It seems to be a new Christian [bad]Research Network tactic to take great quotes from Christian leaders and make frail attempts to discredit them. Sometimes I wonder if these guys are reading the same scriptures that I am reading. The ever so elusive editor at CRN has written this piece against Rob Bell, in which Bell basically says that God still wants to bring salvation to all people and we are one of the instruments for that purpose. Yet, CRN comes back with a rather random scripture cocktail as their rebuttal; I have yet to figure out what they are trying to say with it.
â€œFor behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind”â€¦ “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilledâ€¦ All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him”â€¦
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please Godâ€¦ But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godlinessâ€¦ Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. (Is. 65:17; Matt. 5:17, 11:27; Romans 8:7-8; 2 Peter 3:10-11; Rev. 21:1)
Is it that God isnâ€™t trying to save the world because He is preparing heaven for the saved? Is it that the only person who knows God is Jesus, and he is not choosing to save anyone else? Maybe God doesnâ€™t have a good plan for His people because He is going to throw the whole thing away eventually.
I had a conversation with some friends the other day on this subject. There are two mindsets on eschatology that really drive oneâ€™s whole life. The first is that Jesus is coming back soon to take his people and destroy the world, which He hates. Churches and people that view life in this way will spend 80% of their time keeping their church members â€œsavedâ€ and ready for the rapture. Evangelism is an added bonus, if there is time after all the bible studies and small group meetings. If someone is reformed and has this view, they will usually at best become completely apathetic to the outside world, or at their worst will create hate websites towards other Christians.
The other view would say that Jesus could come back at any moment, but we donâ€™t have a clue when that could be (see scripture cocktail above). And, God is still working and moving thru humanity, making his will known. Because of that, we still are on mission with him to do his work here continue bringing light and hope to a dying world. Essentially, God is still fixing brokenness and bringing beauty to the world around us. That radically will change how you live your life.
Anyhow, it seems like CRN is just plain out of material. From recycling solid interviews from McManus to scrapping for heretical quotes from Bell (heck, they did an article on Brad Pitt for goodness sake), these guys are in desperate need of a juicy headline.