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“Emerging Church's 3.0 Christianity”
by - David Cloud   
November 28th, 2014

In a message presented at the Greenbelt Festival in England in August, emerging church leader Brian McLaren sought to destroy absolute biblical authority by claiming that we have entered a new era of Bible reading. He divided church history into three parts: Bible 1.0 was the Roman Catholic approach to Scripture whereby the Bible "was read and controlled by the religious elite." Bible 2.0 was the Protestant approach to Scripture by which "the Bible itself was viewed as inerrant" and believers tested everything by it. Bible 3.0 is the new approach recommended by McLaren whereby the multiplicity of interpretations available on the Internet allegedly render any one authoritative interpretation invalid. He says that Bible 3.0 is to be "in conversation with everything and everyone." He says, "Bible 1.0 didn't give up to Bible 2.0 without a fight. And it's very difficult for Bible 2.0 to imagine a world of Bible 3.0," but, "If we are ready, we are going to discover the Bible as better, deeper and richer than before" ("Brian McLaren: 'We've entered a new era of Bible reading,'", Sept. 4, 2014). McLaren's "deeper and richer" Bible reading is the one-world church's approach which is tolerant of other views and exalts unity, "social justice," etc., over doctrinal purity. McLaren grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home, but he rejected the faith of his parents and his godly grandparents, who were Brethren missionaries. He is a dangerous heretic who has robbed many of their biblical faith. In response to the Bible 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 thing, we would observe that McLaren's view of history doesn't start early enough. In truth, Bible 1.0 is not the Catholic Church. It is the New Testament churches under the direction of Christ's apostles. Bible 1.0 is the Christianity of those who believe that one infallible faith was delivered in the New Testament Scriptures and is to be contended for (Jude 3). Bible 1.0 is the Christianity of those who take the words of the resurrected Christ seriously when He said that His disciples are to be taught to "observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Mat. 28:20). There is no room for the confusion of multiple interpretations here. Bible 1.0 is the Christianity of those who believe that Paul committed absolute truth to faithful, born again men who were to teach "the same" to others (2 Tim. 2:2). Bible 1.0 is the Christianity of those who are taught to test, beware of, mark, avoid, and reject false teachers and heretics (Rom. 16:17-18; Eph. 4:4; Phil. 3:2, 17-18; Col. 2:8; 2 Tim. 3:5; Titus 3:10-11; 1 Tim. 4:1-4; 1 John 4:1). This is impossible for those who believe in a variety of acceptable interpretations. By McLaren's scheme, no one is a heretic. Rather, all are sincere seekers with different "perspectives." Further, Bible 1.0 is the Christianity of those are taught to study to show themselves approved unto God by "rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15) and who "have an unction from the Holy One" to know the truth (1 John 2:20, 27). This means that the Spirit of God leads His redeemed people to the correct interpretation of Scripture. (For more on this see "Beware of Brian McLaren" by using the search engine at

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