You would think Brian McLaren was an undercover brutha. I was surfing the blogsphere and decided to check out his church’s (Cedar Ridge Community Church) website to see his latest ‘talk’. What caught my attention was McLaren’s recent message centering around a theme they had for the month about the different pictures of Jesus. In this particular message McLaren was dealing with Jesus as Sagely Teacher. It was a challenging and encouraging talk about how Christ’s subversive wisdom was brilliant and how Christ’s wisdom is often ridiculed in our modern era. But what got my goat was a video he played for his congregation. It was Jesus Walks by hip-hop artist Kanye West. At first I was like, “where is he going with this?” I was asking myself, “can he pulled this off?” By and large I think he did. His exposition of West’s rap was on point. I was thrown for a loop. I was like, “generous orthodoxy in full fx!” Firstly, I don’t know too many white Evangelical pastors that listen to hip-hop culture. Maybe some of y’all do…I don’t. Secondly, not only did he play the video he gave some very insightful commentary on West’s video. McLaren’s commentary captured the essense of Kanye’s song as it dealt with the personal and social ruptures in our society: terrorism, racism, economic exploitation, personal/existential despair. I was quite refreshed to see this kind of commentary done by an Emergent leader. Mainly because I am a hip-hop junkie. I burned up my Kanye West CD College Dropout by playing it so much. Its a great album and captures a raw telling of Jesus that I believe could wake the church from its complacency in many areas. Anyways…here is a link to McLaren’s message “Pictures of Jesus: The Sagely Jesus” http://www.crcc.org/converse/talks.htm
And here is a link to Kanye West’s video “Jesus Walks”: http://www.mtv.com/bands/az/west_kanye/audvid.jhtml
Tell me what you see and hear.