Just started to read Kevin DeYoung’s review of Brian McLaren’s book, A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That are Transforming the Faith.  He had been criticized along with Ted Kluck after writing Why We’re Not Emergent for not being charitable in their criticism of the emergent church movement.

In explaining how he was going to approach this review he said:

It’s not wrong to ask a reviewer to be charitable, so long as the love does not have to be devoid of the truth.

But that is so often what is expected when somebody says to love or to be “tolerant” of one’s position.  While those who are Christ-followers should always be loving toward those with whom we disagree… to be charitable absent truth I’m not sure is loving at all.

Or helpful to those who are witness to the dialogue as in DeYoung’s case.

The Apostle Paul is one whom the tolerance crowd wouldn’t exactly see eye to eye with said in Ephesians, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body , joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love,” (Ephesians 4:15-16, ESV).

We are to speak lovingly to one another.  We are to build up each other in love, but Paul presupposes that would be done by speaking the truth.  Now we can speak the truth without love and just seem like a noisy gong, (1 Corinthians 13:1).  But we must always speak the truth.  The context of Paul’s instruction “to speak the truth in love” was to see maturity within the Church “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes,” (Ephesians 4:14, ESV).

Which is exactly the concern with McLaren’s book.  We need to speak truth to counter error within the body of Christ, but we need to do it in love.

But let not that love be devoid of truth.

You May Also Like

Martin Luther King Jr: The Drum Major Instinct

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day we wanted to share with you the text of a sermon he gave on February 4, 1968 entitled “The Drum Major Instinct.”

Walk Now For Autism

Hey I’m participating in the 2009 Walk Now for Autism fundraiser for…

Reflections on the End of Racism (Part I)

Phil Bair: Dinesh D’Souza’s book, The End Of Racism, is based on empirical evidence and facts, which is as rare as intelligence is in our modern social climate.

The Benefit of Boredom

I remember when I was growing up in a little town outside…