Friday, March 26, 2010

Christianity as Open Marriage

Top-shelf evangelical Brian McLaren has written a new book explaining that Jesus is wonderful and important -- but not in any way that precludes seeing other gods:

Consider the core evangelical belief that only Christians are going to heaven and everyone else is doomed. That may have rung true for his grandparents' generation, he [McLaren] says, but not now.

"A young evangelical, Roman Catholic [or] mainline Protestant growing up in America today, if he goes to college, his roommate might be Hindu," he says. "His roommate might be Muslim. His roommate might be Buddhist or atheist. So, suddenly the 'other' is sleeping across the room."
Wow. All it took to refute the claim that Jesus is the only true path to salvation -- a point on which Christians, starting with Jesus himself, tend to be emphatic -- is a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or atheist roommate.

Thus does a 2,000-year-old edifice of Christian theology fall by the wrecking ball of college roommate assignments. Who would have guessed the importance of underpaid university administrative functionaries in the adjudication of deep questions of theology?

Go ahead, Christians. Have some quality time with other gods -- amuse yourself with their distorted portraits of reality, immerse yourself in their idiotic rites, observe their pointless holidays, wear their team uniforms, chant along with their vague nostrums, damn those that they damn. Explore. Play the field. Jesus is cool with that.

I think I see McLaren's point: what's not worth doing is not worth doing well, and Christianity is not worth doing.

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