In a recent (heavy) discussion on telling someone about salvation without mentioning Jesus a commenter brings up Rob Bell. I look for the video in regards to post-modernism and I find this. Now, as I am watching this, I am reminded of 2 cautionary flags in regards to Rob Bell’s presentation of theology.
- In his NOOMA series, it occurred to me that Rob Bell has an uncomfortably liberal agenda
- I remember Dan Kimball, who is part of this rising church movement, mention that Rob Bell isn’t part of the same community (which leads me to assume that Rob Bell might not be in community with other Christian teachers)
That’s to say that I am indeed more “conservative” than Rob Bell.
Soon after, I click on the video above titled: “Rob Bell Exposed.” Sure, it’s not the first time I’ve heard opposition on Rob Bell. My second thought is, “the rhetoric (in the video title) sure is a bit harsh.” Perhaps some 3rd party took a cut from some guy’s talk and posted it with a controversially eye-catching title. No, it appears that the speaker posted and named his own video. After watching, the three conclusions (further discussed) I arrive at are:
- Rob Bell sure says things that sound good to me; for instance, self-doubt is something I currently struggle with (in my current endeavors, which may as well be walking on water)
- “Rob Bell Exposed” definitely owned Rob Bell’s theology (meaning, the video tears some substantial holes in Rob Bell’s theology)
- Although I agree and appreciate the video’s corrections on Rob Bell’s theology, I find the approach (of “exposing” Rob Bell) to be counter-productive in the overall pursuit of what it means to be Christian
Yes, I fell into the trap of accepting Rob Bell’s words which I am, now, convinced is “Humanism, disguised, parading as Christianity;” however, I’m not ready to accept that Rob Bell is purposely misguiding Christians. What I believe is that, in an attempt to preach a Gospel that is living and means something to our generation, Rob Bell trips the alarms bounded by convention. I believe Bell does have a good point to make in his “walking on water” message, and deserves the opportunity to further respond to the substantial objections. If, in his response, he leans ever further towards Humanism, I’d be more hesitant to accept Bell’s theology– either way, I become more informed.
Such is how, I found, things work in academia. “Experts” have opportunities to accept, further, or reject the ideas of their colleagues. This sort of dialog is refereed, organized, and easily accessible. So, if academics can show sportsmanship in their pursuit of knowledge, then shouldn’t Christians, who’s main calling is to love, show an equal amount of consideration.
This reminds me of the years I was an undergrad, and with Isaac, we’d work towards unifying our campus of Christians. Within the 23 ministries and groups, it was the leadership which discouraged us the most. We had a longing for unity, and what we found was division over issues that more love could’ve easily overcome.
Of course, there is a time to be harsh, but as a person immersed in the forefront of technology, I will say that posting a video to “expose” one, who may even be working towards the same goal, causes more division than advancement.