and using that reason to deconstruct and debunk reason itself and all societal and religious institutions that rely upon reason.
Said Peter Drucker, “I...realized that the new totalitarianisms, especially Nazism in Germany, were indeed a genuine revolution, aiming at the overthrow of something much more fundamental than economic organization: values, beliefs, and basic morality. It was a revolution which replaced hope by despair, [and] reason by magic...”
Drucker further goes on to state that, “Nazi leaders have prided themselves publicly on their disregard for truth...”
If Drucker is correct, then the very first blitzkrieg of the German Fascists was not waged against Poland, Belgium nor the Netherlands. The very first victims of the Fascist revolution were values, beliefs and basic morality. Once these citadels fell then there were no moral, philosophical or rational obstacles left to stop the Fascists from committing the most unthinkable crimes.
What is historically vital to note about Drucker's description of Fascism is that it was published in 1939 and predates the wartime atrocities committed by the Nazis. Drucker's definition was constructed from his firsthand experiences while living and breathing and conversing with Fascism in the years prior to Hitler's rise to power. Drucker's definition demonstrates that Fascism should not be defined by the brutality that it ultimately engaged in. Instead, it should be defined by the irrational, deconstructive philosophy that it embraced. The logical consequences of this anti-rational philosophy were the unspeakable evils committed by the men who, having been stripped of transcendent truth and morals had no checks upon their sinful human nature. One could argue that the day the Fascists succeeded in deconstructing values, beliefs, basic morality and reason itself was also the day when the foundations were poured for Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau and Bergen-Belsen.
Ernst Nolte, in his book Three Faces of Fascism said, “Georg Lukács in his book, Die Zerstörung der Vernuft... attempts to describe philosophical irrationalism as an essential component of and background to National Socialism, as the ‘reactionary answer to the great problems of the past hundred and fifty years.’ On Germany’s path ‘from Schelling to Hitler’ is to be found practically every name of any stature in German philosophy after Hegel’s death: Schopenhauer and Nietzche, Dilthey and Simmel, Scheler and Heidegger, Jaspers and Max Weber.”
This reaction against rational thought and its corresponding blatant disregard for transcendent truth is precisely what is at the heart of the oft quoted Fascist maxim, “a lie becomes accepted as the truth if it is only repeated often enough”.
Said Drucker, “Fascism, however, goes much further in its negation of the past than any earlier political movement, because it makes this negation its main platform. What is even more important, it denies simultaneously ideas and tendencies which are in themselves antithetic. It is antiliberal, but also anticonservative; antireligious and antiatheist, anticapitalist and antisocialist...—the list could be continued indefinitely.”
Today, Fascism has a new name. Even though the name has changed, the exact same irrational philosophies that helped give rise to the 20th Century totalitarian Fascist regimes of Italy, Spain and Germany are alive and well today. The new name that Fascism has taken for itself is Postmodernity.
From Foucault to Derrida, John Franke to Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren to Doug Pagitt, Pete Rollins to Tony Jones all of these men are disciples of and dealers in the irrational philosophies of such men as Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, and Heidegger.
Just like their 20th Century counterparts these philosophers and theologians are characterized not by their positive ideologies and theologies but by their strident attacks against rational thought, knowable transcendent truth, individual rights, individual salvation, transcendent morals, systematic theology, and the bedrock reasoning upon which all of the societal structures of Western Civilization are built, including Constitutional Republicanism, the free market and the Church.
Fascism was not defeated on the battlefields of Western Europe. Their armies were defeated. But, Fascism lived on. It lurked in the shadows for decades and was ultimately imported to the United States and the European democracies through universities and institutions of higher education. Fascism took a new shape in the field of literary criticism through the postmodern deconstructionism of Derrida and has now grown like a cancer that has spread from literary criticism to philosophy to politics to economics to religion. Once again the very foundations of thought are under assault. Once again the rights of the individual are being deconstructed and the idea of the primacy of the community (Gemeinschaft) is being exalted. Once again all transcendent truths and morals are being deconstructed and attacked. They are being replaced with an irrational epistemology founded upon subjective feelings (authenticity) with a hatred for so-called meta-narratives. Once again free market capitalism is under assault and being accused of causing the oppression of the poor and creating an unfair system that creates haves and have-nots. Once again there is talk of ‘creating the millennial Kingdom of God’ here on earth by destroying or ‘redeeming’ all the political and economic structures of society.
The Postmodern conversation has taken place before. It was the philosophical conversation of the 20th Century European Fascists. Its a conversation that had no answers but only deconstructing questions. The same is true today. But the big difference between 20th Century Fascism and 21st Century Postmodernity is that this time the conversation is global.
1 Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Dir. Peter Jackson. 2001. DVD. Taken from the narration in the prologue to the film.
2 See Poewe, Karla, and Irving Hexham. "The Völkisch Modernist Beginnings of National Socialism: Its Intrusion into the Church and Its Antisemitic Consequence." Religion Compass 3.4 (2009): 676-96. Print.
3 Mussolini, Benito. Fascism; Doctrine and Institutions. New York: H. Fertig, 1968. Print. see 31.34.n2
4 "Ellison: Arizona Immigration Law ‘fascist, Racist’ «." Minnesota Independent: News. Politics. Media. Web. 3 May 2010.
5 Drucker, Peter F. The End of Economic Man: the Origins of Totalitarianism. New Brunswick, N.J., U.S.A.: Transaction, 1995. 11. Print.
6 Ibid. xxii
7 Ibid. 19
8 Nolte, Ernst. Three Faces of Fascism: Action Française, Italian Fascism, National Socialism. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966. 22. Print. emphasis added
9 Drucker, 13
10 Veith, Gene Edward. Modern Fascism: the Threat to the Judeo-Christian Worldview. St. Louis: Concordia, 1993. Print.
If you’ve read Brian McLaren’s books, Everything Must Change, The Secret Message of Jesus and A New Kind of Christianity, then you know that Brian McLaren is advocating a new global economy that is a ‘synthesis’ between the current Capitalist free market and Marxism. To the American ear this sounds just like Marxism. This has to do with the fact that when Americans hear about collectivist, centrally controlled economies where wealth is forcibly redistributed the ONLY thing that comes to the American mind is Red Bolshevik Marxism. In the American mind those Western European nations that are slipping deeper and deeper into collectivist redistributive economies are turning deeper and deeper shades of Red.
In the American Mind: Capitalism + Marxism = A Milder form of Red Communism
Why do Americans think this way? Well, because we fought the Cold War against the Red Soviet Union. We fought the Red North Koreans and the Red Chinese. We fought the Red Vietcong and the Red Santinistas. In the American mind there is only one existing color of socialist ideology that remains on planet Earth and that color is Red.
Those who think Brian McLaren is a Red Bolshevik Marxist are missing a VERY important yet somewhat subtle nuance in McLaren’s rhetoric and the ideology that he is promoting. I am challenging all of you to open your eyes and educate yourselves on this matter because correctly understanding what color of Socialist McLaren is will make all the difference in the world in your being able to correctly understand what he is promoting and what needs to be done to refute him and those he is working with.
Some Insight Regarding This Other Color of Socialism
The other color of Socialism is VERY difficult to define and scholars have only recently been able to pin down most of the common ideological themes in this other form of Socialism. One of the reasons why it has been difficult to pin these themes down is because this other color of Socialism is more than a political theory. In fact, it is truly a “Political Religion” and therefore must be studied theologically in order to correctly understand and analyze it. This “Political Religion” is overtly utopian and envisions a global state that will usher in the “Kingdom of God” on earth by achieving its social, political and economic objectives.
What are the social, political and economic objectives that McLaren is promoting in his understanding of the “Kingdom of God”? He doesn’t hide them. They can easily be summarized as:
security - an end to all war and religious violence
economic justice - a third way between capitalism and marxism (a Hegelian synthesis of the two)
social justice - an end to victimization by deconstructing individualism and the 'us vs. them' mentality found in many groups that 'exclude'. These will be replaced by 'inclusive communities', through a realized unity of plurality.
ecologically sustainable global prosperity - a completely "Green Global Economy" with an emphasis not only on limiting or eliminating fossil fuels but also strict regulation of human diets and health.
I’ve gleened these four objectives from McLaren’s books. In A New Kind of Christianity, McLaren chides all the world’s religions for not effectively handling these crises. Which means that in McLaren’s mind solving these crises is the job of religion. YET, all four of these objectives really are political objectives and not religious objectives. (and they certainly are not the objectives that Jesus laid out in the Great Commission)
So...ask yourself this question: Why does Brian McLaren believe these ‘political objectives’ are supposed to be solved by religion? (1)
The answer is shockingly simple. Brian McLaren is a follower of a heretical political utopian religion that has hijacked the Biblical term “Kingdom of God”. McLaren is an ideologue NOT a theologian and if you do your homework you will discover that what he is really promoting is the “other color of Socialism”.
Definitions of the Other Color of Socialism
One author defines this other color of Socialism as:
________ is religion of the state.
________ assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a natural leader who is attuned to the will of the people.
________ is holistic in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified in order to “achieve the common good.”
________ takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action through regulation and social pressure.
Everything including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the “problem” and therefore defined as the enemy.
Rousseau’s political philosophy beats in the heart of this other color of Socialism. He envisioned a ‘divinized community’ that wasn’t defined by ethnicity or geography or custom. Rather, would be bound together by the “collective will” which in turn would be enforced by an all powerful “God-State”.
Another author, back in 1993 defined the ideological heart of this other color of socialism as:
“the practical and violent resistance to transcendence. _______ spirituality is one of immanence. A mysticism of nature and community.... that would heal the alienation of modern life”
Violent resistance to transcendence??? That sounds EXACTLY like the Emergents and their Progressive cousins and their incessant attacks against God’s transcendent word and God’s transcendent moral laws and Christ’s return in glory to judge the living and the dead.
A mysticism of nature and community??? That sounds like it could have been written yesterday as a description of the general mystique of the Emergent milieu. But it was written 17 years ago as part of a definition of the other color of Socialism.
Why is McLaren waging war against the historic Christian faith? Answer: because he is a follower of a rival religion. His religion IS the other color of Socialism.
It’s time for you to wake up and understand what that other color of Socialism is and what it believes because its back and it has been waging war against historic Christianity for many years now and its currently winning because Christians haven't correctly understood what they are really fighting against.
If you are ready to understand the truth then you need to read this book. When you've finished the first book then you need to read this one.
1. See pages 252-259 in A New Kind of Christianity
In the opening chapters of Brian McLaren’s new book A New Kind of Christianity he posits one of the lamest and flimsiest liberal arguments I’ve encoutered to date as to why Christians need to abandon the historic/traditional understanding of the Bible and create a 'new kind of Christianity'. McLaren’s contention is that today’s Christians are guilty of looking backward at Jesus through a Greco-Roman narrative lens that misconstrues and distorts the true nature of God and the gospel message itself. Said McLaren:
I believe the Christian religion in the West, as it habitually read the Bible backwards through the lenses of later Christians, largely lost track of the frontward story line of Adam, Abraham, Moses, and so on, within which Jesus had emerged. It unwittingly traded its true heritage through Jesus from Judaism for an alien heritage drawn from Greek Philosophy and Roman Politics...
Now the god of this Greco-Roman version of the Biblical story bears a strange similarity in many ways to Zeus (Jupiter for the Romans), but we will name him Theos. The Greco-Roman god Theos, I suggest, is a far different deity from the Jewish Elohim of Genesis 1, or LORD referring ot the unspeakable name of the Creator of Genesis 2 and 12, not to mention the Abba to whom Jesus prayed. As a good — no, make that perfect — Platonic god, Theos loves spirit, state, and being and hates matter, story and becoming, since, once again, the latter involve change, and the only way to change or move from perfection is downward in decay. In fact, as soon as something drops out of the state of perfection, Theos is posessed by a pure and irresistible urge to destory it (or make it suffer).
So, having created a perfect world, now Theos is perfectly furious because it has been spoiled and is now decaying. It has fallen from its high table of perfection and is shattered on the floor...
Theos stands above, holding his thunderbolts ready to strike, ready to melt the whole damned think down to primal lava, ready to purge all that is imperfect...Every time we use terms like "the Fall" and "original sin," I believe, many of us are unknowingly importing more or less of this package of Greco-Roman, non-Jewish, and therefore nonbiblical concepts like a smuggler bringing foreign currency in the biblical economy or tourists introducing invasive species in the biblical ecosystem. (McLaren, pp. 41-43)
So, in McLaren’s view the ‘god’ that Christians have been worshiping for nearly two millenia isn’t the loving and benevolent fatherly and kind Biblical god ‘Elohim’ but instead is the false and bad tempered wrathful Greco-Roman god ‘Theos’.
McLaren’s theory is almost too stupid to warrant a scholarly response. And his caricature and straw man mischaracterization of the God worshipped and believed in by historic Christianity through McLaren's 'theos' character is nothing more than intentional dishonesty on his part. But, sadly in today’s Biblically-Illiterate church it is crucial that an easily understood scholarly refutation be given to this and many more of McLaren’s laughable postulations.
The simplest rebuttal to McLaren’s claim is found in the Hebrew text of Genesis 6. In that chapter both of the Hebrew names for God that McLaren writes favorably of are used, YHWH and Elohim. Let’s look at the relevant verses of this chapter and see what impact they have on McLaren’s theory. Each time God is mentioned in the verses below I will provide the Hebrew name written in the Masoretic text rather than an the English translation.
Genesis 6:5 YHWH (יְהוָ֔ה) saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And YHWH (יְהוָ֔ה) was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So YHWH (יְהוָ֔ה) said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of YHWH (יְהוָ֔ה).
6:11 Now the earth was corrupt in Elohim’s (אֱלֹהִ֛ים) sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And Elohim (אֱלֹהִ֛ים) saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And Elohim (אֱלֹהִ֛ים) said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. ...17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die.
This one section of the book of Genesis levels a broadside against McLaren’s theory and blows it out of the water (notice the intentional pirate lingo).
First, in Genesis 6 The God Elohim (אֱלֹהִ֛ים) claims that the thoughts of man's heart were only "evil continually". This is a verse in favor of the historic Christian doctrines of the fall and original sin. (Another clear statement from God regarding man's fallen and sinful nature is found two chapters ahead in Genesis 8:21. In that verse God says this about mankind "the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”) Furthermore, we learn from Genesis 6 that Elohim's (אֱלֹהִ֛ים) heart is greived because of mankinds inborn inclination to evil and Elohim's (אֱלֹהִ֛ים) solution is to punish mankind and 'blot out man' from the earth through a flood. In other words, the minkind's sin problem described in Genesis 6 sounds similar to the so-called "foreign Greco-Roman narrative" that McLaren claims was smuggled into Christianity. Furthermore the solution to the problem offered by Elohim (אֱלֹהִ֛ים) sounds similar to the solution that the false platonic god 'Theos' would call for. How can that even be possible IF these ideas of mankind's fall into sin and God's wrath are 'foreign to the text' as McLaren claims in his book? Answer: These doctrines are not foreign to the Biblical text at all! McLaren is engaging in deception.
What's even more embarrassing for Mclaren's 'theory' is the simple historical fact that Genesis 6 was written LONG LONG LONG before the rise of the Greco-Roman civilizations and cultures and is chronologically cut off from ANY Hellenistic or Roman influences. Fact is, Genesis was recorded by Moses somewhere between 1446 and 1406 BC. While Alexander the Great on the other hand, wasn’t even born until 356 BC. So Genesis predates any Greco-Roman influences by 1100 years. To claim that a Greco-Roman meta-narrative had any influence upon this text would be like claiming that Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln had a profound political influence on Charlemagne who lived from 742 A.D. to 814 A.D.
So what's really going on here?
Any unbiased reader of Genesis can easily see that the Hebrew text, written long before the rise of the Greco-Roman world teaches that humanity was created by God and enjoyed a face to face relationship with God prior to disobeying God by eating the fruit that God commanded our first parents not to eat. The result of Adam and Eve's rebellion resulted not only in a cursed creation but also a catastrophic alteration and marring of mankind's nature that made it so that the intention of man's heart was "only evil continually" and "evil from his youth". Furthermore, God has the moral and judicial right to punish all of mankind for their evil.
McLaren is doing nothing more than cherry picking the passages of the Bible that he likes and suppressing the ones he doesn't like in order to craft his own 'god'. The 'god' McLaren has constructed has some of the attributes of the God who has revealed Himself in the scriptures. But, those other attributes of God that McLaren has deemed to be "undesirable" have been omitted and suppressed. Fact is, Brian McLaren's 'god' is an idol and a false deity. SHE was deceitfully constructed from a highly redacted use of the Bible. But, its not hard to spot the Biblical passages that McLaren is trying to cover up and suppress. Genesis 6 is one of many that I could bring up.
I recently reviewed two segments of Beth Moore's "Bible teaching" on my radio program and I must admit I was bowled over by just how bad and dangerous her teaching really is. I know she's popular but this woman is NOT rightly handling God's word. Instead, she is twisting the scriptures to her own destruction and the destruction of her hearers.
Take a listen for yourself. Not only is this bad, its downright dangerous false teaching!
Click on the Menu button on the player above and you can embed this radio segment on your blog or website.
Below is a Special Edition of the Fighting for the Faith radio program that exposes the Cult-Like Hostile Takeover Tactics of Dan Southerland's Purpose-Driven Church Transtioning Seminar. The list of cult-like tactics employed by Southerland is LONG. They include:
1. Flat out lies and manipulative double speak
2. Blatant Scripture Twisting
3. New & Direct Extra Biblical Revelation and Visions from God
4. Flat out intolerance for anyone who questions or challenges these "new" Extra Biblical Revelations and Visions that are supposedly from God.
All of these cult-like tactics are exposed and discussed in this special edition of F4F. Furthermore, I cannot emphasize enough the fact that Dan Southerland's Church Transitions company has been the "go to" company used by Rick Warren's Purpose-Driven businesses to train pastors into Warren's Druckerite leadership methodologies.
Please pass this special edition of F4F along and warn the Body of Christ about these cult-like tactics employed by the Druckerites.
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