I just finished watching an hour long panel discussion on Brian McLaren's new book, A New Kind of Christianity. The moderator was R. Albert Mohler, Jr., and the panel was composed of Jim Hamilton, Bruce Ware, Stephen Wellum, and Gregory Wills. I found much of their criticism of the book to be pretty high level, and I would recommend you watch it for yourself. I must say that I found myself disagreeing with the panel on their characterizations of certain sections of the book. Many times it seemed like they either did not understand what Brian was trying to say, or intentionally took some ideas to their logical extreme in order to rebut them. At the same time, I did find myself agreeing with certain of their points, but not many.
What perhaps spoke to me the most from the discussion was Bruce Ware's admission near the end that Brian is actually right about something. Here's what he said:
"I think we, conservative fundamentalist Christianity, bear some responsibility in promoting a kind of legalism and a tight rigid fundamentalism that is repulsive. He's (McLaren) right about that. And I mean, we have sinned in this regard I mean (for) so much of our history. I grew up in a baptist church that was legalistic, and my goodness, 95% of the youth group that I grew up with is not walking with the Lord. They just rebelled against that legalism, the hypocrisy that was there. Well there's a fair bit of that that is true, that a person like Brian McLaren, William Paul Young and The Shack, Donald Miller... I mean in a sense they are appealing to that same audience of a younger generation that is fed up with fundamentalism in its legalistic form. Honestly we bear some responsibility in the fact that we have not done well at promoting true Biblical Christianity. And boy, God help us."
Amen to that.
You can watch the video of the discussion in its entirety at this link: