In prior pieces such as Samir Selmanovic: God Is Father Of All Religion and Samir Selmanovic And Being Unable To Follow Jesus Without Islam here at Apprising Ministries I’ve introduced you  Samir Selamnovic, an up-and-coming ear-tickler within sinfully ecumenical Emerging Church circles. In fact, in Richard Rohr And The Emerging Church As The Third Way I showed you that Selmanovic was featured in KTLS: Spirituality and Faith in the 21st Century (Volume 3, Number 5), Evolutionary Christian Spirituality teacher and United Church of Canada minister Bruce Sanguin.

What these guys were saying concerning Emergence Christianity, now being birthed through Emergent Church as an upgraded form of Progressive Christianity, was so far out there we’re having trouble even getting a radar fix upon it. But this is what EC guru Brian McLaren has now begun laying it out systematically, through the answers to the “10 questions that are transforming the faith,” in his new book A New Kind of Christianity (ANKoC). You need to understand that this is absolutely not merely warmed-over liberalism, its something far more dangerous; albeit just as spiritually bankrupt.  

For a better understanding of this new form of progressive Christian theology keep an eye out for the EC conference Emerging Christianity: HOW we get there determines WHERE we arrive this Friday, which is being put on McLaren’s good friend and fellow Red Letter Christian, the Roman Catholic mystic Richard Rohr. Here’s what his organization’s website says of it:

Continuing on with the exploration begun at last year’s Emerging Church conference, the CAC is thrilled to invite you to another large gathering of Roman Catholic, Mainline Protestant, Evangelical, and other Christians seeking to explore this emergence and convergence together. We hope to inspire and challenge you with the lens of non-dual thinking, a new politics and a new theology rooted in the “third way.” (Online source, bold theirs)   

Lord willing, I’ll come back to this another time; but for now, I’ll tell you this morning Selmanovic tweeted:

Evangelicals have to face it (like Roman Catholics of 16th century had to): Increasingly, our version of Good News is neither news nor good. (Online source)

Resisting the urge to wrestle with the serpent, this only shows how little grasp of the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ Selmanovic has. That statement actually comes from the following when Selmanovic announced:

I commented (passionately, I may say!) on @scotmcknight‘s critique of @BrianMcLaren‘s book: (Online source)

More on what Selmanovic said concerning a post today by the EC theologian Scot McKnight called That Soul-Sort Narrative 1 in a minute; however, I’d like to first remind you that McKnight did a review of McLaren’s ANKoC for Christianity Today, which I pointed you to in Christianity Today Review Of A New Kind Of Christianity By Brian McLaren. McKnight would correctly conclude:

Unfortunately, this book lacks the “generosity” of genuine orthodoxy and, frankly, I find little space in it for orthodoxy itself. Orthodoxy for too many today means little more than the absence of denying what’s in the creeds. But a robust orthodoxy means that orthodoxy itself is the lens through which we see theology. One thing about this book is clear: Orthodoxy is not central.

Alas, A New Kind of Christianity shows us that Brian, though he is now thinking more systemically, has fallen for an old school of thought. I read this book carefully, and I found nothing new. It may be new for Brian, but it’s a rehash of ideas that grew into fruition with Adolf von Harnack and now find iterations in folks like Harvey Cox and Marcus Borg. For me, Brian’s new kind of Christianity is quite old. And the problem is that it’s not old enough. (Online source)

Today McKnight tells us:

I contended in my review of Brian McLaren’s new book that his sketch of how “conventional” Christians understand the biblical narrative is a narrative not held by any reputable thinker, and the aim of this new series on this blog is to explain Brian’s sketch of the soul-sort narrative, sketch the conventional narrative in its own terms, and then to posit a suggestion of why he has so described it. (Should be three posts: today, Friday and next Monday.) This soul-sort narrative is not a tangential point; it’s at the heart of his whole book.

One reason I’m doing this series is that I’ve had a few say to me that they actually grew up with Brian’s soul-sort narrative. My contention is that they didn’t; nor can they find one gospel tract or one youth pastor who will ever admit to having believed in or preached Brian’s soul-sort narrative as he describes it. I’ll explain in another post why I think Brian sketches the narrative as he does. (Online source)

And that’s what would prompt the comment from Selmanovic below:

Samir Selmanovic
April 7, 2010 9:42 AM


Thanks for taking up this conversation with Brian’s work. That’s exactly what I think Brian and onlookers from every side have been hoping for!

As for my testimony, I have been pastoring for 13 years and soul-sort narrative was IT for most, though not all, evangelizing Christians (those who were passionate enough to share their faith). Dallas Willard was the one who unplugged this one for many of us and introduced a much larger world to us.

Obsession about living eternally (while following the one who gave up his life, of all Lords!) has been an unacknowledged absurdity (not mystery) of our faith that non-Christians can easily see and name. I saw families falling apart, individual lives and communities ruined, and not for the sake of the gospel, but for the sake of taking care of self (through God of course) and convincing others that they have to do the same.

To the extent that this narrative is losing its grip on believers’ imagination today, to that extent people resonate with Brian’s book. We have to face it like Roman Catholics of 16th century had to face it: Our “good news” is neither news anymore, nor good. It really is that simple.

The tipping point for the new paradigm will come when “new kind of Christianity” graduates from reaction to “bad news” and shows its maturity by furnishing some really good news to the world. I think Brian’s book is only a beginning.

Also, a question. Ignoring Brian’s chapter on Jesus, and all of his previous work on Jesus, why?

Finally, Brian’s work helped me personally see, love, and follow Jesus, often pulling me back to traditional, orthodox, and evangelical portrayals and treasures of faith, when I would lose heart. In this book however, he comes out and says where his heart and mind is finding peace and enthusiasm. It is inspiring. You, or I, don’t have to take it, or take it down. He has earned his right to be heard. “If it is from God, we can’t stop it. If it is not from God, we won’t have to!” God make people think for themselves.

Looking forward to the installment #2,

Samir (Online source)

As I said earlier, this just shows the ignorance of the Gospel men like McLaren, Dallas Willard, and Selmanovic—each of whom are for all intents and purposes neo-Gnotic mystics—actually have. The mission of the Body of Christ is really quite simple: Join Jesus in His seeking and saving that which is lost by preaching God’s Gospel of repentance for the forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ Name. But such as these simply do not want that particular mission because it cuts right through the man-centered heart of the mush god of their pluralistic progressive [read: Liberalism 2.0] version of Christianity.

But it is good to get on the record that Samir Selmanovic, who runs a spiritual blackhole called Faith House Manhattan, admits: “Brian’s work helped me personally see, love, and follow Jesus.” The sad fact is, the skubalon spread by McLaren has done the same for scores in the neo-liberal cult of the Emerging Church. And as I said in Brian McLaren Asks Why Don’t Evangelicals Like Me? the heart of the whole matter is that with this new form of liberal/progressive theology, which is quickly becoming another religion entirely, we’re dealing with another Jesus, a different spirit, and a different gospel.

With this in mind, and in closing this for now, it’s with pleasure that I point you to the work of my friend pastor Rob Willmann where he’s begun his series Review: Brian McLaren’s “A New Kind of Christianity”, Pt. 1 . And Willmann pulls no punches as he says:

Brian describes himself inside the back jacket cover as “an author, speaker, pastor, and networker among innovative Christian leaders, thinkers, and activists.” He also says “here you will find a provocative and enticing introduction to the Christian faith of tomorrow.”

My disagreement starts there. What McLaren presents isn’t an introduction to the ‘Christian faith’ at all… Brian slowly introduces his brand of liberal post-modernistic poison, until by the end of the book the views he expresses are at direct odds with what Christianity believes, all the while calling it “an introduction to the Christian faith of tomorrow.”

I plan over the course of several serialized blog posts to show how Brian’s opinion of the Christianity of the future isn’t a true picture of biblical Christianity, but is instead a picture of wolves running amok in the church… 

McLaren’s idea of writing a scholarly approach to “Christian Faith of tomorrow” seems to involve mischaracterizing Christians, setting up and knocking down a laughable straw-man argument that we view Scripture through a “Greco-Roman” lens, spewing forth vitriol at fellow Christians – all the while holding forth a smug attitude of false humility and piety.

Reader be warned! This book is not about the coming Christian faith. It’s McLaren’s attack against the faith that’s already been delivered to us.

In the next segment, I will be discussing Question 1, “What is the Overarching Story Lline of the Bible?” (Online source, bold his)

See also: