Posted by: pberry | April 20, 2009

Tony Jones (or rather John Case) on the Defense of Truth

Tony Jones told this story last month. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Specifically, this part from when he was speaking at Houghton College.

Here is a question I got, verbatim: “How can you defend Brian McLaren when he rejects the atonement.” A Houghton theology prof, John Case, answered in my stead, with some anger in his voice: “It is outrageous when evangelicals chastise emergents over issues of “truth” while making statements that are patently and knowingly false.  I have read every book that McLaren has written, and he have never rejected the atonement.  And, further, no particular understanding of the atonement was ever affirmed by an historic church council, thus one’s view on the atonement is not a test of orthodoxy.”’ve had a number of people have told me that Rob Bell or Brian McLaren or Tony Jones or Paul Young (among others) are dangerous, bad or something of the sort. I wish I could say I am surprised at how many haven’t actually read the book, heard the talk, watched the video, etc. They heard a radio program where the host was very angry about one of these people. It’s only natural then to assume that being angry is the proper Christian response, even if they can’t remember the details.

I’m not advocating the theology of any of these guys over and above anyone else’s. I enjoy Tony’s work quite a bit and our casual friendship just as much. I’ve found Rob Bell inspiring at times and quote him regularly (as I do below). I haven’t read Rob’s two most recent books. I’ve yet to read The Shack and didn’t care for Brian’s last book at all. The point remains: if you’re going to walk around saying someone is “dangerous” you better know what you’re talking about.

Rob Bell said in one of the Nooma videos, “Some people are looking for a fight because they aren’t in one.” If you’re in a fight against “dangerous” authors, it’s time to find a new fight. Advocate for children. Fight traffiking. Help train leaders. Be an agent of creation and renewal. The world is doing a good enough job of destroying itself without us trying to keep up.

Blogged with the Flock Browser


  1. well put

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: