Last week McLaren spoke at a homiletics festival in Tennessee (homiletics is the art of preaching) and McLaren had much to say about what topics pastors should and shouldn't be preaching about. In McLaren's view, sermons about doctrine, sin, and salvation through Jesus alone create factions and should be replaced with messages about global issues.
Here is how one paper covered the story.
Brian McLaren, an author and Christian activist who spoke Thursday, said many television and radio evangelists had delivered to their listeners the kind of fear-mongering and finger-pointing messages that promote factionalism.
In his lecture at First Baptist Church, McLaren proposed that preaching should remedy, rather than incite, controversial issues.
These include poverty and climate change, and he encouraged his audience not to shy away from such global issues.
"We can't really afford to waste too many Sundays with so much at stake," he said.
"If instead we play it safe, in a true sense we have switched sides from being part of the solution to being part of the problem."(Online Source)
Did you catch the part about wasting Sundays? Since when is preaching on a Biblical passage or Christian doctrine, or proclaiming the death and resurrection of Jesus for sinners a 'wasted Sunday'?
What problem does McLaren think that Jesus was solving while suffering on the cross? Since there weren't any epistles written by Ralph Nader or Al Gore we can say with confidence that Jesus' death wasn't about climate change. Therefore, that is not what our sermons should be about . Instead, the Bible tells us that the Church of Jesus Christ is supposed to preach a message of repentance from sins and belief in the gospel.
Luke 24:46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.
According to the Bible, what is at stake is salvation from the eternal judgment and wrath of God.
The message that Jesus gave us to preach is more urgent, more pressing and more important than the highly dubious issue of man-made global climate change. And there is the rub. Mclaren doesn't believe the Bible is God's word nor does he believe its exclusive claims and message.
The news report was right in describing McLaren as an activist. But, his denial of the substitionary attonement, the innerancy of scripture, and his denial of hell all disqualify him from being called a 'Christian' Activist.