No, I don’t want to keep blogging on Rob Bell forever.
In fact, my intention is to make this the last week to talk directly about Bell on this blog.
But I do intend to continue blogging about the issues he raises, since they are perennial, eternal issues that are worth discussing and contending for.
It seems to me that everyone with a blog or a Twitter account has weighed in thus far—and 96.325% of the commentary is a variation on the same few themes.
So I wanted to highlight a few things that especially caught my eye and that I think may be worth looking at in this ocean of discussion.
If you are looking for a chapter-by-chapter summary of the book, Denny Burk’s review is helpful. His rewriting of the table of contents is a helpful way to get a feel for Bell’s conclusions.
In all the discussion about Bell on hell and heaven and universalism, I’m afraid that many are missing the central problem: Bell’s misunderstanding of who God is (cf. 1 John 4:10 on God’s demonstration of true love!) and his emptying the cross of its meaning and power. I was happy to see Russell Moore focus on Bell’s dismissal of the blood of Jesus. The key line: “If you drain the blood out of the church, all you are left with is a corpse.”
I was secretly hoping that someone with good techie skills might edit Bell’s video to say “Hitler” instead of “Gandhi” in order to make a point, but in lieu of that, Jeremy Grinnell provides a parody of Bell’s video questions, looking at it from another angle.
Trevin Wax provides an illuminating metaphor regarding the response to Bell’s critics: “If we had a thermometer for the evangelical movement, we’d find a raging fever. But some evangelicals are responding to the fever in unhelpful and pastorally-damaging ways.” He looks at two responses: (1) “the fever is the problem,” and (2) “the body is okay with infection.”