Categories
Life Theology

More Links on Rob Bell

Simply searching for and reading all the material that has been written about this in the past week about Rob Bell and his new book, Love Wins, could be a full-time job. Unfortunately, the pay would be awful.

I didn’t get paid to read all of this, but still enjoyed it thoroughly. For your enjoyment and benefit, here are some more links to blogs and articles about Bell:

  • The Tenth Leper, a seminary student in Dallas, has somehow obtained an advance-reader copy of the book and will be reviewing it in a series of posts.
  • Christianity Today puts Rob Bell in context.
  • Trevin Wax writes about Rob Bell and the Judgmentless “Gospel”
  • Justin Taylor has a follow-up post on some questions J.I. Packer asks to those who believe that once in hell, God ultimately will restore all people.
  • Jarrod McKenna explores the battle between Bell and the Neo-Calvinists.

And finally, drum roll please…

  • A sermon from Bell entitled “Love Wins.”  I have not listened to this message yet, but hope to before the weekend is over.  Perhaps it gives us insight into what the book is about.  (To save to your computer, right click and click on “save link as”.)

Read the links I posted on Wednesday.

Categories
Theology

The Rob Bell Saga

If you follow blogs and Twitter (and you probably do since you are on this blog), then you are probably not unaware of what is going on with Rob Bell.  If you are unaware, then you either 1) fasted Twitter the past week or 2) are in denial of what your tweeting eyes see.

Full disclosure: I used to like Rob Bell’s teaching. Then I read Velvet Elvis. I made no secret here what I thought about Bell after reading that book.  He has been particularly ambiguous over the past few years with key biblical doctrines.

This past Saturday, Rob Bell blew up the Internet, specifically, Twitter, with the release of some promo material, including a video, for his new book Love Wins which will go on sale this month.  In the promos, Bell appears to align himself with universalism — the belief that everyone goes to heaven.  He was mentioned so much on Twitter that he was “trending,” which means that even tweeters in Egypt were hearing about Rob Bell.  Who had the biggest beef with Bell? It was the Reformed theologians and bloggers, of course. They were (in my opinion) being discerning, honest, biblical, and faithful to the gospel.

Here’s a timeline of some things that went down:

  • HarperCollins (Bell’s publisher) releases a blurb about his new book and a video promo featuring Bell.  (You can watch the video below.)
  • Justin Taylor blogs his thoughts about the promo material and Bell.
  • John Piper tweets, “Farewell Rob Bell. http://dsr.gd/fZqmd8.”
  • Josh Harris tweets, “There’s nothing loving about preaching a false gospel. This breaks my heart. Praying for Rob Bell. http://bit.ly/gsE4Gl.”
  • Harris follows up his tweet with a blog about why he hopes he’s wrong, including thoughts from Denny Burke, dean of Southern Seminary.
  • Kevin DeYoung presents eight reasons why believing in God’s wrath and hell is important.
  • Tony Jones writes that the Reformed bloggers have been waiting to pounce on Bell.
  • Kevin DeYoung shares two more thoughts on the brouhaha.
  • Beliefnet blogger, Jason Boyett, questions the tweetings of Piper and Taylor
  • Albert Mohler weighs in on Rob Bell’s suggestive theology.
  • CNN writes an article about all of this, interviewing Taylor.

Stay tuned. I’ll do my very best to continue to link to helpful posts and tweets. And when the time is right, I will share some of my own thoughts, though I can’t possibly top DeYoung’s and Burke’s.

Bell’s promo video:

Categories
Theology

Christianity and Arts and Entertainment

On May 2nd, I will be giving a Sunday School lesson on Christian worldview intersecting the world of entertainment.  In the days leading up to that, I want to focus some time on that very issue.  To start us off, here something I read on Justin Taylor’s blog today about Adam Young of Owl City fame (he wrote and sings the “Fireflies” song on pop radio).

I admit I hadn’t heard of Adam Young and Owl City. His song “Fireflies” (from the album Ocean Eyes) is a big pop hit. (Video below.)

It turns out that Adam is a mature Christian. An encouraging excerpt from an interview with CT:

When did you become a Christian?

I grew up in a Christian home, with the most wonderful parents a kid could ever ask for. I came to know the Lord in middle school after hearing a testimony at church. From then on, I’ve just wanted to serve Christ in every way I know how, music being the only thing I’ve ever considered myself any “good” at. I guess my whole message or goal of this whole operation is to bring glory to Jesus Christ by all that I do and say, not just as it relates to Owl City, but in all areas of my life.

Do you want to be thought of as a “Christian musician”?

It’s up to you, honestly. It’s not my place say what people should think of me as. Actions should speak for that. I follow Jesus Christ wholeheartedly, so any definition that arises from that fact is all right with me. The same goes for Owl City. I am a Christian in a band. Is it a Christian band then? That’s up to those who ask that question.

Categories
Life

Separation of Church and Sport?

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was critiqued in a USA Today editorial for believing Jesus is the only way to God.  Erik Raymond and Kevin DeYoung (among others) have written responses.

The USA Today writer, Tom Krattenmaker, said in the editorial:

According to a December 2008 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life, 65% of American Christians believe that many religions can lead to eternal life.  Our pluralism is a defining and positive reality of American life — but not one that is much valued by those who define the faith coursing through the veins of sports culture.

The comments about this in particular have been interesting.  Here are two:

  • From Dale LaRoy Splitstone: “Honestly, do you really think God gives a damn what the majority of American Christians think about salvation? At the judgment day, there’s only one opinion that’s going to matter.”
  • From DonAW: “The 65% of American Christians who believe that many religions can lead to eternal life had better take a closer look at their ‘playbook.’  Someone is wrong, and I am betting it is not the Maker of the World.”

HT: Justin Taylor

    Categories
    Theology

    A Must Read

    If you are a Christian and if you live in a postmodern world (which we all do), then you need to read The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World.  The book wonderfully tackles tough issues that Christianity faces in our world today and how we can overcome those issues to continue advancing the kingdom.

    It is a collection of essays that are taken from messages given at the 2006 Desiring God National Conference.  Contributors include Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, Don Carson, Voddie Baucham, Jr., David Wells, and John Piper.   Piper and Justin Taylor are the general editors.