Evangelical Author Puts Progressive Spin On Traditional Faith
Evangelical Author Puts Progressive Spin On Traditional Faith-- from the Washington Post: "[Brian] McLaren has emerged as one of the most prominent voices in an increasingly active group of progressive evangelicals who are challenging the theological orthodoxy and political dominance of the religious right. He also is an intellectual guru of 'emerging church,' a grass-roots movement among young evangelicals exploring new models of living out their Christian faith.
Progressives, who range from 11 to 36 percent of all evangelicals, according to various polls, are still overshadowed by the Christian right among evangelicals. But the steady popularity of McLaren's books over the past eight years signals an expanding diversity of thought in this important political constituency.
McLaren, 50, offers an evangelical vision that emphasizes tolerance and social justice. He contends that people can follow Jesus's way without becoming Christian. In the latest of his eight books, 'The Secret Message of Jesus,' which has sold 55,000 copies since its April release, he argues that Christians should be more concerned about creating a just 'Kingdom of God' on earth than about getting into heaven.
Along with such other progressive evangelicals as Washington-based anti-poverty activist Jim Wallis and educator Tony Campolo, McLaren is openly critical of the conservative political agenda favored by many evangelicals.
'When we present Jesus as a pro-war, anti-poor, anti-homosexual, anti-environment, pro-nuclear weapons authority figure draped in an American flag, I think we are making a travesty of the portrait of Jesus we find in the gospels,' McLaren said in a recent interview."