19 Aug 2015

Converting Christianity

From Nights, 7:10 pm on 19 August 2015
Brian McLaren

Brian McLaren Photo: Supplied

A casual observer of religion in the 21st century might conclude most of the energy, regardless of the faith, is at the fundamentalist end of the spectrum.

Which could be true. But it could be that the fundamentalists are just those making the most noise.

Brian McLaren is a US theologian who’s part of another wave, the “Emergent Church”.

In 1982 Brian helped form Cedar Ridge Community Church, an innovative, nondenominational church in the Baltimore-Washington region.

He served as the church's founding pastor, a role he held from 1986 until 2006.

Brian’s interpretation of the gospels is less literal, less hell or damnation if you fail to follow the code, and more about achieving the kingdom of God in the here and now.

Will this approach reach out to people who seek some sort of spiritual fulfillment, without restrictive dogma? Or is a case of Christianity lite?

Bryan Crump spoke with Brian while he was in New Zealand recently.

Their conversation pondered a wide range of issues to do with religion and faith.

From the sorts of people attracted to the “Emergent Church” to what incentive there is to be good in this life, if there’s no prospect of reward or punishment in the next one.

 

 

Get the new RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes

Subscribe to Nights

Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)