Brian McLaren’s (long-awaited) response to critics

I’ll be the first to tell you I appreciate the writings and thoughts of Brian McLaren. I’ll also be one of the first to say more often than not, it seems to me Brian has the habit of talking around an issue rather than addressing it head-on (though this is done because of his core conviction of generosity in dialogue even to the point of letting himself be unjustly skewered by others). Brian McLaren is a tremendous role model for me in the faith, and proved to be the same in person he is as he speaks through his books. And while I appreciate McLaren’s generosity, it was about time he went toe-to-toe with unjust criticisms. Here’s the beginning of his response…

A Friendly Note to My Critics

By Brian McLaren
Summer 2006

You would think after 24 years of serving as a pastor I would get used to it. You would think I would get a thick skin so that criticism wouldn’t bother me. But I confess that I am disheartened by some forms of criticism. Obviously, I am aware of the fact that some of my ideas are controversial. I believe that all controversial ideas need plenty of scrutiny – as do many non-controversial ones. I do not in any way think I am above scrutiny, and I have been wrong enough times in my life to be sure that I will need ongoing correction for the rest of my life.

I struggle more whenever a new book comes out. Books are like kids, and the release of a new book is like sending your child off to school for the first time. You don’t want her to get made fun of for her thick glasses and braces. You know she’s a little clumsy and overweight, but you don’t want her to be chosen last for the team or called mean names. You don’t want her to get pushed around on the playground by the local bullies. You see her potential, and you hope that others will, and it hurts when they judge her by her looks, or when they make her the focus of their faultfinding mission. Of course she’s not perfect, but you know she has value and you hate to see her treated badly.

And here’s the link to the rest.

Good stuff…penny for your thoughts (or you can choose to just chew on his comments). 🙂

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