What does Brian McLaren mean to you?

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Brian has had so much criticism, and it has been painful to see people talking about someone in ways that bare little resemblance to what I know of him. Scott McKnight's thank you in response to Brian's most recent response to criticism, got me thinking and to this posting.

This isn't to be sycophantic, but I wanted to list some of the things that endear me to Brian (one of them is that he doesn't need lists like this, so this is probably more for me than him). Probably the christian with the largest impact on my life to date. It maybe like trying to be King Canute against the rising tide of criticism (and I chose that narrative and metaphor deliberately), but here are a few of mine, what would yours be?

1. Humility: His openness to learning, growth, being wrong, being critiqued, making mistakes. 2. Gentleness: Despite his travels, his writing, his speaking the media interest, when he is with people he makes them feel like they are the most important person he has ever spoken to. 3. Jesus centred: something we always claim for our leaders, but I mean this in the sense of broken, vulnerable, gentle, and a demonstrable love for Jesus. 4. Giving: an open hand with time, energy and resources, to bless others, and a lack of need to control that seems so rare.

Nothing is really ours until we share it. — C.S. Lewis