Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And another announcement: Brian McLaren in NZ

World Vision and Laidlaw College Present: Brian McLaren - Where Faith meets the World

Tuesday 13 October, 7.30pm
Laidlaw College, Lincoln Road, Henderson

Brian MclarenIn a time where everyone is talking about global crisis, Brian McLaren is also talking about Jesus and his message for us and our situation. Brian offers a framework where he explores the societal systems we live in: prosperity, equity and security systems.

Instead of functioning in perfect harmony, guided by God, these systems have become misaligned and no longer function as they should. They have become destructive, and this is the problem Jesus came to address. Brian describes these dysfunctions as:

  1. Prosperity Crisis – Our pursuit of prosperity is unsustainable ecologically. We demand more resources and produce more waste than our planet can handle.
  2. Equity Crisis – A minority of the world’s population is experiencing great prosperity, while a majority is not. This growing gap between rich and poor adds to the pain of poverty and acute sense of injustice.
  3. Security Crisis – As the environment experiences greater stress and puts limits on economic growth, the poor suffer disproportionately. Their suffering in turn fuels mass migration, petty and organised crime, war and terrorism. The rich respond by investing more and more of their income in weapons and armies and police, leaving the poor even more isolated and angry.
  4. Spirituality Crisis – Our religious systems fail to provide inspiration and the moral will to address these crises. Too often, they legitimise counterproductive responses, or they distract people from constructive action by preoccupying them with other matters.

Having thought long and hard about the world’s problems, Brian says, “ Our plethora of critical global problems (is real)….(but) the fourth crisis is the lynchpin or leverage point through which we can reverse the first three.”

The message of Jesus offers a revolution of hope for our planet and the poor.

This is where mission meets the reality of the world

"We'd better listen to Brian McLaren if we want to bring the reality of Christ into the world as it is and the church as it now is." Dallas Willard Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern California in Los Angeles

More info on Brian at www.brianmclaren.net, or contact mark.pierson@worldvision.org.nz

This will be Brian McLaren's only public meeting in New Zealand.


Anonymous said...

Hey Mike,

Thanks for the thumbs up about this. Are you planning on going up?

Mike Crowl said...

I don't think I'll be going myself, but other members of the team will definitely be.

Anonymous said...

BTW: I meant 'heads up'.

I look forward to hearing about it. Perhaps you can get them to type up a wee reflection on it that you can post here.

Mike Crowl said...

Heads up, thumbs up...we understand either way!
Yes, hopefully they'll let me know what they thought and I can let the reading public know as well...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Ony 1 meeting? Thank goodness there's not more. NZ DOESN'T need heresy from this guy polluting our shores. ps, how much co2 r u using to get here Brian?

Mike Crowl said...

I agree that there has been debate over McLaren in regard to heresy, but nothing of his I've read has given any indication of it. As for C02, well probably no more than it takes for various politicans to fly around the world being important, having photo ops and shaking hands with the world's leaders.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike

What have you been reading?! From what I've read of McLaren he has very suspect views on hell, the atonement and penal substitution, homosexuality and the gospel itself to name but a few!

He has also just finished Ramadan, the Muslim religious observance, and on his blog was asked a question about whether or not Christians and Muslims worship the same God. His answer was evasive at best. The facts clearly show that the Muslim god Allah isn't YHWH, the God of the bible at all (for example, the Koran denies Jesus as divine, denies the crucifixion etc). So why be evasive when answering a simple yes/no question, when the facts are plain to see? And why observe Ramadan which is a requirement for Muslims who believe in a different god? Will Brian be participating in Hindu festivals next? Celebrating Joseph Smith's birthday perhaps?

As for the CO2 thing, I had my tongue in my cheek somewhat with that comment, but for someone like McLaren who seems to place a great emphasis on political/social issues such as "climate change", perhaps he has some explaining to do? Isn't it hypocritical to yak on about "climate change", and then trip round the world on a jet plane?

Mike Crowl said...

It's a while since I read any of McLaren's books, but the ones I read didn't give me any sense that he was into heresy.
I've just had a look at his explanation about joining in Ramadan (http://www.brianmclaren.net/archives/blog/ramadan-2009-part-1-whats-going.html); I can see that his motivations may be good, but I don't know (for myself) that it's a wise step; he admits the likelihood of criticism from Christians and Muslims. I don't know that it wouldn't have been better, if he was going to fast, for him to have fasted according to a Christian tradition - there are plenty to choose from, after all. Fasting isn't limited to either Christianity nor Islam as a religious exercise. It's fairly common to many religions, and usually for similar reasons. However, he appears to saying that it's a way of connecting with Muslims rather than antagonizing them, and there's merit in that perhaps.
I agree that it seems as though he's 'observing' Ramadan; yup, not sure of his motives there entirely, although he's not particularly 'evasive' in the post I've linked to.
Sorry, missed the tongue-in-cheek aspect. I guess there will come a time when speakers don't come physically to a place like NZ, when the technology is a bit more sophisticated than it is currently (it's available, but not always ideal); and you're right, it might have made a statement in line with his views on climate change and the like.
By the way, do you want to respond with a name rather than under 'anonymous'? It's always good to know who we're talking to.