i haven’t read everything that mclaren has written so i can’t speak authoritatively on this incident in particular but i do have a good bit of history with southern baptist and therefore can attest that often we have “knee jerk” reactions and respond accordingly. according to the article mclaren was uninvited to the convention because of the statement that “there could be buddhist … (or) jewish or hindu followers of JESUS.” to the kentucky baptists this apparently smacked of “universalism” and therefore mclaren had to be excluded. if i understood mclaren’s point correctly when he made that statement in his book he was saying that it didn’t matter what you called yourself rather it was the belief you had and the practice of that belief that matters. in other words if you come out of a hindu background and still practice much of the culture associated with hinduism but you followed the way of CHRIST (faith in HIM as LORD and walked with HIM) then you were a followers of CHRIST and all good. it personally sounded very much like don richardson’s comments in “eternity in their hearts.”
of course, my kentuckian brethren didn’t take the time to actually discuss the statement with mclaren and find out what was meant. nope they had a “knee jerk” reaction and pulled him from the program. i love “true” baptist belief (meaning not automatically conservative evangelical right wing belief) but i hate the way we often practice it.