three quotes from the conclusion of brian mclaren’s a Generous Orthodoxy :: Why I am a missional + evangelical + post/protestant + liberal/conservative + mystical/poetic + biblical + charismatic/contemplative + fundamentalist/calvinist + anabaptist/anglican + methodist + catholic + green + incarnational + depressed-yet-hopeful + emergent + unfinished Christian (which you can purchase here if you haven’t already read it) ::
To be a Christian in a generously orthodox way is not to claim to have the truth captured, stuffed, and mounted on the wall. It is rather to be in a loving (ethical) community of people who are seeking the truth (doctrine) on the road of mission (witness, as McClendon said) and who have been launched on the quest by Jesus, who, with us, guides us still. Do we have it? Have we taken hold of it? Not fully, not yet, of course not. But we keep seeking. We’re finding enough to keep us going. But we’re not finished. That, to me, is orthodoxy — a way of seeing and seeking, a way of living, a way of thinking and loving and learning that helps what we believe become more true over time, more resonant with the infinite glory that is God.
Jesus debated the Pharisees not so that his super-orthodoxy of the exclusively right could finally prevail over theirs, but so that his generous orthodoxy of God’s saving love for all could open wide the doors to God’s house, with a special welcome for the poor, the brokenhearted, the prisoners, the sick, and yes, even the mistaken.
“Bach (or the Beatles) finally got it right. They finally captured beauty once and for all.” Only a fool would say that. “Mozart (or Bob Dylan) finally got it right; there’s no need for more musical composition after him.” Ridiculous. The more Back and Mozart (or Radiohead; Keillor and Monet; or Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Kierkegaard, and Dr. King) honor the glory for us, the more our eyes and hearts are opened up to see more and deeper glory than we previously imagined.
what do you think?