Generous

To those of you who have compared my writing to Brian McLaren’s writing (derisively? I’m not sure – its hard to tell in text), I wanted to take a moment to say that I consider that to be a high compliment – in fact, to be overestimation. But still, I’m smiling as I read this book, and I thought I’d post briefly about it. Its odd that we can be similar when I’ve never read his work before – we must have both found something independently that we thought was true.

Anyway, back to reading.

10 thoughts on “Generous

  1. Funny Aric, True.His non-fiction is one of those things that is writing itself. I sometimes wonder, but if the Holy Spirit leads the church, then when the HS nudges the church in a certain direction it is to be expected that folks all over will get the same idea at the same time.It almost serves as a test of the Spirit.Or at least as a proof that there really is a spirit out there that really does whisper in our ears.

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  2. Doug,As someone who has compared you to Mclaren, my point of comparison was simply that you and Brain like to say things that are either provocative, or things that may not be provocative in a provocative way. McLaren is a nice guy, but he is one of those people who has pretty much written the same book multiple times. Interestingly, (or not) Generous Orthodoxy is the book of his that I have gotten the most from. As far as his fiction goes, I’ve never read your ficton Doug, but to say it’s better than McLaren’s fiction is to set a pretty low bar.Congratulations on your tests.Craig

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  3. Craig:I’ve found that McLaren’s thought processes, which are pretty much out there for you to see in his writing, feel very familiar in a lot of ways.And low bars are the only ones I get over.

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  4. Doug,the low bar comment was certainly not aimed at you. I agree that his thought processes are out in the open for everyone to see and evaluate. The problems I have with him are:1. He is a recycler of ideas. I won’t even read his new book because the blurb on the jacket makes it clear that it is simpky a rehash of previous material.2. He is quite polarizing in the written word, and quite the opposite in person. I’m not sure which one of the two Brians is closer to real.3. For someone who has to remind the reader constantly that he is “just asking questions” or “looking to dialogue”, he’s pretty stinkin’ dogmatic. 4. In his defense, most of the criticism of him is actually criticizing what it is reported that he said not what he actually said. This is similar to how Greg Boyd is treated (not that I agree with everything he says, but what he has said has been misrepresented and the misrepresentation attacked quite a bit)When you are done, may I reccommend Lord or Legend by Boyd.

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  5. Oh, I know, I was just making fun of myself.Ok, I checked out the book, and they talk about Tolkien, which is a good sign, so it went on my Amazon wish list, which is where I put things I intend to someday buy. It probably won’t happen until I graduate and have some time to read some other stuff for a while, but its there, so we’ll see.I think its interesting that you call McLaren dogmatic. I can see that. The important difference, for me, is that he says (really too often) that his dogmatism is just that – his own. Obviously, its partly rhetorical ploy to invite everyone to return his book for store credit, but I think there is probably humility under that too, which I rarely find in other dogmatists. In print, at least thus far, he avoids absolutization of his own ideas, which of course I appreciate.I guess I like the rhetoric of “Agree with my dogmatism or put down my book and walk away” compared to the more familiar “Agree with my dogmatism or be labeled heretic and heterodox, shunned and defrocked, and assured of an eternity screaming in Hell.”Because in practice, what I do when I hear the second kind of dogmatism is…put the book down and walk away 🙂

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  6. Interesting take on dogmatism, I guess I’m a little equal opportunity. If dogamatism is bad it’s bad no matter who engages in it. In McLarens case, I find it a little more annoying in light of the whole “it’s just a conversation” schtick. On the one hand he says there are no answers, just questions, on the other he dogmatically provides the answers.I think it’s interesting that you picked up on (maybe subconsiously) McLarens genius for self promotion. He mines controversy to sell books (this from someone who knows him pretty well), then goes into “humility” (you appear more generous than I, but after more exposure the humility seems more like a dodge).I don’t see any practical difference between McLaren’s appearant “put the book down and walk away” (you idiot, your not worth my time) and the other. We obvioulsy disagree on whether heresy exists, as well on whether ordaining bodies can control who is ordained (and defrocked). My only point is, if it is possible (in any context) to be heretical, then to label someone who is heritical a heretic is simply accurate. Where we (I think) agree is when those labels are applied on the basis of opinion or interpretation. I assume you mean you put the Boyd book on your list, it will be interesting to see your response.

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  7. Hey Doug,I think a comparison to McLaren is a compliment. A book study group I hold at the church just finished Generous Orthodoxy. This is a very liberal group, much more so than McLaren. The word “orthodoxy” made us squirm. Although, we liked him and wished other orthodox folks were as generous! : ) His last three chapters were the best. He offered himself more there. We as a group of liberals, who really didn’t care too much about evangelical theology liked this evangelical. He seemed to have a good heart and a care for being open to learning and growing and seeing the best in others. I think you have that spirit, too, for what it is worth.And congrats on completing the ords!

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