Buies Creek, N.C.-The invention of writing, the Gutenberg Press, Einstein's Theory of Relativity-all of these discoveries have changed the world and world religion says Christian author, speaker and pastor Brian McLaren. McLaren spoke at the Campbell Divinity School's 2009 Reavis Lecture Series on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Listed by Time Magazine as one of the world's 25 leading evangelists, McLaren's broad range of topics include postmodern thought and culture, Biblical studies, spiritual formation, ecology and social justice among others. In Tuesday's lecture, he took the audience back to 2,500 B.C., explaining how landmark discoveries throughout the ages have brought about world change and how Christian theology developed against the background of these events.
The invention of writing, for example, created ancient civilizations, made laws possible and led to new economic possibilities, McLaren explained. Copernicus' theory of the universe created new paradigms of belief and understanding. "Suddenly the universe changed and old maps didn't describe new reality," McLaren said.
What will Christianity look like in the future? With the shift from a national to a global economy, from an oil-based to a non oil-based economy, change is inevitable, McLaren said.
"We don't know how Christianity is going to change, but thousands of voices are rising saying there is something about the current system that bothers me, that doesn't work anymore," McLaren said. "As preachers, we must be patient and realize the difficulty in ministering to a congregation that embodies old world views, as well as those of the emerging world."
A graduate of the University of Maryland, McLaren holds both bachelor and master degrees in English. He is a frequent guest on television, radio and news media programs and has appeared on many broadcasts including Larry King Live, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly and Nightline. McLaren is also the author of numerous books, including "The Church on the Other Side: Doing Ministry in the Postmodern Matrix; "Finding Faith," "A New Kind of Christian, and "The Secret Message of Jesus."
The L. B. and Mabel Griffin Reavis Lecture Series is designed to promote church leadership, outreach and development through the Campbell University Divinity School. Funds from this endowment are used to invite distinguished scholars to the campus to lecture. The fund is the result of the generosity of L. B. and Mabel Griffin Reavis and was established in 1991.
Photo Copy: Evangelist Brian McLaren is the Reavis lecturer at Campbell University's Butler Chapel. (Photo by Shannon Ryals)