Saturday, November 14, 2009

Another Rob Bell post - Cue the hate mail (Repost)

Whether you think Rob Bell is the greatest Christian visionary since C. S. Lewis, think he is a dangerous heretic leading countless followers astray, have an opinion of him that falls somewhere decidedly between the two, or even if you've never heard of Rob Bell and think Nooma sounds like a chocolatey delicious carbonated beverage, please view the following parody in the spirit in which it is intended (from me, anyway). I have seen only a few Nooma videos, but one in particular I found quite moving and thought provoking. (This is not that video.) I make the previous statements in an attempt to convey that I am not anti-Rob Bell. It's just that I find some of his mannerisms and the cadence of his speech sometimes amusing, and to point out that parody is considered by many to be a high form of praise.

While I posted this video primarily because I think it's funny, previous comments to me about Rob Bell and other highly visible Christians also lead me to this observation: It seems to me that society in general and some Christians in particular have become increasingly polarized and intolerant of opposing viewpoints. There are those in the hard core evangelical camp that would suggest that Rob Bell and other proponents of spreading the gospel through social justice are presenting an incomplete view of the gospel at best, and at worst are spreading heresy and leading unsuspecting followers to eternal damnation. At the other end of the spectrum, some in the emergent church movement might say that evangelical Christians ignore the plight of the marginalized in society and feel that it's perfectly acceptable to allow a man to be physically hungry as long as his soul is fed. To this point, I would offer the opinion that to some extent, both sides are right, and both sides are wrong. For a more in-depth, intellectual and insightful take on this subject, I would highly recommend The God Who Smokes: Scandalous Meditations on Faith, by Timothy J. Stoner, and The Reason for God by Timothy Keller, both of whom are WAY smarter and biblically astute on their worst day than I am on my best.

In closing, I would like to thank fellow blogger Laz for posting this video on his blog months before I posted it here, and to gently suggest that any angry Rob Bell fans voice their opposition to airing of this video here .


Joanne Sher said...

I am familiar with Rob Bell (he is the pastor of a church "down the street" from me), but I've never watched his videos. THIS, however, is hysterical.

JML said...

You make a good point. I made a lot of fun of Rob Bell, because he does come across as . . . well the video did justice. That said, a buddy of mine told me I had to read his books before I could talk crap, which I did. He is a smart man, and he knows how to reach people, and frankly, he does point to Jesus, he's just not SCREAMING His name like the rest of the loud mouth evangelicals who really do holler and shout about a lot of other things. I don't know where I'm going, BUT good post! :D

JML said...

-PS liked the God Who Smokes. . . . fun book but Stoner isn't a Bell fan. . . .

Bradley J. Moore said...

KD - Wow, you are really rolling up the sleeves and getting into the game! I was not familiar with Mr. Bell, but was so annoyed by his speech mannerisms in the first 20 seconds of the video that I will simply follow your lead without giving it much more thought.
Good book selections. I will check them out, too.

Janet Oberholtzer said...

I like Bell and enjoy his books and videos. And yes, I've gotten grief for that - but he's got some good stuff to say.

Julie said...

Honestly I don't really care what people think about me liking Rob Bell. He's just a man, doing what God has put on his heart. He's reaching people. How can that be all bad, I wonder?

I remember John Eldredge said one time that someone accused him of making the gospel sound better than it is. WHAT?? How can someone possibly make the gospel sound better than it is?

What I get sick of is the judgement that blankets Christianity.... Why can't a man do what he feels led to do without judgement? We don't have to agree with him, but why does there have to be accusation and judgement.

Have they now become the acceptable sins?

OK, off my soapbox now.

Heather Sunseri said...

I like Rob Bell, AND I thought that video was hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Not a fan of Bell myself and I have taken some heat for that.

I've found the following to be a most helpful critique of Bell (starts at the 40 minute),

An excerpt,
"[Bell] holds up rabbinical authority as the key to bible interpretation and hermeneutics. To me that's very concerning because if rabbis don't love Jesus they have a bad hermeneutic."