I would love to think that this morning or some morning soon, there will be hundreds of Marshill-ites out side furiously scraping the “Love Wins” stickers of their cars…because just as he has often done with orthodoxy Rob Bell has snuck in and redefined its meaning.
As a native Grand Rapidian I see those stickers all the time, and I know that their owner is most likely white, solidly middle class and formerly from a traditional evangelical church (most likely some terrible, dead CRC or fundemenatlist Baptist church, which this town is full of). These people have always made up the dwindling core of MHBC and if you are from here you can understand why they would be looking for a young, exciting charismatic leader who told them that there was something beyond dead orthodoxy. And so in droves they left their dead congregations in search of a more living faith. However I suspect that most of them at the time had a problem with dead orthodoxy not orthodoxy in general.
So I wonder, if now, on the day after an all church meeting where Rob Bell visited town to explain the key themes in his new book if many of them feel slighted and upset and none too happy that they have a tiny billboard for aberrant theology stuck to the back of their Escalades.
I also wonder if the next MHBC sticker bomb will be “Hell: No!”
Dan Kimball (whose books were somewhat formative form me back in the day) is posting about hell. It is excellent..check it out. HERE
This from the Bishop of the Anglican Church in America…I’ll call her Kathy:
“Is belief in Jesus the only way to get to heaven?” “We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine. But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box.”
Oh Kathy, Kathy, Kathy I love the God in a Box/that limits God argument…because frankly it is one of the stupidest arguments that I have ever heard. You are right it would be wrong to put God in our own box, this is what the Second Commandment is about. But to understand God in a way different than he has himself reveled to is not to remove God from any box, but rather to create a new box and a new god and again violate the second commandment. To say that Jesus is the only way to God is not to put God in a box, it is to understand God in the box that he has given us, through Christ and Scripture, the only real limit being in our ability to understand and accept it. One might argue against revelation, or against the Bible but one can not simultaneously claim to believe the Bible and to be a Christian and remove him from the Box of his own self disclosure in Scripture, to do so is to be an idolater and worshiper of false gods, not to mention calling Jesus a liar. And there is really no limit removed or boxing unconstrained if the people you seek to mollifiy are seperated from Jesus because the god you presented to them is not the God who exists. Which would you rather have, a fairy tale god who fit your sensibilites, because in fact you “unboxed” and created him, or a God who presented you with a box and a grid in which to understand him, worship him and follow him? I want a God who while, yes he does judge sin and does claim to be the only way, is still loving, still the hope of the world and above all is real because a fake god no matter how I concieve him cannot save me from me.
This is from Anthony Bradley, it is posted over at The Resurgence: Here. It is about Hell, and the necessity of preaching about it, but he also provide a quick theology lesson that is great.