So I will keep it short for now:
“When you hear people say they are just going to tell you what the Bible means, it is not true. They are telling you what they think it means. They are giving their opinions about the Bible”-Rob Bell
Anyone else think that is scary. For someone who is into the cue the candles and creepy music mysticism, there does not seem to be much Holy Spirit in his view of scripture. Traditionally it has been understood that a God grand enough to give us scripture and preserve that scripture, might be wise enough to guide us in understanding scripture.
The worst thing about it all is that Bell gives the community the power to determine the ultimate ethic and meaning of Scripture. You know what I find really scary about that? If Bell’s congregation is going to tell us what scripture means it is once again a scripture owned by the dominant sub-culture in Christianity: White, upper-middle class Americans. I think that this group has done enough to mess up how we view the Bible for the last 50 years why give them a chance to screw it up for another 50. We will be left with a Bible that says nothing of their consumerism and only discreet things about their racism, not so much that they would have to ever abandon the core of what their culture is (and, you know, pick up a cross or anyting). I am aware that MH, Bell and other Emergent types talk good game about social justice, equality and such, but it is hard for me to ignore that they do it from within a predominately white church with a completely white style, that speaks to white issues that appeal to a majority wealthy (by world standards) congregation. They are, it would seem that poster church for the soccer mominization of American Christianity-Lots of conversation, lots of spirituality and lots of huge SUV’s, not much struggle, not much sacrifice, not much saying “it’s not about me”. But perhaps Bell would say that each community is free to make their own decisions…Again scary, how often is it that a sub-culture left to their own devices will see in scripture a message that is confrontational to their own lifestyle. I don’t want to shape the Bible, I want the Bible to shape me.
For my money Rob Bell is possibly more dangerous than hosts of other folk, yet he gets no press, poor Rob, that dude loves press.