Brian McLaren interview – Changing faith, staying faithful

Brian McLaren - 06 05 Geneva
With Brian McLaren, years ago, in Geneva

Stephen Tomkins, from Reform Magazine in the UK has just published a very interesting interview with Brian McLaren. My readers know that I like Brian a lot, even if I do not always agree with him, and I am sure he does not mind that.

Here is the interview, which is worth reading, I would suggest. I know some of those who read this blog do not like McLaren. It is their right, and I am ready to respect it. I hope they do the same with me.

* * *

Can you tell me about the faith that you were brought up in?
I was born in a Plymouth Brethren family, so that would probably be considered fundamentalist. Very passionate; a very deep love for the Bible. My father grew up in Africa – his father was a missionary – so very committed.

Looking back does that feel restricted or oppressive to you now?
I’m very grateful for it, for a lot that I got from it, but if my only choice had been to stay or leave, I would have had to leave. When I was 13 my Sunday school teacher said: “You can either believe in God or evolution”, and I remember thinking: “Evolution makes a lot of sense to me.” When I started playing rock ’n’ roll, it wasn’t a great fit – our church didn’t even have musical instruments. There were very tight restrictions on what women could do. There were a lot of things I would never have stayed with. Continue reading “Brian McLaren interview – Changing faith, staying faithful”

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Building A Case for Mentoring in University Education

mentoring

Education, in the fullest sense of the word is not about filling one’s mind with facts – that is basically the Romanian educational system’s approach – this is superfluous at teh time of Internet and search engines. Nor is it about merely acquiring skills for the work market, as the neo-liberal approach to education would suggest.

In its times tested understanding, education is about acquiring wisdom for right living. From the time of antiquity, with an unfortunate hiatus is modernity, which is slowly overcome at present, the best way of becoming wise and competent in life matters is under the influence of a master. That is called, in biblical terms, discipleship, and in the contemporary formation vocabulary it is called MENTORING. Surprisingly, this concept was abandoned by the majority of Christians, and was rediscovered by the world of business. It is time that Christians, and, why not, educationalists, catch up now.

A recent article in Gallup Business Journal calls mentoring ‘the biggest blown opportunity in the history of higher ed’. Here are a few highlights from it.

A few months after Gallup released findings from the largest representative study of U.S. college graduates, there is much to ponder. The Gallup-Purdue Index surveyed more than 30,000 graduates to find out whether they are engaged in their work and thriving in their overall well-being. In simple terms, did they end up with great jobs and great lives? Continue reading “Building A Case for Mentoring in University Education”

Daniel Manastireanu – Leaving and Following – A Sermon

Here is my son’s latest sermon.

Sermon preached in Bishopton Parish Church, a Church of Scotland congregation in Renfrewshire on 26th January 2014, Third Sunday of Epiphany. Bible passage: Matthew 4:12-23

 

Daniel Manastireanu – Being A Disciple

Sermon preached by my son, Rev. Daniel Manastireanu, in Bishopton Parish Church, a Church of Scotland congregation in Renfrewshire on 19th January 2014, Second Sunday of Epiphany. Bible passage: John 2:29-42

Robert Coleman – Master Plan for Discipleship – 1/9 – Incarnation

The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited 1

Anyone who brings up statistics about faith seems to be asking for a fight, but studies across the board — and I love to read such studies — show that the correlation between making a decision and becoming a mature follower of Jesus is not high. Here are some approximate numbers: among teenagers (ages thirteen to seventeen) almost 60 percent of the general population makes a “commitment to Jesus” —that is, they make a “decision.” That number changes to just over 80 percent for Protestants and (amazingly) approaches 90 percent for nonmainline Protestants, a group that focuses more on evangelicals. As well, six out of ten Roman Catholic teens say they have made a “commitment to Jesus.” However we look at this pie, most Americans “decide” for Jesus. Continue reading “The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited 1”

The Cost of Discipleship – An Unpopular Message

What does your faith cost you? It’s value is as high as the cost you have paid for it.

This is a message of Rev. Steven Lawson, from Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile Al.

I must confess there is a certain tone and certain accents and statements in this message that I do not condone (I mean the typically western overemphasis on God’s justice, without a sufficient emphasis on his love), but I think the general idea of this message is one that needs to be heard.

What do you think?