Brian McLaren is a clever and capable guy. He seems reasonable. He has an almost avuncular disposition which draws people in to consider what he has to say.
Unfortunately, Brian seems bent on speculating and is content to discard what the church has believed over its many years. Notice how effortlessly he asks us to forget about how an important passage has been understood by most people and “step back from the traditional interpretation.”
Brian may want us to appreciate the scandal of the cross, but tragically his speculation undermines the stumbling block of Jesus. Yes, Jesus calls us to love the “other,” but we are not free to make up what that looks like. Staying tethered to what has been handed down through the centuries (what tradition is) is what gives us our marching orders.
Speculation rather than God’s revelation may seem sexy, but it is emblematic of our culture’s ethos and not the “faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”