Posts tagged: Rob Bell
Unity. Unification. Unified. Like minded. Single purpose. One. Together. Love.
As a disciple of Jesus I fail at this far too much. So many times I let personal, trivial, inconsequential matters come between me, the Gospel, outsiders and fellow disciples. I have more defeats in this area then victories, but I cannot help but want to hear these words of Paul to ring true in my life - “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)
There are things in this life worth knowing; others are not. Personally, if I only ever get the privilege to understand one thing and only one thing - I want to understand Jesus, His life, the Gospel, the cross and the resurrection. One simply complicated, beautiful, life encompassing, never fully understandable thing - Jesus. The principle of the last statement can be summed up into one, profound (probably stolen, but I don’t remember who I stole it from) and beautiful realization - no one has ever cornered the market on Jesus and no one ever will.
Yet, despite this truth, despite understanding how each individual disciple has never and will never know everything there is about Jesus, there are too many stories of disciples throwing away unity for the sake arguments and disputes about things that are complex, difficult and non-essential doctrines.
Orthodox, Evangelical disciples who can be deemed “conservative” or “liberal”, “Reformed” or “not”, “Calvinist” or “Arminianist” are found, in many times and many ways, fighting and arguing with each other. It pains me to see this.
I say this as a man who holds no single, theological team - if anything I am all or none. Sometimes, all our systematic theologies take the mystery out of God and Godliness (1 Timothy 3:16). My theology is eclectic. When I read the Scriptures, I don’t see one side - I see both sides. Part of me wonders if that is the “mystery of Godliness”?
During this past week, I’ve been marinating on two confrontations inside the evangelical world which look a lot like the Republican race for Presidential Nomination, where there are constant verbal jabs and jarring for face time and position. Sometimes our “discussions” even look a lot like congressional debates; as a disciple this makes me sick. It makes my heart break. Our “liberal” disciples and our “conservative” disciples fight like Republicans and Democrats - even though they both claim to want the best for America, or in our case, the Kingdom.
Let me turn you to case study number one - Mark Driscoll interviewed by a British guy. Here is the post I was turned on to: http://cognitivediscopants.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/driscoll-brierley-on-women-in-leadership/. Here is the podcast: http://media.premier.org.uk/unbelievable/a2f28d73-4770-4e0b-b255-7ac5ef1ec0e0.mp3.
Case study number two. This is a spoken word video by Jefferson Bethke entitled "Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY&feature=youtu.be. This is a response to the video by Kevin Deyoung: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2012/01/13/does-jesus-hate-religion-kinda-sorta-not-really/.
Lastly, for sake of a fair compare and contrast, let me turn you to case study number three - Rob Bell. For a refresher on his controversy last year check out: http://thereforethecross.tumblr.com/post/3982111368/heres-the-video-that-started-it-all-judge-it and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-jonathan-weyer/rob-bell-vs-john-piper-do_b_829956.html.
(I want to make a note, that no way am I agreeing with or disagreeing with any one of these three men - remember, no one has cornered the market on Jesus. What I am simply trying to do, is undertake an analysis of my own, Christian culture and tribe. So, with that said, I will not give my position on either Bell or Driscoll, the point of the post is not this at all…)
When Love Wins came out, the left, the Liberals, all cried foul for the right, the Conservatives, attacking Bell without giving him a shot and coming in with preconceived notions. They attacked. The other side didn’t like it. The left cried unity and other things; they longed to be accepted by the right. Meanwhile, now, Mark Driscoll is being attacked by the so called left (well, actually, this is an ongoing process…). What I find so confusing is that when the Liberals get attacked, they don’t like it. Yet, they are doing the exact same thing to the right.
Bethke is the wild card. Honestly,there was nothing wrong with the video when I watched it. It was poetry. I think he honestly made a decent video. Do I like it? No, but not because of the content. Though, if I’ve learned anything the last year, it is Deyoung has too much time on his hands (but he passionately loves Jesus and I can’t get on him for that) as he tends to be the first to respond with lengthy treatises to all kinds of theological things he disagrees with.
For some reason, as I’m typing this, I cannot get the infamous quote by Rodney King out of my head - "Why can’t we all just get along?" The Gospel is too important to argue over Jesus or religion, can women lead or can’t they, is it a men’s only club, did Jesus choose me or do I choose Him?
I just want our tribes to be united. I want to be able to work with those people who I may disagree with. I want to work with all my brothers and sisters who passionately love Jesus. Can you fault a man for that?
Great thoughts. Brilliant Insights. Give it a read - regardless of what you feel about the book or Rob Bell. This article doesn’t deal with that.
The more interviews I hear of Rob Bell, the less I like the way he’s been attacked. Disagree if you want to, but don’t call him a heretic please - especially if you haven’t read the book (and already had a prejudice towards him).
I’m greatly enjoying reading all the different takes and coverages of Rob Bell…
How do you feel about it all? Where do you stand on Rob Bell?
61% say yes…
Wow. What a statement Rob Bell…
What do you say to this?
I love Donald Miller. He’s a genius…