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Brian McLaren: A Prime Example Of Diaprax!

by Sandy Simpson


I have written in a previous article called The Emerging/Emergent Church - and their use of "Diaprax" briefly detailing the use of the Hegelian Dialectic and praxis (Diaprax) by New Apostolic and Emerging Church leaders. What I want to show in this article is a perfect example of Diaprax in the teachings of Brian McLaren, a main leader in the Emerging Church. If you want to read the entire transcript of “An New Kind Of Christian – Part 1”, a video teaching by Brian McLaren, you can access it here. I also urge you to watch the video for yourself which is available online here. When you watch, be aware of the intentional and perhaps even unintentional uses of brainwashing techniques. I will only quote certain parts of McLaren’s teachings in order to emphasize the use of Diaprax as well as other false teachings.

“A New Kind Of Christian”?

“… if you’re going someplace where no one has ever been a map cannot help you. That’s where the name “Off The Map” comes from in part. But another problem with maps is that sometimes they change. (Brian McLaren, A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

McLaren makes his first point that Christianity needs to change with the culture and times. According to Brian we also apparently need a change of operations manual, the Bible. The Bible is the “map” for true Christianity from the beginning to the end. What McLaren proposes is that over time, like geography, maps change and so our entire perception of reality must change to keep in lock step with the world. The basic fact that Jesus Christ never changes, that the truth of God’s Word never changes and is always applicable no matter what century you come from, and that Christians are to be light and salt to the world working to change worldviews to a biblical one is no longer part of the palate of the New Age, postmodern, “emerging” Christian. This opens the doors wide to new revelation, a new “Breed”, a new paradigm, and very old heresies.

I’d like to show you a slide of a map that changed. This comes from Honduras in 1998. A phenomenally strong and destructive hurricane named “Hurricane Mitch” formed in the Caribbean started moving west. Everybody expected that it would move over the coast of Central America as most hurricanes do. I confess to being a Weather Channel nerd, you know I, so if this were the Weather Channel they’d be making a motion like this, right about now. And you know, but they expected this hurricane to kind of move west and the eye of the hurricane would go over the land and when that would happen the hurricane begins to just desinigrate and fall apart. So you end up with a number of hours of extremely intense rain and then a day of extremely intense wind and a day or two of extremely intense rain and then you end up with a tropical storm and a tropical depression and soon the blue skies are back. But what happened with Hurricane Mitch was as it formed it started moving west and when it got about forty miles form the coast of Honduras it stopped and then for the next day it just began to wobble. Two days, three days, fours days, for a week, for five days it wobbled and then it moved over the shore. What that meant is that for those five days it was picking up all that warm moist Caribbean air and dropping it on Central America. You may have heard a terrible tragedy occurred in Nicaragua where a volcano, you know, that had formed over thousands and thousands of years from the ash of this volcano creating a huge cinder cone, well that cinder cone of ash absorbed this rain water day after day and finally one day, during this rain event, the whole hurricane slumped all at once and a town at the base of the hurricane was just covered, I’m sorry, the town at the base of the volcano was covered by the ash and over 30,000 people died in a matter of minutes, they were just wiped out instantly. It was a horrific effect of the storm. In Honduras, in downtown Tegucigalpa, someone who was there told me that the floodwaters reached the 8th story of buildings. Can you imagine this? Because in that week 100 inches of rain fell in Honduras. Now try to imagine over 8 feet of rain fell in Honduras, and when that rain fell it swelled the rivers as you can imagine. This is the Chulateka River, and what you see here is a structure that used to be a bridge. We can’t even call it a bridge anymore because by definition a bridge helps you get from one side of something to another. This doesn’t help you do anything anymore, because the floodwaters washed the road away on both sides of the bridge and then when the flood waters receded the riverbed was in a new place. So now this bridge is completely worthless, except that it is now become a tourist attraction. Because people from the two villages that were connected by this road and bridge go to the end of the road and sort of wave at the people they haven’t been able to visit in all of these years. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

I doubt this last “fact” is true. They still had ways to see each other by boat, etc. This is exaggeration to make a point. But McLaren and the emerging new heretics have no qualms about using fabrication, exaggeration, disinformation, misrepresentation, vilification, prevarication and even falsification to achieve a complete brainwash in their followers.

But I think this picture is a power metaphor for what happens in our world because 100 inches of rain falls in Honduras falls every year, every two years. What’s unusual though is when 100 inches of rain is condensed, you see, into a week. Now I think change is the same way. Change is happening constantly. But when a lot of change is concentrated in a short amount of time structures that used to serve become tourist attractions. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

DIAPRAX ALERT: Here is the beginning of the Hegelian Dialectic and McLaren’s “Antitesis”. McLaren is now reducing historical Christianity to a “tourist attraction” that no longer speaks to our world, is out of touch, and in fact is completely washed out by the “100 inches of rain” of time.

And the maps that used to accurately reflect reality don’t reflect reality anymore. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

DIAPRAX ALERT: So apparently the Bible, Christianity and everything we stand for as followers of Christ is now no longer reflecting reality. The hint at the Thesis of the Diaprax is that we need pied pipers like McLaren to help us see the real map through our old tired Christian haze. But you have to remember that this is from a man who only uses one Bible verse in this entire diatribe and demonstrates clearly that he does not understand the original “map” to begin with.

And then you have to start adventuring off the map. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

DIAPRAX ALERT: Okay, here comes the Thesis. We not only need new maps, we need to venture “off the map”. Just when we think we have come to accept that we need a new map McLaran takes his audience one step further in order to establish his Thesis. The Antithesis is old useless maps, the Thesis is off the map, the praxis is coming to understand that we need a new map. This reminds me of a segment on the Seinfeld show where Elaine and George wreck Jerry’s car so Elaine concocts a tragic story to cover for the slight ding in Jerry’s car. By the time she has told Jerry about their close escape from death (Antithesis), and then introduces the ding (Thesis) Jerry is happy to hear that they only put one ding in his car. This is an old Diaprax trick, but one that works perfectly with people who don’t use their brains, with those who are not mature in Christ and have no discernment.

If you go to that next slide please. A good Scripture I think that sets a framework for what we want to talk about in part this weekend is something that the apostle Peter told the early Christians. He said “In your heart set apart Christ as Lord. ALWAYS BE PREPARED TO GIVE AN ANSWER TO EVERYONE WHO ASKS YOU to give the reason for the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect.” (Emphasis in original, Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

Let’s look at the context of 1 Pet. 3:14-17 here, since McLaren never bothers to do so. “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. This passage is about suffering for the TRUTH, not trying to change the truth to fit the cultural or worldly circumstances.

And that phrase “always be prepared” I think is very significant. It’s not that you can get prepared once and you’re prepared forever. It would be like your software, you know, you keep getting upgrades. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

According to McLaren this verse is talking about getting constant upgrades of the truth. But in context it is clearly talking about standing for the historic unchanging truths of God’s Word. In context, then, what McLaren is teaching is evil. Though it is true that the Holy Spirit continues to teach us the truths of the will and character of God, the truths themselves do not change, nor do they need to be upgraded.

And he’s saying “you have to continually be upgraded in your preparation” because people are going to continue to ask you new questions. A lot of our churches are very well prepared for the questions of the 1840’s. Some are prepared for the 1950’s. What we call contemporary churches are prepared for the 1970’s. But there are relatively few churches and few Christians that are still being prepared to deal with the questions of the new century and new millennium. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

DIAPRAX ALERT: How does McLaren know this? He gives no facts to back this up. Is the Gospel any less effective when preached today than at any other time in history? If more people aren’t calling themselves Christians, is it the fault of the Gospel or the fault of false teachers like McLaren (who would not know how to preach the Gospel or have the desire to do so if a ton of bricks fell on his head)? This is another example of Antithesis, vilifying the past and present in order to bring in a new system of thought.

And one of the real essentials, the apostle Peter says, is that as we engage with people we do so with gentleness and respect. And that’s going to be our tone toward our culture. I try not to do this but occasionally I succumb to temptation and listen to Christian radio. And when I do it always frustrates me because the attitude toward our neighbors and the attitude toward our culture that I hear there is not gentleness and respect. Generally it’s an attitude of disgust and disdain. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

DIAPRAX ALERT: I know of very few Christian shows, even the heretical ones, that reflect a bad “attitude” toward the American culture, unless you are talking about the problem of sin being taught. Apparently McLaren is not concerned with the problem of sin. He wants Christians to be so gentle that they do not even deal with the truth of cultural degradation. What he ignores is that Paul called the Hebrew culture “dung” in light of the cause of the Gospel (Phil. 3:8). What then is Gentile culture by comparison? The problem with people like McLaren is that they have forgotten how to be salt and light, if indeed they ever were regenerate, and are now preaching a Gospel of tolerance in the name of “gentleness and respect”. You can speak the truth in love, but you must speak the truth. I do not hear Christian radio exuding an air of “disgust and disdain”, but rather of warning and admonition with regard to the pitfalls of sin, the world, the flesh and the devil.

And so I would, this weekend we’re going get practice in trying to look at our neighbors and our culture, including the people who don’t understand or agree with a lot of what we believe, and instead of talking about how wrong they are we’re going to try to understand them and treat them with gentleness and respect and take their questions seriously. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

DIAPRAX ALERT: Again, what McLaren means is tolerance without truth. When have Christians NOT taken non-believer’s questions seriously? This is not true at all. The reason for speaking the truth to non-believers is for the very reason that Christians DO and will CONTINUE to take their questions seriously.

In order to do that, let me try to give you kind of the history of humanity in about five minutes. Now in order to do this we will have to skip a few details, ok? But we’re gonna start our survey in about 2500 BC in what we call the prehistoric world. Now I remember when I was a kid and they talked about prehistory I thought, how can anything be before history? It was like negative numbers, I didn’t understand negative numbers, how can you have anything less than zero you see. But when historians say prehistory what they mean is before people had written history. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

Obviously McLaren is not a believer in written records passed down from before the flood even though their life spans gave them ample time to develop and use written methods. The records of Genesis are clear that they were records passed down through the line of Noah, Shem, Terah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses. The literary styles of the different accounts, which are signed by the person who wrote them, are quite different and suggest that the records were likely in written form, not oral. For an interesting study on this subject go here. Christians don’t talk about prehistory, only evolutionists. There is no such thing as “prehistory” in Christianity as we have a book written by eyewitnesses going back to the creation (and before in the case of the information God gave Adam about creation before Adam was alive).

And when you think about it writing is an incredible technological advancement. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

DIAPRAX ALERT: Again we see he does not hold those who came before us in high esteem and wants his audience to think the same way. We are led by Diaprax to believe that the patriarchs were uneducated boobs, and that only those on the cutting edge of technology have the wherewithal to write.

In fact this would be interesting to think about and talk about later on, but when you invent writing you make possible new levels of economy, economics, new levels of government, all kinds of new levels of learning and passing on your learning from generation to generation. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

DIAPRAX ALERT: So then the Bible must be faulty and because we need to disregard the old “untechnical” stuff, we can be assured that we are the evolved ones who can decide what to do and believe. We can make our own rules on the basis that we are more advanced technologically. This is a tautological argument based on a myth, but with the goal of shmoozing postmoderns into thinking they are at the top of the intellectual food chain. What hogwash!

The invention of writing is an incredible technological advancement. It’s like one hundred inches of rain falling in a week, it changes the world, and it gives birth to a new world that we call the ancient world. And this is the period that goes from about 2500 BC to about 500 AD. And because of the invention of writing, largely, you have these new economies and new political systems that become possible and what you end up with is are things called empires. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

From approximately 4000 BC. at the time of creation, to 2300 BC about the time of the flood, people sometimes lived to be over 900 years old. Why would they not have developed writing during that time? Gen. 6:1 says people increased on the earth before the flood, and 2 Pet. 2:5 says the world before the flood was called the ancient world, not prehistory. There were great civilizations such as the one at Babel and there is lots of biblical evidence that the people before the flood were not dummies. Why does McLaren say the “ancient world” starts when Noah built the Ark when the Bible says the world before the flood was the “ancient world”. Also, some of the greatest empires of mankind are already in the past such as the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman Empires. If we are realistic we are living today in the times of the feet of iron mixed with clay, not the head of gold (Dan. 2). The seven wonders of the ancient world remind us that we are not necessarily participants in the most glorious times of this planet, even if we do have technology.

And the ancient world is a succession of great empires around the Mediterranean. There’s the Sumerian, Acadian, Egyptian, I’m sorry, stay with that previous slide, the Sumerian, Acadian, Egyptian, Hittite, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman Empires. And if you know anything about the Bible a lot of those names are familiar because they’re important characters in the biblical story. Abraham comes out of the Sumerian empire. Moses, you’ll remember, he brings the people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt where they’d been slaves for 400 years. So the story starts in the Sumerian empire, it ends up for awhile in the Egyptian empire. You might remember when they resettle under Joshua and Caleb and the others in the land of promise eventually the northern Kingdom is conquered by the Assyrians and then the Babylonians, its actually it was in modern day Iraq and you got a regime change in Iraq is nothing new. And after the Babylonians you had another regime change to the Medo-Persians. They’re the ones who allowed Nehemiah and Ezra and other to go back and resettle, where the people resettled were living under a series of empires until the Roman Empire begins and that’s when Jesus comes and the apostles and they spread the Good News of Jesus across the Roman Empire. But something fascinating happens about 500 AD. The Roman Empire ends through a whole series of causes. One of them, by the way, might be the spread of Christianity. Some people think that the Roman Empire ended because when more people became Christians nobody could sustain the brutality necessary to keep imperial power. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

Hitler had no problem sustaining the brutality to kill 6 million Jews. Stalin had not problem imprisoning and killing up to 30 million Christians, Jews and other people who disagreed with him. I doubt this was the reason for the demise of the Roman Empire. Today the world is under attack from Muslims who want to eradicate anyone who will not bow to their false god. They have no problem “sustaining” their attack. The Bible says their power will not end until Jesus Christ Himself returns to judge them and reigns from the throne of David for a thousand years.

And so the idea is that wherever Christianity goes people become less violent and it makes that, and I wish that were still true, it doesn’t seem to be true anymore sadly. But around 500 AD also you have these succession of invading barbarian hordes, the Goths and the Huns and later the Vikings and the Mongols. But around 500 AD enough of these invaders come and the Roman Empire’s getting brittle and fragile and the Roman Senate leaves Rome when some invaders come in and they just disappear and there’s no government left. Now I come from Washington DC and a lot of people sort of wish that would happen there but it’s a mess when you have no government, nobodies there to pay the soldiers, nobodies there to take out the trash, nobodies there to keep the mail going. And so the remaining nobles in the city come to the pope, Pope Gregory, and they said “listen, we’re in a mess, could you help us, could you help us run the city.” And so something fascinating happens at 500 AD it’s like 500 inches of rain happening in a week. When you’re done with that period of time the world, the maps of the world, are different and the new world is what we call the Middle Ages of the Medieval World and it’s a world where the Church and the State are working closely together where you don’t have one dominating political empire but you have the influence of the Church in Western Civilization at least being the glue that holds civilization together. And it’s a fascinating period, it lasts about 1000 years. But you get to about 1500 AD and you have another convergence of phenomenal change. You have a new communication technology, the printing press. Writing was monumental 2500 BC but 1500 AD the printing press changes the world in phenomenal ways. You have new weapons technology, you have guns, you have infantry, you have cavalry that changes the world in phenomenal ways, and artillery changes the world, phenomenal ways. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

The world had infantry and cavalry back as far as history goes, namely foot soldiers and mounted troops. This is misinformation.

You have a spiritual kind of new movement this Reformation Movement with Martin Luther, which Protestants tend to think was a good thing, although sometimes we all have our second thoughts. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

Sounds like he is a cheerleader for the “Church” of the Middle Ages but not the Reformation. Apparently McLaren is one of those who has his “second thoughts” about the Reformation. Why? Because his “emerging church” is totally involved with Catholics and he has to be very careful about saying anything that would offend them. McLaren demonstrates that his type of “gentleness and respect” has to do with burying the truth instead of standing against the many heresies of the Roman Catholic Church since the early third century.

Then there was new transportation technology; man that one changed the world. This multi-masted transoceanic sailing vessel, the Caravel, makes possible all kinds of unbelievable things. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

McLaren did not do his homework. Multi-masted ships can be found back as far as the 12th to15th century in China which had a huge fleet. http://www.brlsi.org/proceed02/science017a.htm. They had oceangoing trade ships as far back as the 9th century. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sultan/explorers.html)

Remember the Conquistadors, they come to the New World, they bring back literally boatloads of gold that makes Europe unfathomably rich compared to what they had been before. It also makes possible them going down and finding slaves in Africa and exporting slaves around the world, tragic consequences. It also makes possible the influx of huge numbers of new people into the New World and so many of our ancestors came here and stole the lands of the people who lived here, the thought never crossed out mind that they belonged here and that they’d owned these lands, we just took ‘em. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

DIAPRAX ALERT: McLaren is a master of generalization because stealing was not universally true of every European who came to the “New World”. This is the same line the Indigenous Peoples Movement uses in vilifying white men, including missionaries who came to help. One sign of Diaprax is the usage of generalization.

And in addition to taking the lands we brought with us gifts: smallpox, venereal disease, we killed millions and millions of people through our diseases. The world changed, the maps changed, because of this new transportation technology. New ways of thinking, we don’t have time to get into, but a whole new view of the universe, in fact if you go to the next slide Copernicus and Galileo come up with this small adjustment in the map of the universe. Instead of the earth being in the center with ten concentric spheres, each of which holds the planets and stars, they make a slight adjustment, “let’s put the sun in the center”. And boy with this you have to hear shrieks of anguish, because people had thought that this view of the world with the earth in the center and the Bible went right together and if you bring down that earth-centered view of the world they thought the Bible, the Gospel, the Church, the Christian faith will go down with it and there was bitter debate and bitter argument. It wasn’t just the Catholics who opposed this, Martin Luther, John Calvin, they all were against Copernicus and their successors were against Galileo as well. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

Whose fault was this wrong view of astronomy? Not the patriarchs! Perhaps if those Christians McClaren mentions had read their Bibles they would have known that the earth was not flat (Isaiah 40:22). He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. It was mainly the Catholics who opposed this view. The view of an earth-centered solar system was predominant in the Middle Ages, not necessarily earlier or later.

And so amazing changes happened 500 years ago and brought us to this new world that we call the modern world. Let’s say it’s born in 1500, let’s say that it kind of reaches its adulthood in about 1750, and let’s say right now it’s in the prime of life. But many of us believe that in the last 50 years or so, a lot of us believe another 100 inches of rain has been falling and that our world is going through another major change in its landscape. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

If the modern world is in its prime, how can it be changing again? If it is in its prime, which is debatable, then the next change would be devolutionary.

Not everybody agrees with this but a lot of people, more and more people, are starting to think “yes, something’s going on” and what we’ve grown used to as the modern world is now giving birth to some new kind of world, a world that’s different. When you think about it, there’s new communication technology. First you have the telephone, telegraph, telephone, but then you have the television and the screen and then the Internet and it’s very hard to overestimate how much the world will change because of these new communication technologies. It’s very hard to underestimate, to overestimate it. In fact I just was hearing recently about a theory that’s out right now that says when you write with your hand you write with, most people with their right hand, which strengthens the left side of the brain. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

What about left handed and ambidextrous people? Apparently they are the stupid minority.

And there’s a theory that’s developing now that says when most of your communication is done, written communication is done through typing what you strengthen is the interaction of both sides of the brain and they believe that we are going through a major neural rewiring right now. It could be true. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

McLaren debunks his own theses by subsequently claiming that ambidextrous people are more evolved than right handed or left handed people? What about humans who have always worked with both their hands through the millennia? Why is this now some kind of radical new move. Maybe for couch potatoes, but there are many jobs that require equal use of both hands. I’m guessing that McLaren perhaps missed out on this experience, if this ridiculous sermon is any indication.

A whole new approach to science. How many of you were taught that the world, that matter is composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons? Yeh, I mean that is so 20th Century. You have no idea what they’re talking about now, it’s a whole new understanding of science. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

The fact is we are still eons away from understanding almost anything, and true believers understand that the more we understand the more we understand what we don’t know. Worldly science will always be a rat’s nest of egomania and headlong conclusions without adequate support. This is because most scientists are spending their entire lives trying to prove there is no God instead of believing the eyewitness accounts in the Bible.

And we don’t even have to say anything about new weapons technology. I mean if guns and cannons changed the world 500 years ago, think about atom bombs in the last 60 or so years. And then think about biological and chemical weapons and think about terrorism and suicide bombers and you start to get a feel for, who knows how that will change the world. New transportation, think about how airplanes change the world, cars, trains, automobiles, I’m not just thinking about the movie with John Candy and Steve Martin although it was a pretty funny movie. New spirituality, whole new approach to spirituality. 50 years ago people thought that religion was on its way out. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

The press thought God was dead, yes. The true Church, no. At least the church I went to.

50 years ago people thought that science and government would answer all of humanities questions and that religion, the sun was setting. But now everybody knows this spirituality is here to stay. People seem to be incurably religious. So our choice is not between religion and no religion, our choice is between good religion and bad religion. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

DIAPRAX ALERT: There is only false religion and true religion, not “good religion and bad religion”. This is a very Pelegian viewpoint. Sounds like McLaren has been spending too much time becoming a “Jedi” learning about the dark and light side of the “force” and less time studying to show himself approved by God.

And then whole new ways of thinking that we could talk more about if we had more time. One scientist or historian of philosophy and science Tomas Kune described it like this “When you have a hundred inches of rainfall you have a period of time where people have an old paradigm, or an old methodology and an old way of thinking. Then there’s an early transition period when people are very negative and very cynical, very critical, they’re angry about how the old system doesn’t answer the questions anymore. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map

DIAPRAX ALERT: Is he talking about a new paradigm or rainfall? If the analogy is rainfall then when it floods people just try to get out of the way and deal with the aftermath. If he is being true to his metaphor, McLaren is basically teaching that we need to get out of the way of this new paradigm and let it flood in. This is brainwashing.

And that frustration eventually gives way to a late transition period where then people start saying “It’s not enough to complain about how bad the old system is, let’s start dreaming about the new system” and that gives birth to this new system or new paradigm. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

DIAPRAX ALERT: I think it is McLaren who is dreaming! The claim is made that the old system is washed out, those who support it are negative, so we have no choice but to adopt a new system we are all “dreaming” into existence. This is totally against the ultimate revelation and authority of the Bible. We are not to “dream” new truth into reality, but are to apply the tried and true “old” truths of the Bible to our present circumstance and teach Christians how to think biblically.

DIAPRAX  ALERT: So we cannot argue for the Gospel anymore, but simply wait for a new generation to come along and redefine and live with what it deems to be the light? This is dangerous stuff. It spells the death of historical Christianity and the birth of a new postmodern, subjective, existential, relativist, self-serving worldview that will basically damn a whole generation to hell because they have “done what is right in their own eyes” and disregarded the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ!

And so many of us find ourselves struggling with old paradigms and old ways of thinking. We really love that old bridge and the fact that it’s not working anymore really causes us pain. What we want to do is get out the bulldozers and dig out the riverbed and get the river back where it belongs and bring in some fill dirt and make everything the way it used to be. But others of us are saying, “Well no, this is the new world, change happens, we’ve got to figure out how to deal with it.” (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

DIAPRAX ALERT: So to stay with this ridiculous analogy, we either have to (1) stick to the original map or (2) let the flood define a new map and then we will just have to deal with reality when it comes. The message here is that the old is bad, the new is good. Therefore we must follow the gurus who have a handle on how to navigate these new extra-biblical waters, like McLaren (as luck would have it).

God isn’t walking around in heaven going (hits head) “Oh Myself, what am I going to do about this” you know. He’s not upset, He’s not worried, you know His blood pressure, He’s not in a nervous breakdown danger zone. But rather God is with us through all these changes, you know these past storms, these past epochal changes, these paradigm changes of the past, they didn’t surprise God and that we feel that we can cope with it. And so that’s what we’re going to be talking about this weekend. What does it mean to be Christians? What would it mean if you became a very, very effective modern Christian and then the world changed under your feet into a postmodern world and you were still practicing your faith for a world that no longer exists? What would that mean? (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

DIAPRAX ALERT: Here is the crux. Antithesis, the old is no longer effective. Thesis, the new has not come yet. Praxis, we need to go with the flow to be effective.

They challenging questions and they are a little bit scary, but that’s what we’re gonna be thinking about this weekend. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

These questions are only scary in the context as presented. Out of that context the Bible and Jesus Christ are the same forever.

Gonna bring Jim Henderson up and Jim’s, actually what I’d like to do right now is, before I bring Jim up, is say, a little exercise for you. I’d like you to stand up and find one or two people, preferably not someone you came with, and I would like you to just talk about what we just considered together. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

PRAXIS: This is what McLaren has considered. Now he is using praxis – the final process of HD/Diaprax – to get others to consider and come to consensus on what he has presented. This is the last step in brain washing. If he is able to bring the crowd (which was very small if you watch the video) to consensus on what he has presented, then they have given up their own ideas and replaced them with those of McLaren.

Was there something that you thought was especially interesting or appropriate or is there something you really have questions about or disagree with, but what’s your dominate impression of this, and we’re gonna give you five minutes to have a little conference about that, but please do it standing up with no more than two or three people and it wouldn’t hurt to exchange names either. (Music comes up, the song by Avril Lavigne a non-believer pop singer, “Complicated”: Tell me, Why do you have to go and make things so complicated? I see the way you're acting like you're somebody else gets me frustrated. Life's like this you know. (Brian McLaren, A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

McLaren wants people to summarize, to find the “dominate impression” of what he has just said. There will be no real disagreement, as we can see in the later questions and comments, thus they are likely to agree with his basic premise, which is wrong. Christianity does not need a retooling to deal with postmodern society. Postmodern society needs a retooling to deal with the Word of God! Notice McLaren uses a pop song by and unbeliever to drive home his point that the people need to chill out and stop acting like judgmental Christians.



Dan: … In the aisle here and here’s what we’d like to do. What we want to do is find out, you know we each talked to somebody and I’d like to know first of all to start this off, what did you hear somebody tell you that you thought was interesting or insightful and maybe you know their name, you can just stand up, if you just raise your hand we’ve got a couple of mikes here we want to get to you. What did you hear somebody say that you thought was insightful or helpful or interesting? Raise your hand, you know tell on somebody that you thought was pretty smart or had something interesting to say. Ok. Nobody’s smart, I see, hmmm? Nobody said anything interesting? There’s a hand, would you stand up please? Who’s that?

June: Hi, I’m June.

Dan: We’re not going to hand you the microphones, it’s a rule, nothing personal.

June: Sorry Dan, I’m gonna share a little bit of what my friend down there said to me. We were talking about how it’s a general concept that sometimes this is a younger phenomenon that this is kind of a youth sort of thing and my friend here works with women’s ministries very frequently and she said that she is finding a lot it also in the Oprah generation as she called it, which I thought was pretty profound.

Dan: You thought that people like us wouldn’t get it? (Laughter) I understand. We’re kinda surprised ourselves actually.

June: Yeh, we think you are a little behind the ball on that.

Dan: Ok, so that’s interesting. So surprised that some older people get it. Anybody else had an observation? Somebody else? What did you hear Brian say that you thought was interesting or maybe you had a question about, something you’d just like to comment on? Anybody have a thought about that? You want to stand up? What’s your name please?

Kathy: Kathy.

Dan: Hi Kathy.

Kathy: Hi. We talked about how the comment about the Christian radio station caught us because we feel like that there’s a whole continuum on that as well as far as from the very conservative to the very liberal and basically everything inbetween.

Dan: Tell me a little bit more about your question, you mean you caught, explain, go into a little more detail.

Kathy: Yeh basically you just made the comment about that you tried not to listen to Christian radio because you wanted to expand, I assume you were wanting to expand your horizons and know what other people out there listen to and this and that, that said that even within Christian radio itself there is that broadness too that even as Christians we pick and choose which ones we want to listen to.

Brian: That’s a really good point, although it makes me wish I had your Christian radio station around because where I live there is not much of a spectrum. Although there might be variety in music, the content that’s behind it I think is all very much a form of Christianity that made a lot of sense in the modern world but makes a lot less sense in an emerging postmodern world.

Dan: So anyone else? Thoughts, comments you have? Yes sir, in that back here.

Randy: My name is Randy and how would the phenomenon of the mega churches fit, is that still part of the old paradigm, cause it appears to be quite successful as far as the numbers of people that it’s drawing, but where would that fit in that explanation?

Dan: Just for a comment on that what he is addressing is in Protestant evangelicalism for those of you that are not from that tradition, there’s a phenomenon of mega churches and that have a lot of visibility and he’s wondering about it fitting into the world that Brian’s talking about.

Brian: That’s a great question. Maybe my best answer to that would be, I’m for all kinds of churches, big ones, small ones, organized, disorganized, liturgical, non-liturgical, loud, quiet, I mean I think their all great. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

Disorganized churches? The Church is not to be one of confusion and disorder according to the Bible (1 Cor. 14:33 & 40, James 3:16, 2 Thes. 3:6-7).

 Brian: But I think in the modern world there is this hostility from the culture, especially the educated culture, toward religion and hostility basically was science and government will have all the answers as we said. And religion was marginalized; it was seen as a personal, private thing. If you need it, it’s sort of a crutch, strong people sort of get on with their lives. And I think in that setting it makes a whole lot of sense to get really big churches. Because it’s a way of us saying “We’re strong, we’re important, we’re not insignificant, we’re not marginalized” and think there’s a lot of momentum toward that. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

This is Dominionism. The fact is that the Church will ALWAYS be marginalized in society until the Lord Jesus Christ returns. We are a remnant (Rom. 11:5), a little flock (Luke 12:32), a few who will find the narrow way (Matt. 7:14). We are to be light and salt, not dominant in the cultures. If this is the reason for mega churches and emerging churches, then it is the wrong reason and the broad road and gate.

Brian: Its interesting as you move into a different setting where instead of saying religion is out, it’s more like this “Hey, that’s cool, whatever you’re into, whatever you believe, that’s cool.” At that point then proving something by numbers becomes less important. Now it doesn’t mean numbers are bad, but what becomes more important is what do you prove by how you live. So I think the question that is going be really foremost on our minds is not what approaches to church help us build the biggest churches, but what approaches to the Christian life help us make the best Christians. And if large churches can do that, and small and medium size can, its all great. But the question is what kind of Christians are we producing. That I think is the one to really pay attention to. Great question. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

Whatever you believe is cool? Is this what it means to be a “best Christian”? Are we the ones producing Christians, or is the Holy Spirit? We disciple but we do not “produce” Christians. God does that through individual faith and commitment. Apparently McLaren is wholly unaware of this concept.

Dan: Someone else? Question coming? Right down here in front. John. And this is?

Steve: I’m Steve. We were talking and they asked me a question and I realized we were talking and I didn’t really answer it completely, they asked me so what kind of church is my church? Is it a postmodern church, the church I pastor, is it not a modern church, and maybe like a lot of em goin here the reality is, yes, its all of those things, I’ve got people who are very postmodern and some of them don’t just understand postmoderny and maybe I’ve got some 60 year olds that I would consider postmoderns, but the reality is when I teach, when you teach and when you do church the postmoderns and of all age spectrums then the moderns don’t get it. And then when you do church to moderns the postmoderns are like stinted and I take it at some point you’re going to talk, maybe this weekend, in this blended generational, this transitional stage, man how do you do it for everybody, you know.

Dan: Your book, Reinventing Church, addresses this issue because your own church went through this process, right.

Brian: Yeh. It’s actually the book’s called “Church On The Other Side” but … the situation that we face now in this time of change, I think, is very analogous to the first century church where all the first Christians were Jewish and they felt they had the inside track, and then the Holy Spirit messes things up and invites Gentiles into the kingdom of God. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

This is a completely erroneous way to teach this. Bringing Gentiles into the kingdom was ALWAYS God’s plan (Ps. 86:9) and the Jews should have seen it. On the other hand, incorporating New Age ideas so that we will be “better Christians” by saying “whatever you believe is cool” has NEVER been a part of God’s plan. The Holy Spirit does not mess anything up. God is not messy. God is the ultimate in order. This is heresy and blasphemy. It sounds like the teachings of other heretics like Tommy Tenney, Benny Hinn, John Arnott, John Kilpatrick, etc.

Brian: And no these inside track Jewish people have to welcome in these barbarian Gentiles. And we face a very similar situation. All the Christians in the world right now are either modern or pre-modern. And now we have to say are we willing to welcome in these new people and the Scripture that always comes to mind in this is 1 Cor. 13. It’s not just for weddings anymore. 1 Cor. 13 is really about Jews and Gentiles loving each other, people of different cultures. So I would say today when we say how do we get moderns and postmoderns first of all the burden should be on the moderns because their the ones with the heritage, their the ones who ought to be able to be flexible and be understanding. But it goes both ways, they have to be patient, kind, not take into account wrongs suffered, not be rude, all the rest. 1 Cor. 13 is a great one for us to go deep with. (Brian McLaren , A New Kind Of Christian – Part 1, Copyright: 2004, Off The Map)

1 Cor. 13 is speaking to the Church, in particular the Gentile church at Corinth, and is not addressing the relationship between Jewish and Gentile Christians. It is how we are to act toward one another in the Church, and live a Christian life. This is not about accepting other religions and cultures are “valid”. That we ought to love each other, as bothers in Christ, is true. That we need to accept a false belief system like postmodernism without question is not what the Bible teaches.


Brian McLaren is a dangerous heretical teacher. The concepts he is brainwashing people with will, indeed, produce a new kind of “Christian” – one without grounding in the Word of God or the desire to obey the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the type of church system people like Dave Hunt warned us was coming in his book “The Seduction Of Christianity” long ago, but few would accept that the New Age would take over the churches. The “Emerging Church” is merging Christianity with other religions in order to attract the world. But it is merely bringing the world to the world, not the Word to the world. If this type of teaching is successful in brainwashing this generation, we are on the verge of the complete demise of Christianity in our time. Then we will begin to understand the question Jesus asked with regard to His return:

Luke 18:8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"


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