Brian McLaren, Capitalism, and Ticket Prices

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I am starting to read the book Everything Must Change by Brian McLaren. I heard he was coming to speak in Saint Petersburg and I thought about going to hear him until I found out the tickets were over $100. Is it just me or does it seem a little weird to pay over $100 to hear a message about radical Christianity? You can say there must be a limited number of seats and thus the high ticket price. That might be true but then the reason for the high price would be the very capitalistic and consummeristic system his book and presumably his lectures act to counter.

I try to stay away from anything negative on this blog because there is always so much negativity out there in the world toward Christians. So I hope this doesn’t have an air of negativity as much as an air of wondering what the real story is behind a ticket price like that. While you cannot put a price tag on spiritual transformation it does seem odd to present yourself as pushing for radical change against systems of capitalism and toward equity and then charge an exorbitant amount for people to come and hear you speak. Maybe there is more to the story than appears on the surface and I am doing my best to give him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know Brian McLaren and I am sure if I did I would find a respectful, loving, and committed Christian. So forgive me if I am way off base here. More later on the message of the book.

What do you think?

0 Responses

  1. I am with you… I am always skeptical when there is a cover charge to hear a Christians speaker presenting a Christian message. It would be interesting to know what this cost is for. I have no problem paying for a seminar or workshop but to pay directly for a speaker…hmm.


  2. Christianity, or I should say the message of Christ, is a potent acid. It eats away at all our worldly wisdom and gainsaying, and will eventually expose the touchy nerves of our own truth that lay undisturbed beneath. These are negative qualities; as the saying goes, “It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it.” That dirty, negative job is suppose to be the job of every Christian. You can not be a Christian without this negative quality; it is the dirty job of Christians to expose this corruption in the world, then present the Good News. But, we are especially to expose the corruption and the denying of Christ in other “Christians.” Brian Mclaren is a corrupted Christian who has presumed himself into a seat of authority and makes merchandise of men’s souls. What you say is not negative, in a Biblical sense, unless the whole Bible is negative, it is the acid of truth, doing its dirty job, and you are its messenger. Brian McLaren is not alone though, the whole commercialized Church system is involved; it’s just that Mclaren is under the spotlight. If Christianity were practiced “freely” as it should be, instead of a way to make a living, Christianity would be preached by the poor, for the poor (materially and spiritually). McLaren and his whole organization is backed by big money (Eli Lilly, Bob Buford, Rupert Murdoch, etc.), it did not just happen by the gift of God, it is a well formulated effort to trick people from the truth, and build a man made kingdom for peace-on-earth. Sorry, don’t mean to be negative, but McLaren and friends are evil.

    Steve Blackwell

  3. Lance,

    I am not about to speculate without some real data/info.


    There is a huge dichotomy especially in John between the truth and lies, between life and death, between light and darkness, etc. I am with you on that part. The word of God exposes and shows things for what they really are.

    Next, the New Testament is pretty clear that it isn’t wrong to make a living preaching the Gospel. There certainly is a line between making a living and exploitation. Has McLaren crossed that? I am not the one to say because I don’t have a clue.

    If you are going to say things like “McLaren and friends are evil”, which is a VERY strong statement, it would help to back it up a little better. What makes you say that other than just throwing around names?

  4. IW,

    I second Matt’s comment. That is a strong accusation to make about McLaren — especially without any evidence to support the accusation.

    Though I do not know McLaren well, I have actually met him and spoke to him one on one (I doubt he remembers speaking to me). For what it is worth, he seemed to genuinely care about the Gospel making an impact on a post-Christian culture.


  5. I would never make a comment like this without evidence. I assumed that most Christians who blog, by now, were aware of McLaren and friends, beyond just reading his books. If, and this is a big if, if a Christian reads and understands his Bible then Brian McLaren says some things that clearly puts him in the camp of “heretic,” or at the very least liberal in his interpretation of God’s holy word.

    If you don’t know of the things of which I speak then you have taken the bait. I am not saying this to be rude, but to warn Christians of the dangerous times in which we live. Satan has made unbelievable inroads into what we Christians commonly call “Church.” This is not to be unexpected, because the Bible foretold of these circumstances, and warned us to be prepared. The bottom line is that Christians are not prepared and have jumped on the band wagon and are following these pied pipers to their doom. Rather than giving you just a few quotes you should visit and examine all the evidence. Solomon said there was a time for everything under the sun, today it is time to wake-up and make waves, the very thing these false teachers tell us not to do. This is no game, this is serious, and if you are a discerning Christian you will do your homework and do as Jude suggest and “snatch some from the fire, despising even the clothes stained by the flesh.”

    I used to be like you and never wanted be negative or offend anyone, but those days are gone, because the enemy is on the wall and there is no time for niceties. I have friends and family that I love, and I watch out for their souls. I have laid aside much to get this message out, please take the time to study who these people really are, I think you will be surprised. Some of what is presented against these fellows is given in angry spirits, similar to King David’s men, in their zeal they get a little carried away, because they sense the urgency of the times. Use the good judgment that the Lord has given us and “see” the truth.

    I have to go to work now.

    Steve Blackwell

  6. I am looking forward to hearing McClaren at the Lipscomb Sermon Seminar in October.

    But if it makes you feel better, Matt, I will speak at your place for only $50 bucks a head, and I’ll toss in a diet pepsi for everyone to boot.

  7. I figured the $100 dollar fee was probably as larger seminar fee but thanks, from me as well, Jenifer for clearing that up.

    It should be noted, earlier when I mentioned speaking one on one with McLaren… That was at one of his speaking engagements and along with Diane Butler Bass. And it cost me absolutely nothing to hear either of the speakers. I assume an honorarium was given to them by the church that invited them to speak.


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