Christianity today is incredibly fragmented, with Baptists and Lutherans and Presbyterians and Methodists and Pentecostals and Catholics and every other group. Some are liberal, some are conservative, and we just can’t get along.
But as eras change people are crossing boundaries and adding all sorts of adjectives. I could call myself a Baptist Episcopalian, which just sounds ludicrous, but the reality is that I’ve found elements of both denominations that I appreciate.
That’s a generous orthodoxy, one that’s willing to look at all the competing ideas and give them love and respect, not just scorn because we disagree. That’s the idea in a nutshell, but it has far reaching implications when we consider evangelism, missions, church, even how we relate to other religions. It’s not simply a wishy-washy relativism, but a philosophy that’s able to differentiate between love and approval (as any good parent knows how to do).
Brian McLaren’s A Generous Orthodoxy says very little directly about marketing, but in general it has a lot of implications for how the church communicates. In our interview, McLaren commented on the brand of Christianity and how it’s perceived. Are we presenting an image of Christianity as judgmental, dogmatic and intolerant? Or do we present a Christianity that’s loving, forgiving and peaceful?