thoughts/ideas/opinions from scott hodge

Saturday, October 9

More thoughts from McLaren

With the new baby and recent move, my habit of reading has unfortunately become less of a habit. I'm still working through Brian McLaren's new book, A Generous Orthodoxy.

One of the chapters is entitled, "Why I Am Mystical/Poetic" and the general idea in this chapter is that we (the modern church) have somewhat reduced the beauty of the gospel because of the way we approach and think of scripture.

Instead of using poetic and mystical language to proclaim our good news, we tend to approach it flatly sounding more like a written "memo". In this chapter, McLaren quotes Walter Brueggemann:

The gospel is...a truth widely held, but a truth greatly reduced. It is a truth that has been flattened, trivialized, and rendered inane. Partly, the gospel is simply an old habit among us, neither valued nor questioned. But more than that, our technical way of thinking reduces mystery to problem, transforms assurance into certitude, revises quality into quantity, and takes the categories of biblical faith and represents them in manageable shapes...There is then no danger, no energy, no possibility, no opening for newness!...That means the gospel may have been twisted, pressed, tailored, and gerrymandered until it is comfortable with technological reason that leaves us unbothered, and with ideology that leaves us with uncriticised absolutes.
McLaren suggests that what we...
"...need a new kind of preaching, preaching that opens out the good news of the gospel with alternative modes of speech, that is dramatic, artistic, capable of inviting persons to join in another conversation, free of the reason of technique, unencumbered by ontologies that grow abstract, unembarrassed about concreteness because 'reduced speech leads to reduced lives...'"