Monday, April 4, 2011

Rob Bell Controversy: Love Wins

So I begin a review of Rob Bell's latest and greatest this week and will throw my two cents into the ring for what it is worth. There are two topics I desire to address as I begin write some of my own thoughts about this controversy. First, I want to talk about Bell's theology that he so graciously, and finally decided to share with us in his latest work "Love Wins." Secondly, I will share my perspective on the controversy around the controversy. It is scandalous, in my view, that this book isn't so scandalous to many who claim to be evangelical, most notably, those who call themselves "young evangelicals." So, in summary, I will address Bell's views and why they are outside the purview of Christian theology. Just as Jesus said that not everyone who says they are a Christian is in truth a Christian, so it is with doctrine. Not every doctrine that parades around as Christian doctrine is in truth Christian doctrine. And it is my intention to point out that at least on this last point, even Bell would agree. After all, it appears that his entire premise is that what has come to be recognized as Christian truth is actually not Christian truth at all. And so he seeks to rescue Christianity from itself and provide us with a better, more improved, faster, stronger, more loving, more generous, all inclusive version of Christian truth that is the real Christian truth as taught in the first century by Jesus, His disciples, and the early church. Along the way I intend to point out the epistemological incongruities in Bell's system, not the least of which is his criticism of orthodoxy's claim to certainty. At bare minimum Bell seems certain that certainty is a bad thing to claim in theology and I wonder how he arrives at such incoherent conclusions without laughing at himself in the mirror every morning. What is indeed sad is that so many "young evangelicals" miss this component in Bell's thinking. Even the most simple critical thinker immediately recognizes that such thinking is humerous at best and down right embarrassing at worse.

2 comments:

  1. Ed. I have been following this. It is very clear from his writings that he is not a biblical theologian. My question, "is this man a believer". Before someone goes ballistic about this question they might want to tell us where he is on the virgin birth and deity of Christ. Clay

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  2. I did my dissertation on the hermeutic of the emergent church and it is skeptical at it's core. According to the most prominant EC leaders, the Bible is a book recorded by men who wrote these stories about God as they were heavily influence by the bloody culture they grew up in. In other words, our picture of God presented in Scripture has nothing to do with divine revelation, but is really the result of antiquated projections of men who grew up in violent cultures doing the best they could to describe who God is to them. And as man has improved and become more sophisticated, so too has our understanding of God. In other words, modern man is more sophisticated than Moses and therefore our understanding of God is much improved as well. I am not making this up. Startling, disturbing, shocking, pick whatever adjective you like. :-)

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