It suggests that we can reform the Method of communicating the Message and/or the Message itself. This gives four quadrants (as favoured in marketing presentations) to consider where we stand. I was surprised to find McLaren putting himself in the reformed Message and reformed Method quadrant (although less surprised by the reformed method).
This set me thinking about what I think! I had always thought that I was all for changing the method (which is a good job as I promised to preach the Gospel anew to this generation), but that I thought that the message was eternal. However, having been challenged by McLaren on this I can see that perhaps I too am in box 4. It all depends on what you think the eternal message is. For me it is the two great commandments:
He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ Luke 10:27
but I can see McLaren's point that this hasn't always been the case. Of course, I might want to argue that it has always been God's message - but others would have a legitimate argument that this is not the case. If we look at how this has been worked out with regards to slavery and is being worked out with regard to women then if you take the view that the message is what is proclaimed then the message has changed and is changing, and will no doubt change again. After all Jesus said:
I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth John 16:12
If you want to explore more about this it is discussed at greater length in this book which McLaren describes as a simple book idea!