Monday, February 28, 2011

Another Post on Rob Bell

Saturday afternoon I sat down at my computer and surfed over to Twitter to see what as going on in the world. To my surprise Rob Bell was trending along side Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. By now most of you know the story that Justin Taylor wrote a blog post and John Piper sent out a snarky little tweet (Farewell Rob Bell) to his Calvinist horde and boom pow Rob Bell is now a heretic for a book few have read because it does not come out until March 29. Now, there are reactions to those posts and reactions to the reactions and the Christian blogosphere is buzzing. Well I am throwing my 2 cents into the ring with some reactions to this controversy.

1) There are a lot more Christians on Twitter than I first supposed. I never would have imagined Rob Bell trending on Twitter unless he walked into a McDonald's with a sawed off shotgun.

2) There are some people who just love Hell. They love the idea of Hell. The love the idea that there will be people who go to Hell for eternity. The love the idea because it gives them a sense of superiority over others. "Well, you might say this and that now, but you'll sing a different tune in Hell." There are some Christians that love the idea of Hell more than they love God. The idea of God's grace love being offered universally is nauseating to them because Hell is all they have to go on. How can you sell fire insurance if there is no threat of a fire?

3) Christians wonder why the world thinks we are ignorant, reactionaries who condemn books and moves we've never seen (i.e. Twilight series and Harry Potter). Get a clue folks. Before you jump all over the guy, wait a few weeks read the book and then make a judgment call.

4) People, especially conservative Christians, love to proof-text. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard Galatians 1:6-10 quoted I the last two days I would be a rich man. Here's the thing about proof-texting, for every verse you can quote supporting your side, I can quote another to support my side. This can go on ad nauseum.

5) If our goal is to bring people to Christ's love, this is a pretty piss poor way of doing it. I mean "Farewell Rob Bell" what the heck does that mean John Piper? Are you excommunicating him from the Church? Do you really think you hold that kind of power? Are you condemning him to Hell? Do you really think you hold THAT kind of power? If your goal is to perpetuate the stereotype that Christians are willing to condemn things they do not understand or will even take a moment to try and understand then congratulations, you've succeeded.

All this aside, no public relations or marketing firm could pay for this kind of publicity and as the saying goes, "there is no such thing as bad publicity." As for me, I have pre-ordered the book (See what I mean about publicity) and I will read it with an open mind and I (and everyone else in the Christian blogosphere) will write a review. Until then, let's not burn Rob Bell at the stake for something we haven't read yet.

1 comment:

Charlie's Church of Christ said...

I don't think you're exaggerating at all when you say some people just love the idea of hell. I do think it's true. And that whole story in the gospels where people get different pay - well nevermind.