Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Love Wins - The Rob Bell Controversy - Comment One

As previously mentioned, I have decided to throw my two-cents in concerning Rob Bell's latest book, "Love Wins." Rather than provide a long-winded overview in several parts, I have decided to follow a pithy style addressing rudinmentary beliefs published by Bell that expose major weaknesses in his philosophy and theology. Many of these weaknesses have already been addressed by others much better equipped for the task than I. However, since Bell's work contains numerous flaws, many have gone unnoticed by some of the more visible brethren who have graciously taken the time to enter this conversation.

Perversions of the Jesus Story
In the preface of his book on page vii., Bell writes,
"There are a growing number of us who have become acutely aware that Jesus's story has been hijacked by a number of other stories, stories Jesus isn't interested in telling, because they have nothing to do with what he came to do. The plot has been lost, and it's time to reclaim it." [Bell, Rob. Love Wins. vii.]
First of all, who is this "growing number of us" that Bell refers to in his statement? He does not say. The implication is that a growing number of us have discovered the truth about the Jesus story and unless your understanding of the Jesus story is the same as our understanding of the Jesus story, then your version is one of many hijacked versions. This is a bold implication coming from a movement that boasts about the humility of not knowing anything with certainty. Bell sure seems certain enough in the preface of his book. Notice that Bell does not say that this is a matter of his own opinion of even merely how he interprets the Jesus story for himself. Nope! Bell says that not only have a group of people become aware of certain facts concerning the Jesus story, they have become acutely aware! To be acutely aware of something means to be keenly aware of it. It means you are sharply aware of something. To be aware means to know or realize, to be consciously informed of something. Bell contends that this group has arrived at the keen realization and knowledge that the true Jesus story has been hijacked. At a minimum one thing seems unambiguous to Bell: we have got the Jesus story wrong, he and his group have got it right, and this book is a book designed to set us all straight and recover the accurate version of the Jesus story once and for all.

How does Bell know that the original version of the Jesus story has been hijacked? What evidence will Mr. Bell offer to support his claim that the version of the Jesus story that we all have come to know is actually the wrong version? A couple of things emerge here: one, Bell seems certain that the Jesus story has been hijacked. Second, Bell seems certain that his version is the unhijacked version, the original version that Jesus intended all of us to know. From the get-go Rob Bell is stating without equivocation that he is right and everyone who disagrees with him is wrong. These are significant points that you should ponder as we move through these short, but pointed reviews of Bell's claims. One thing I intend to point out with great clarity is the false humility claimed by Bell and those who support him and the glaring incoherence of his own arguments. If these are not enough to get you to step back and question this man's place at the evangelical table, then hopefully the way he distorts Scripture will.

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