Friends 2007: Gems from an encounter with Brian McLaren

I think the time Brian had at the seminary was a very fruitful one in the classroom and outside the classroom. The topic was ‘The Church Emerging In The Post-al Age’. My young friend Ben Ong has some wonderful gems worth sharing below from his post Gems from an encounter with Brian McLaren. It made me pick up a Stanley Grenz book to read last night. 🙂



“That morning, I met up with Brian McLaren at the PJ Hilton while waiting for Sivin and company (i.e. Bob Kee, Kia Meng, Yew Khuen, Jaime Sim). Recognised him from behind, heheh…

There were some interesting thoughts during his session at Seminari Theoloji Malaysia on Monday, 5 March.

For instance, “The turtle was found to be fully functional, and when the ring was removed, it was able to grow into the normal shape.”

* * * * *

Dr Voon, during the Conversation segment, remarked on the loss of the relational aspect in our relationships, citing SMS as an example of how we tend to choose the cheapest way to communicate, regardless of relational value.

She also commented that the church has become somewhat utilitarian, wanting people for their abilities but not necessarily for who they are. A typical conversation might go like this:

Church leader: Wow, you’re a pianist; you can play piano during worship!
Visitor: Wait a minute… do you want me for me, or for what I can do?

* * * * *

In commenting on shifting worldviews and perspectives, McLaren shared this interesting thought/quote from Max Planck, the great quantum physicist:

“New ideas thrive, not so much because they are good in themselves, but because their enemies die out.”

* * * * *

But above all, the words that resonated most with me from that day, were not spoken during the official session (as with all the best thoughts in life), but in the Unser on the way to STM, as we were passing the A&W restaurant.

The conversation had moved to the late Stanley Grenz, who came under much fire because of his opinions, and not many stood by him.

On this, McLaren said, “It’s not so much what your enemies say, but the silence of your friends…”

Let us not be silent.”

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