McLaren, Milbank, & Changing the Church

Today I picked up a copy of, and started reading, Brian McLaren’s Everything Must Change.

First impression: I can’t help noticing a familiar vibe, reminiscent of John Shelby Spong’s Why Christianity Must Change or Die, which I read several years ago in college.

McLaren (typical of other “emergent” authors such as Donald Miller) offers a passionate call for believers to reject “mainstream” patterns of Christianity. In particular “emergent” authors have done a great job of conceiving of and articulating the meaning of the Bible in narratival ways.

However, as best I can tell, there is minimal ecclesiology (including as pertains to the sacraments and liturgy) in McLaren’s approach.

The radical act that Christians are called up on to perform is to believe more “wildly,” rejecting the “framing narratives” that dominate our culture.

A superior alternative to the program of the Emergent Church leaders is that of Radical Orthodoxy, with its emphasis on liturgy, participation, and the genealogy of nihilism. Drawing on the deep pre-modern roots of the faith, RO is able to offer a critique of postmodern secularity which “emergent” theology cannot.

For an excellent introduction to Radical Orthodoxy, listen to this.

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