Only a few people in the Christian community have the power to shake the proverbial twitterverse, Rob Bell is one such character. If anyone has every doubted the power of twitter take a look of what has happened in the past 6 days since Harper Collins released a summary of his new book, it’s quite mind boggling. Rob Bell’s new book “Love Wins – A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived” takes a look at eternity and brings often debated issues to the forefront.
My purpose in writing this post isn’t to continue the beating the issue over the head. What I would like to do is open discussion on how Christianity has openly and unashamedly thrown Rob Bell under the proverbial bus. Now don’t get me wrong, I do think what he said in the video released last tuesday held many views that are outside orthodoxy. But the thing that I’m interested in talking about is how the conservative community responded to the supposed controversy. Kevin Deyoung, author of Why We’re Not Emergent by two guys who should be, offered a very insightful post on Matthew 18 where it talks about Christian confrontation. While I agree with Deyong’s assessment I still believe many Christian leaders went to far in their flippant dismissal of Bell’s claims he makes on Hell. I don’t believe they were wrong in their understanding of whether or not breached orthodoxy, but rather how they openly made claims on his character without offering any explanation or recognition that he is a fellow brother in Christ.
With all that has occurred revolving around this book that has yet to be released, I believe we need to take a step back and realize the depth and meaning of the words we are using to dismiss Rob Bell with. Now when the book does release, anddefinite
claims are made on the stance Rob Bell is taking on the issues presented, then evangelicals can act in a way that is necessary to correct and defend the gospel that we hold so dear. I only pray that we do so in a manner that is both respectful and gentle. I pray that we are firm in our commitments to our faith but also are corrective in a manner that, as Deyoung puts it, is both bold and humble.
For other reading on the topic here is a of post from someone who has actually read the book. Over the next few days this blogger promises to post a comprehensive review on the findings of Love Wins. So keep that in your radar.