I’ve debated on how many different ways to present this. I’ve got friends, acquaintances, and peers on both sides of the current hot button debate going on regarding that pastor from the Midwest who wrote that book. I care for both, but I continue to see the shots volleyed back and forth.
I try to steer clear of the debate now. Most of the time I fail.
But it got me thinking about the things we do, say, write, and the things we believe about those who say they believe in Christ, some of which was prompted by a great blog bost from Matthew Turner regarding a Driscoll video from this weekend. So I’ll just pose it this way.
When, in the last 2000 years was saying,
“Do I believe in heaven? Yes.”
“Do I believe in hell? Yes.”
“Do I believe in heaven after death? Yes.”
“Do I believe in hell after death? Yes.”
“Do I believe in the Bible? Yes.”
“I believe Jesus is the Son of God.”
“I affirm the Trinity.”
“I believe Jesus died on a cross, and was resurrected 3 days later.”
“I believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
NOT enough proof that one is a follower of Christ??
Is it that he doesn’t exegesis deeply enough exactly what all that means, using multiple Scripture references, then cross-referencing the references with more references? Is it that he doesn’t say it exactly the way you, I, or countless theologians, scholars, pastors, and “church folk” over the decades and centuries have said it? Is it that he writes in a style
that is visibly
fills a page with
Is it his delivery? His prose? The fact that he calls the Holy Spirit an “essence” and not the Holy Ghost?
Some people are pastors. That’s it. That’s what they do. They pastor. Rob Bell is a:
and, yes, a performer.
Most can’t reconcile those things. So we’ve got questions being asked that people don’t want to confront. It rubs against their religious grain. Part of the bubble of Christendom that exists in 2011, though, is that if I don’t like you asking the questions you ask, I can claim you’re crazy, liberal, a universalist, or…..a heretic. Where does the bubble mentality come in? It comes in by acting like those questions DON’T need to be addressed, or feeling threatened because they are (or because of who’s doing the asking). Know this: the questions are being asked, by people inside and outside the Church, and they were being asked long before a pastor from Grand Rapids wrote a book about it.
At the core, though, is this truth, which I eluded to in my previous post; God’s sovereignty is no less God’s sovereignty because questions are asked, or because someone writes a book, does an interview on national TV, or goes out on a book tour. God is still God, and He knows what’s going on. Somewhere amongst the co-opting of verses about how we as Christians have a right to “call out false teaching”, and post “timely” sermons online addressing Heaven and Hell, I believe that God is still there, over all creation saying, “I got this.”
And I think the same thing will be true then, that was true a week and a half ago when I reviewed “Love Wins”. Anything that is false, that flies against God’s word and is contrary to His ways, will fall aside and wither away. In the meantime, fearing the dialogue is little more than a reactionary response to something you claim doesn’t have the feet to stand in the first place. And wouldn’t that time be better spent doing something more productive?