GBA via FootnotesNo longer can we defend Rob Bell here at CRN.Info. In Velvet Elvis, Rob quotes John Piper and includes this footnote:

Read everything John Piper has ever written, beginning with the Dangerous Duty of Delight (p.182)

Obviously, since Piper is an unapologetic Calvinist, and since Bell footnoted him, Rob must believe everything Piper does! Additionally, Bell attended both Wheaton College AND Fuller Seminary – the same colleges attended by Piper!!! Some of the articles on Piper’s blog also support the same sort of “social gospel” programs that Bell does!

Pretty soon, Bell will be leading us down the blind, heartless road of hard Calvinism, removing any Arminians from leadership positions within the church, recommending death for infant baptizers, and consigning all unbelievers (in Calvinism) to outer darkness.

Sorry, Rob, but as Ingrid has been teaching me, footnoting somebody means that you give wholehearted support and belief to anything/everything that person believes and has ever written. Shame on you!

  • Share/Bookmark
This entry was posted on Thursday, March 27th, 2008 at 9:05 am and is filed under Ingrid, ODM Responses, ODM Writers, Original Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
+/- Collapse/Expand All

97 Comments(+Add)

1   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 27th, 2008 at 9:25 am

hahahah, I wondered when somebody would pick up on this. It amazes me how people will guilt by association but not “good” by association. It reminds of the time that Dave Marriot defended somebody by the changed lives that they were producing and when I brought up all the changed lives around here, he said, “I don’t believe they [Mars] is actually teaching the real gospel, so that fruit is a fraud.” Cracked me up.

2   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 27th, 2008 at 9:40 am

Yeah, Joe, I’ve actually been discussing this very issue with Dave recently.

I truly don’t understand the reasoning that referencing a book in an endnote is the same as endorsing the entire content of a book – especially when Bell contradicts stuff written by those authors in Velvet Elvis itself even!

It’s like they think Bell is really trying to trick people into being a liberal Christian, Buddhist, or whatever, by doing some sort of end-around attack.

3   Evan Hurst    
March 27th, 2008 at 9:46 am

these kinds of reactions are really degrading from a human perspective, too, as they suggest that we have nothing to learn from anyone who doesn’t agree with us to a T on everything.

of course, that’s a contradiction in itself, but Ingrid & Co seem to be able to hold lots of contradictions in their heads at one time…

4   Matt B    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 9:54 am

In the ODM world, it must be a slow news day.

Or, they’ve noticed their Rob Bell google hits have gone down. What better way to Google spoof then republish old news.

5   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 9:55 am

Footnoting John Piper is light years away from footnoting Marcus Borg without even an “apostate warning”. It is like saying to the sheep, “Go over and listen to that person(wolf) over there, he has some good stuff to say!”.

Not real good shepherding in my book.

6   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 27th, 2008 at 10:00 am

Rick,
Well, it all depends on what an author thinks of his audience. I really that the ODMs are used to dealing with someone like John MacArthur who seems to think that his audience would be truly lost without his expertise. I think Bell is assuming that his readers actually have the ability to discern things on their own a bit.

7   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 10:04 am

I will accept that as his philosophy, but I believe it is wrong and, as your piece suggests, may erroneously give the impression that Bell likes Borg’s writings and/or views, although I would be shocked to hear that.

8   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
March 27th, 2008 at 10:08 am

Has anyone else here noticed that they NEVER critique an actual sermon by Bell which is available via podcast (making it easy to get ahold of them regularly)? As I listen through several of his sermons I can see why. Their lies are quickly exposed by first hand sources.

At some point they move from being terrible researchers to liars.

9   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 10:11 am

BTW – The graphics are great!

10   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 10:19 am

Tim,

I agree about Bell’s sermons… in fact I was hoping for more controversial stuff as I listened…

I might add I ahve tried to listen to JM over the last few weeks and can rarely even get through a sermon… but I notice a pattern.

God wants your obedience and if you are a “true” believer you will submit to Him.

Yet God will not be moved by our works…

Yet, if we do not do works we will not be saved…

and so on. It is a double message most the time I hear it. works do/do not save us… or OUR works prove we are saved… it is all about me, me, me and then he will toss it that it is all God. My head just starts to hurt after a bit as I can’t process his theology in a logical fashion. He does good when he gets into historical things (contextualizing the text!) Yet, Bell seems to just flow and is grounded in the text, history and has a great presentation… and I am not a Bell fan!

Yet if church was to be chosen I would go to Bells as it seems more open to reach out to those who might be influenced by Borg and others to pull them back in.

iggy

11   Dave Marriott    http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com
March 27th, 2008 at 10:34 am

“Has anyone else here noticed that they NEVER critique an actual sermon by Bell which is available via podcast…”

And yet we generalize!

http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com/2007/06/21/rob-bellmother-mary-and-her-only-son/

Rick is right. A Biblical shepherd warns the flock about false teachers (those who teach and openly deny the resurrection, virgin birth, and deity of Christ, while still claiming to be a Christian). They do not recommend their sheep to the writings of such people.

Rob may have a different philosophy; I agree! It isn’t the philosophy of a biblical shepherd, either.

12   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 10:37 am

Wow Dave… you have a total of one! Good for you…

And I bet without looking at it, you misunderstood something or have built a straw man on something the Bell stated but did not actually promote.

iggy

13   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
March 27th, 2008 at 10:43 am

Dave,
So we have to go back to June of 2007 on an obscure blog to get a critique of a first hand source?

Bwahahahahahaha.

Also note that in that 3/16 sermon he cites NT Wright’s book as well as noting he’s invited NT Wright to share his pulpit. Now, I realize ODMs probably aren’t fond of the Bishop for a variety of reasons, but are you seriously willing to anathemize Wright?

So you’ve got a reference to Borg, a reference to Wright by Bell, Wright and Borg wrote a book together in which they disagreed on serious issues of the faith.

So which is it? Does Bell fully endorse everything that Borg wrote? Or everything that NT Wright wrote? Or are the ODMs just intellectually vacuous in their critiques?

14   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 10:44 am

Yep i was right…

Bell never stated that Mary created Jesus, but that she was a part of God creating something new…

Bell is not saying Jesus was created, but that the Creator was doing something… you know… called the New Creation….

Again you proved my point. In fact that is a great illustration of what I stated above…

You twisted Bells statement to bear false witness against him or you misunderstood completely what he stated becuase you cannot hear (he who has ears!)

iggy

15   Evan Hurst    
March 27th, 2008 at 10:45 am

shhhh….

(the answer is “vacuous.”)

16   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 10:46 am

“Does Bell fully endorse everything that Borg wrote?”

He hasn’t given a clear statement either way, we can only hope he doesn’t based upon our sebjective assessment. And with Borg let’s hope he rejects pretty much everything except the title page.

17   amy    
March 27th, 2008 at 11:22 am

Of course one could take your argument Chris and state that since Satan quotes Scripture He believes and obeys all of it.

I think your argument would hold however if there were some scripture where Christ told His followers and unbelievers to immerse themselves in the lies of Satan for a few months.

18   amy    
March 27th, 2008 at 11:22 am

I think Bell is assuming that his readers actually have the ability to discern things on their own a bit.

19   amy    
March 27th, 2008 at 11:24 am

I think Bell is assuming that his readers actually have the ability to discern things on their own a bit.

(Accidentally hit “submit” above)

I thought Velvet Elvis was written with unbelievers, skeptics in mind.

20   Evan Hurst    
March 27th, 2008 at 11:26 am

perhaps it was written with adults in mind.

21   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
March 27th, 2008 at 11:31 am

Of course one could take your argument Chris and state that since Satan quotes Scripture He believes and obeys all of it.

Thats not Chris’ argument. That’s the ODM argument that Chris extended to show how absurd it is. So, essentially you’re siding with Chris against ODM guilt-by-association tactics. Its good to know that you’re honest enough to admit whne those you agree with are using intellectually dishonest tactics.

22   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 27th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

I thought Velvet Elvis was written with unbelievers, skeptics in mind.

Quite possibly it was. I think Bell was also writing to Christians burnt-out by church. In either case, he assumes that people we’ll do their own research. He pretty much challenges people to do so right on the back cover of the book.

Somehow, people have taken the role of “shepherd” to mean babysitter or nursemaid it seems. It’s time that some of the sheep grow a brain of their own, and don’t expect to just be spoonfed by their “shepherds”.

Also, I would think that when someone reads a book written by a pastor, that doesn’t make the author that person’s pastor. I would really only consider members of Mars Hill to really be under Bell’s “shepherding”.

23   amy    
March 27th, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Phil,
To do their own research — into something that could draw them into a realm that will harm them spiritually?

I could never place into your mind and experience what is in my own mind and experience in relation to what the demonic side of the spiritual world is like. How can any pastor who takes shepherding responsibilites seriously invite anyone – spiritually mature, spiritually immature, Christian or non-Christian, adult or child – to drink from Wilber’s writing?

Many people would find Wilber’s ideas and practices “fascinating.” That fascination can begin a journey into something both powerful and terrible.

Your first comment mentioned “discern.” Unbelievers – people who don’t have the Holy Spirit – have no Holy Spirit to help them discern spiritual things.

Somehow, people have taken the role of “shepherd” to mean babysitter or nursemaid it seems. It’s time that some of the sheep grow a brain of their own, and don’t expect to just be spoonfed by their “shepherds”.

Some folks when they “grow a brain of their own” will realize that true shepherds wouldn’t present poison to them in the same manner in which they present green grass.

Also, I would think that when someone reads a book written by a pastor, that doesn’t make the author that person’s pastor. I would really only consider members of Mars Hill to really be under Bell’s “shepherding”.

In one sense, yes, a pastor is primarily the shepherd of his own church. But all true shepherds have a responsibility to teach what is true. So if they “expand their ministry” beyond their own church, they are responsible to teach what is right.

Pastors are responsible if they do something that leads people down a wrong path, whether those people are their own flock, someone else’s flock, or unbelievers.

There are local pastors/shepherd who enter the flocks of other local pastors/shepherds through the media. If they do spiritual harm to the other’s flock, then they are a wolf/ false shepherd which is actually the same thing they are in their local congregation.

If they don’t lead folks down the wrong path by their teaching they are still “true” shepherds, though they don’t have the same close shepherding role as they would if the congregation was their own.

24   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 27th, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Amy,
Using slippery slope arguments, anything can lead anyone into anything. Walking by the lingerie section at J.C. Penney will turn one into a sex addict, and watching Star Wars will turn someone else into a Buddhist. The fact is that is the real world doesn’t work that way. People are led into sin through a number of factors.

The ironic thing is that I would think that a majority of people who read VE wouldn’t even look at the endnotes, and those that would, would probably take a cursory glance. I know I would never have thought twice about the Ken Wilber book had it not been the ODM’s.

I actually bought that book, and if anyone finds it fascinating, more power to ‘em. I found it absolutely boring, and near impossible to read more than five pages without falling asleep.

25   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 27th, 2008 at 1:16 pm

To do their own research — into something that could draw them into a realm that will harm them spiritually?

Hey while were getting rid of the Holy Spirit can we also get rid of communion. I mean some believe in transubstantation and others believe in consubstantation while others believe it’s just a sacred act of remembrance.

Certainly if we all can’t agree on communion it must be dangerous; let’s get rid of it.

26   Evan Hurst    
March 27th, 2008 at 1:16 pm

that’s a really long and verbose way of saying that True Christians (TM) shouldn’t allow anyone to be exposed to the writings or work of anyone who they don’t personally deem, as True Christians (TM), to also be True Christians (TM), and ignores the fact that grown-ups can do their own research anytime they please, whether some writer chooses to cite from a resource or not.

i would suggest that anyone who takes anything that ANY spiritual leader says at face value without using her own brain to process the information is in a sad state, indeed.

27   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 27th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Dave Marriott,

You pulled your “proof” from the site that has a latest post that starts.

Ken Sliva wrote this excellent piece this week.

So how can I now take it seriously?

28   amy    
March 27th, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Hey while were getting rid of the Holy Spirit can we also get rid of communion.

So the Holy Spirit is protecting the unbelievers who read VE while they investigate Wilber and Borg?

29   Evan Hurst    
March 27th, 2008 at 1:24 pm

you people really do see demons hunched around every corner and behind every tree, don’t you?

30   amy    
March 27th, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Evan,
If you were reading a book, more than practically PC in every way, and it suggested that you spend three months studying a certain book, wouldn’t you be kind of surprised if you found out that book was a book promoting what you would call “right-wing conservative fundamentalist” Christianity? Wouldn’t you have thought that the author would have warned you what you were spending your hard-earned money on? I mean, certainly, you wouldn’t want to waste your time on that stuff.

Or, let’s say, the book seemed okay, but you couldn’t really tell what the guy was saying, so you checked out the website and discovered that indeed the author was a right-wing conservative Christian. Yet somehow fascinating . . . you feel yourself being pulled in . . . (Try some imagination here :) )

Or, if you were listening to a talk on “how Universalism is the only way :) ” and bought a book recommended on that show, wouldn’t you be a bit surprised to find that the book you ordered was actually presenting the Cross of Christ as “the only way.”

Wouldn’t you be a little surprised if the person giving the talk recommended the book without telling you of the downright ridiculous info you would find in it?

31   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Junius_Brutus
March 27th, 2008 at 1:35 pm

i find it amazing………….

jesus saves us, keeps us, and will bring us into the kingdom……..

yet he can not protect us from a book (any book)

some people are so afraid the sin bug is going to jump on them or that heresy lice is going to infect them. and who laughs? the devil.

sometimes i think most christians spend their entire life as babies needing to be protected from everything. oh harry potter. don’t touch it. don’t read it. bad. bad. bad. sorry………..this is childish. we need to grow up.

one way to facilitate growing up is to burn down the christian ghetto. bookstores. christian tv. christian radio. anything modified by christian. gone…. then people will be forced to live in a real world with real people. maybe then their hide will be toughened up a little bit and they will be able to withstand harry potter. or rob bell. :)

we are weak, wimpy, christians and it is our fault. we need to be a lot more worldly IMO. get out there and rub shoulders with some heathens. read darwin. drink a beer. watch a movie where they curse. (instead of christian fantasy tv) get a little dirty for jesus. then……..maybe the world will see us as real people.

oh yeah……….and go to church on sunday :)

32   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 27th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Amy,
Give it up…

This supposed “gotcha” on Rob Bell has been beaten to death by these guys. I’m convinced the only reason Ken still talks about it is in the hope that it will increase his Google hits.

Ken’s idea of “research” is pointing to an article he wrote earlier as proof of a point he’s making now. Basically, the old, “I’m right cause I said I’m right” argument.

33   Evan Hurst    
March 27th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

um…it might make me wonder why they recommended it, but i’m not sure that’s a completely valid comparison, honestly.

“Universalism is the only way” (which is, in itself, a contradiction) and “The Cross is the only way” are actually completely conflicting viewpoints, whereas it seems here that Bell is just footnoting/referring to another source which might provide insight.

34   Evan Hurst    
March 27th, 2008 at 1:42 pm

one way to facilitate growing up is to burn down the christian ghetto. bookstores. christian tv. christian radio. anything modified by christian. gone…. then people will be forced to live in a real world with real people. maybe then their hide will be toughened up a little bit and they will be able to withstand harry potter. or rob bell.

everything you said makes so much sense.

this kind of reminds me the way shrill groups like CWA whine and moan about when a potty word is used on TV, or a program shows a buttcheek. it’s like, um…grow up. if you don’t want your kids to see it, be a parent and don’t let them watch it…

35   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Are there any warnings that the pastor should afford his “flock”, or does he preside over a sort of doctrinal free for all with all points of view equally valid. And since the Holy Spirit is responsible to protect the flock from doctrinal error, does the pastor guard against those who would restrict the expanse of doctrinal perspectives including salvation, the resurrection, the incarnation, and other ice breaker topics.

I mean what does the word “shepherd” mean? Organizing the orderly entrance into the building on Sunday? Seriously, the overseers are responsible for the Scriptural maturity of the flock, that is their calling, and to place poison in front of them as a form of encouraging a well rounded diet is ludicrous and indicates to me that there is no impartiality when it comes to everyone’s favorite preacher.

Those who like MacArthur won’t speak a word about him, those who like Bell…etc., etc., etc.. This form of “shepherding” is nothing more than being an ecclesiastical librarian who directs people to any and all books, encouraging them to read them all, and the only hint of warning will be directed at those who would criticize them. That seems like the new breed of shepherds, certainly not mirroring the men whose vocation they were named after.

If a real shepherd encouraged his real sheep to graze in every pasture whether is was healthy or not he would not be considered a good…well…shepherd.

36   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Junius_Brutus
March 27th, 2008 at 1:51 pm

amy,

some of us read books of all persuasions. the bent of the author in immaterial. read jesus. the dali lama. thomas merton. john macarthur. gandhi. martin luther king. benny hinn. john wimber. nt wright. john piper. get fuzzy comics. garfield.

expand your horizons. and your mind.

i tend to read a book solely based on the title and dust jacket. i also read books that are reviewed in magazines i read. i do not check their religion, politics, or sexual orientation. some of the best writers are gay…..wouldn’t matter if they were straight.

37   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 1:56 pm

If a real shepherd encouraged his real sheep to graze in every pasture whether is was healthy or not he would not be considered a good…well…shepherd.

Your analogy falls apart, though, Rick, with the concept of ‘footnoting’/recommending reading = grazing.

In college, a Christian prof of mine recommended Mein Kampf as illustrative reading. No one in his class assumed it was in any way an endorsement of Hitler or his ideas.

I recommend The Art of Demotivation as important reading in leadership/HR circles. I do not recommend IMPLEMENTING or BELIEVING everything Kersten writes, but rather reading and understanding the theory and then sorting the truth from the fiction – even better in a community setting.

The REALLY stupid thing with bringing up Wilber/Borg is that Bell doesn’t support their wackyness in the text of the book, but rather links to points apart from this. So, it is truly GBA to attack someone based upon who they do/don’t footnote…

38   Matt B    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 1:57 pm

Amy has pretty much contradicted herself. She should stay away from this blog, as it’s own founder is an admitted Rob Bell fan. Unless she is claiming to be a shepherd herself.

Or perhaps she should check with her husband before she continues to comment here.

39   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 27th, 2008 at 2:03 pm

Rick,
I would think that the role of pastor is a lot different in the 21st century in most locations than in the 1st century churches Paul was writing too. For one thing, back then, a lot of the people couldn’t read, and they didn’t have the Scripture at their immediate disposal. This would have been especially true for people in the churches that didn’t have a Jewish heritage. I think that’s one reason Paul expected the pastor of these churches to keep a tight leash on their congregations.

Today, Christians are inundated with resources, and I really think a pastor’s role is more of a facilitator type of role in a lot of ways. It’s pointing people where to go, and helping them as best they can. I think that for the most part, they don’t have near the authority though as a pastor in the 1st century. Today if a pastor says something you don’t like, you leave. Back then, what did you do?

40   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:03 pm

The REALLY wacky thing is that Bell doesn’t take maybe 1/2 of a sentence and say he doesn’t recommend their theology. I can only guess it is because it is so shiek within the intellectual set to be well read and walk dangerously to the edge while still enjoying a kind of mistique.

My definition of “graze” is different than yours Chris. Am I to assume that Marcus Borg says something that you cannot get somewhere else? Or is it a subtle attemt to reveal the expansiveness of your reading parameters?

41   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

“Today, Christians are inundated with resources, and I really think a pastor’s role is more of a facilitator type of role in a lot of ways. It’s pointing people where to go, and helping them as best they can.”

My point.

42   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Junius_Brutus
March 27th, 2008 at 2:08 pm

rick,

it is not shiek but it is smart.

43   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Am I to assume that Marcus Borg says something that you cannot get somewhere else? Or is it a subtle attemt to reveal the expansiveness of your reading parameters?

Generally, it is good literary form – particularly in published works – to cite sources when you lift something from a work they’ve written. Even if you’ve not read the cited work in its entirety.

The REALLY wacky thing is that Bell doesn’t take maybe 1/2 of a sentence and say he doesn’t recommend their theology.

Paul quotes a Cretian philosopher, and doesn’t take maybe a 1/2 a sentence to say that he doesn’t recommend the guy’s theology. ‘I can only guess it is because it is so shiek within the intellectual set to be well read and walk dangerously to the edge while still enjoying a kind of mistique.’

44   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:16 pm

It has become an exercise in redundancy to attempt to extract some minor observation of a problem with anything Rob Bell does or says. When I say “footnotes” you guys say that doesn’t encourage reading it. When Bell encourages reading Wilbur you say that doesn’t mean he agrees with him.

So in essence, he remains insulated from any correction because those who enjoy his perspectives never seem to object to anything he does. In that way, he’s the flip side of MacArthur. There is only one person with whom I never disagree about anything and he writes for my blog.

45   Matt B    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:16 pm

According to Amy and other ODMs, it’s ok that our culture is tainted with Greek and Roman paganism. So, that Cretian philosopher was probably AOK.

46   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 27th, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Just so we’re clear, here is the actual text of the endnote from the book:

1. Marcus Borg explains this idea extremely well in his book The Heart of Christianity (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2003).

57. Once again, Marcus Borg does a great job of explaining this idea in The Heart of Christianity (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2003).

Those are hardly ringing endorsements of the whole book.

The Ken Wilber one says this:

143. For a mind-blowing introduction to emergence theory and divine creativity, set aside three months and read Ken Wilber’s A Brief History of Everything (Boston: Shambhala, 2001).

So both are in relation to specific concepts Bell is talking about, not just a blanket endorsement.

Now was that really that hard? See, Ken and Ingrid, I did research without referring to an article I previously wrote.

47   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

See my previous comment and copy. Save for future reference.

48   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Marcus Borg wouldn’t know the heart of Christianity if it bit him. Same for Ken Wilbur, both of whom are apostates and have demonic influence if not possession.

49   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Junius_Brutus
March 27th, 2008 at 2:28 pm

rick,

wow.

how do you “know” they are apostates and are demon possessed/influenced?

maybe too much stargate atlantis or sg1? you have the divinity gene?

no one is insulating rob bell. perhaps the problem is your insistence to judge by footnote. now, thar’s a thought? :)

50   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
March 27th, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Now was that really that hard? See, Ken and Ingrid, I did research without referring to an article I previously wrote.

Class dismissed.

51   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Marcus Borg wouldn’t know the heart of Christianity if it bit him. Same for Ken Wilbur, both of whom are apostates and have demonic influence if not possession.

So, thereofore, 2+2=4 is only true is spoken/written by a Christian CertifiedTM writer?

Or, if someone is off-base 25% of the time, quoting from the 75% makes one completely suspect? ODM logic 101.

52   Matt B    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Paul quotes a Cretian philosopher, and doesn’t take maybe a 1/2 a sentence to say that he doesn’t recommend the guy’s theology. ‘I can only guess it is because it is so shiek within the intellectual set to be well read and walk dangerously to the edge while still enjoying a kind of mistique.’

It’s sad that this got completely ignored by commenters.

53   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Amy,

I thought Velvet Elvis was written with unbelievers, skeptics in mind.

Yep and some of those people read Borg… so they will see that Bell is building a bridge that will bring them as far over as Piper…

Why is it always assumed the worse… I mean why do so many instantly think Bell endorses instead of uses every resource to reach his audience?

iggy

54   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

OK – is there any line that should not be crossed? Is there any author whose works should be avoided? If there is absolutely no line to be crossed and every book or work can be read then you are consistent. If not, then our lines are just different.

And if you have no lines, then read Fred Phelps work on “God is an Angry God”, it will noursh your soul.

55   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 27th, 2008 at 2:49 pm

is there any line that should not be crossed?

I personally never recommend anything you write. (Just trying some humor)

56   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Rick,

And if you have no lines, then read Fred Phelps work on “God is an Angry God”, it will noursh your soul.

Maybe becuase we might see other reasons than having someone like that nourish our soul… now sadly I have seen the damage that Borg does as friends have read him and left the faith… yet, I am sure that it can work the opposite way also. Yet, again, I have read very little Borg, but enough to know what he is about. Do I recommend him? No. Do I read Calvin and Luther and agree with them? Or Arminius and Zwingli and agree with them line by line? No… do I agree with Tertuillian in all he teaches, though he is the one who coined the word “Trinity”? No…

Personally I think people should read Nietze as most misunderstand him… but if we did, and though his conclusions may be wrong, it would give us insight as to why he left God and why many who, like him, come out of a fundamentalist Christian background and despite God.

The line is there but I see it as individual but in the realm of ideas, to know Plato and Aristotle can give us insight into how western Christianity separated from eastern Christianity… we should not be such to close our minds and think on things in light of Gods truth… (Please read that last sentence over again)

iggy

57   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

btw I read Fred Phelps “God is an Angry God” and it seem right down the line of most ODM’s out there to me…

iggy

58   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Joe – at least you have some line.

Iggy – Fred Phelps Systematic Theology is a very deep work of grace.

59   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:54 pm

And yes I meant Nietzsche… spell check again failed me! LOL!

iggy

60   amy    
March 27th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Yep and some of those people read Borg… so they will see that Bell is building a bridge that will bring them as far over as Piper…

Why is it always assumed the worse… I mean why do so many instantly think Bell endorses instead of uses every resource to reach his audience?

I guess from your viewpoint I come into this discussion with a “handicap.” That handicap being that when I listened to the Breathe video I felt like Bell might be talking about some Universal Spirit, instead of the Spirit of God.

So, coming with that “handicap” I would ask if Bell is building a bridge to the thinking of men like Borg and Wilber.

61   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

So, coming with that “handicap” I would ask if Bell is building a bridge to the thinking of men like Borg and Wilber.

Yes, if your handicap was a complete lack of Christian charity, certainly.

62   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Rick,

Iggy – Fred Phelps Systematic Theology is a very deep work of grace.

Hmmm are you connecting that with the “doctrines of grace” that is soooooo practiced by the ODMs? LOL!

Amy,

Having never once called you handicapped, I refuse to even persue you down this road. Already you are adding to what I stated and twisting it to be someting other than what I stated.

Please do not do that.

iggy

63   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

I don’t feel handicapped, I feel kneecapped!!:)

64   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
March 27th, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Friends,

When I was a younger preacher, say 12 years ago, I actually opened a sermon one time with a quote from John D Crossan. OMG(osh)! I thought it make me appear intellectual. Sadly, the 35 people in attendance (farmers and wives) who lived in the Appalachian Moutains of West Virginia that I was preaching to didn’t really give a damn how smart I thought I was, didn’t know who JD Crossan was (nor did they care), really weren’t in the mood for a 25 year old’s ideas for how they ought to live better for Jesus and didn’t care if I had read Crossan’s book or if I quoted from him.

I wasted a great sermon, a great quote, and about 5 hours (writing the sermon) on those people. HAHA. But seriously, I quote from guys all the time that I disagree with: Richard Dawkins, John Piper, David Wells (although I don’t disagree with much Wells writes), Barak Obama, etc. I think the nature of the quote must be examined and why it is quoted must be explained. Sometimes, folks like Borg and Crossan and Dawkins write beautiful things, using beautiful words, and beautiful English–and often they have important things to say; and right things to say. I operate from the idea that all truth belongs to God even if the source of that truth is a troublesome figger like Borg or Dawkins. Surely, there are lines that must not be crossed in public proclamation lest we convey an endorsement; although, I do recall Paul footnoting a couple of pagan poets once. (Hmmmmm….)

Sometimes, even the author of Slice has something important to say–even if we happen to think her manner of delivery is a bit, well, abrasive. Yet I don’t endorse everything the author of Slice has to say. (She would be really angry if she ever found out that I have also quoted from J * Row**** in sermons to teenagers and adults; at camp and on Sundays.)

Well, that’s my two cents. I don’t suppose it adds much to the conversation except that from a preacher’s point of view, there’s not much that I am willing to leave out of a sermon if someone says something better than I can say it. (I’m not, under any circumstances, endorsing the quoting of P* For* in sermons or footnoting it in books. You may be tempted to if you are one of those preachers who likes to preach about sex on Sunday mornings, but even if you are, I wouldn’t advise it.)

My point is to show the absurdity of this entire debate. Not that you all haven’t made good points, but that my Goodness, will this never end? I wish I had the time that the author of Slice and the Pastor and others have to do nothing but sit around and complain about everything and anything. Is there not a Gospel that needs proclaiming? Are there not hungry people who need feeding? Can’t the Gospel stand on its own?

sincerely,
your friend,
jerry

PS–lest anyone quote me or footnote me out of context, most of what I wrote above should be filed under ’sarcastic, hyperbolic, melodramatic satire and angst ridden rant.’ Thanks.

65   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 27th, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Yes, if your handicap was a complete lack of Christian charity, certainly.

Chris, man, I just about spit Diet Mountain Dew all over my screen reading that…

(the weird thing is I wasn’t even drinking Diet Mountain Dew…)

66   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Iggy – after reading Zwingly, Calvin, Luther, Edawrds, Finney, Wesley, Moody, Tozer, and many other deep and penetrating authors, I have landed on one author who to me is the most expansive literary genuis of our day.

Hal Lindsey.

67   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

Phil,

(the weird thing is I wasn’t even drinking Diet Mountain Dew…)

That’s gotta hurt!

= )

68   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Rick,

Iggy – after reading Zwingly, Calvin, Luther, Edawrds, Finney, Wesley, Moody, Tozer, and many other deep and penetrating authors, I have landed on one author who to me is the most expansive literary genuis of our day.

Hal Lindsey.

I have one thing to say to you….

Repent!

; )

igs

69   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Does anyone notice that Iggy no longer signes with “blessings”. Is he morphing into an angry middle aged man?

70   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Hal Lindsey

Having read “Late Great Planet Earth” (taken from a stack of books in my dad’s library when I was a wee lad, though I don’t know it was ever read), it is likely I could find an occasion to quote him (particularly over LaHaye or Jenkins). I can guarantee you, though, that quotation would not denote anything near full agreement…

71   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 3:21 pm

When I quote the Declaration of Independence I am in no way endorsing its insurrectionary spirit.

72   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Junius_Brutus
March 27th, 2008 at 3:25 pm

the best way to know any person’s position is to read them. first source is always the best source.

for example……….if i asked most people if they believed gandhi was a pacifist they would say, yes!

he wasn’t. and he wrote a book about it. he called pacifists cowards. my point is reading a person in their own words is crucial if we ever hope to understand them. that means reading stuff that is antithetical to our own views.

how many calvinists have actually read calvin’s institutes, cover to cover? :) yet they say “calvin said” (and the same case could be made for arminius, wesley, finney, etal)

i am so glad i escaped the closed world of fundamentalism and evangelicalism where the only good books were those written by those who are in the same tribe as us. for years i thought john r rice was a theologian :)

i am free to read what i want and that is cool (to speak as my kids do) to think i could have missed soren kierkegaard and nt wright. or wendell berry.

to extend this…………so it is with music. god help us if all we listen to is the drivel that has christian attached to it. bring on those goo goo dolls and bare naked ladies. :)

73   amy    
March 27th, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Yes, if your handicap was a complete lack of Christian charity, certainly.

And if my “handicap” was a check in my own spirit from the Holy Spirit?

Maybe you could use some “Christian charity” and consider that possibility? Even more “Christian charity” and especially WISDOM and consider it without accusing me of arrogance for suggesting it? For spiritual discernment originates from the Holy Spirit, not the one experiencing it.

I’m not asking you to accept it, just consider it as a possibility.

How often have you told me that what I see differently than you is a lack of Christian charity on my part? The phrase is starting to sound awfully familiar.

Iggy, I didn’t say you called me “handicapped” and was simply trying to explain that I’m coming from a different viewpoint – People including yourself who have never questioned what Spirit Bell is talking about don’t have that “handicap.” I really did not intend to offend you.

74   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 27th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

bring on those goo goo dolls and bare naked ladies.

We won’t stand for nudity on this blog!!!

75   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Junius_Brutus
March 27th, 2008 at 3:37 pm

will you sit for it :)

76   Joe C    
March 27th, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Hey,

Since we had a Fred Phelps sighting in this thread, I thought i’d mention an interesting sidenote.

The Phelps protested my Air Force Base (Tinker, OK) a few weeks ago. They had 15 people outside the front gate, half of them small children (how pathetic), with their hate signs and speech.

Across the street was a group of Christian Harley bikers (the real rough hardcore type), about 50 of them. The funny thing was, the Phelps looked so outrageous and stupid with their shrieking, anger, and hatefullness, that the Bikers drowned them out, and their message was the message of the hour; while the Phelps were ignored completely.

What do you think is more effective? And who did God use that day?

Just food for thought.

Joe

77   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

And if my “handicap” was a check in my own spirit from the Holy Spirit?

Then I would expect an exhibit of the fruits of said spirit to accompany the special word received from it…

Instead, I see the opposite, which suggests this is not a handicap you’re familiar with in this particular venue…

78   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Being a biker myself, I’m goin’ with the Emergent Harleys!

79   Joe C    
March 27th, 2008 at 3:44 pm

:gasp: God dares use ‘worldly’ looking Bikers and all their “debil worshiping” in order to reach people?? How dare he not use picket signs, hate speech, and brainwashed children!

Joe

80   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Being a biker myself, I’m goin’ with the Emergent Harleys!

So, are the Emergent Harleys another new rock group, opening for the Painted Girls of Sodom?

81   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 4:05 pm

No, they open for us, it’s in the Bible!

82   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Amy,

The only handicap i see is that you and most others read into Bell more that what Bell states…

John 4:24 “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Was Jesus wrong also?

Come on Amy, you do this all the time and it is tiring.

Again, was Jesus a liar or not? Is God a Spirit?

I suppose also that you deny Jesus’ own words concerning God… Did Bell actually use the words “Universal Spirit”? I have great doubts in that as I think your mind filled in the “Universal” as that is what you wanted him to be speaking of.

Now, if God is Spirit, is He not “universal” in some way according to what the definition of universal is? Is God not also Truth? Is God’s Truth not universal for example?

Yet I doubt again that when I read or hear or whatever the reference you have done as Dave Marriott did and add to Bells actual words and created something more out of what he stated.

Unless you deny Jesus’ words that God is Spirit… then you have some doctrinal issues to work out.

Funny as I look at this definition, it even reminds me of a scirpture… “an entity that remains unchanged in character in a series of changes or changing relations.”

Hebrews 13:8 8. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

iggy

83   Evan Hurst    
March 27th, 2008 at 5:58 pm

Now was that really that hard? See, Ken and Ingrid, I did research without referring to an article I previously wrote.

haha. well played, my friend.

OK – is there any line that should not be crossed? Is there any author whose works should be avoided?

1. no. 2. no.

part of expanding one’s mind is studying those with whom we disagree. it allows us to reconsider our positions and either strengthen them as they are, or to change them when we learn something new. this is my cardinal rule in political thought – i read the smartest writers/thinkers on both sides

And yes I meant Nietzsche… spell check again failed me! LOL!

Nietzsche is fascinating. and at least it didn’t come out “condominium” this time. :)

When I quote the Declaration of Independence I am in no way endorsing its insurrectionary spirit.

ooh, i am…

god help us if all we listen to is the drivel that has christian attached to it.

since most Christian “music” is a watered-down version of the real thing.

bring on those goo goo dolls and bare naked ladies.

or don’t. :) whatever floats your boat…

i will say Barenaked Ladies, in the old days, made some phenomenal music…

today’s a Tori Amos day. many days are.

For spiritual discernment originates from the Holy Spirit, not the one experiencing it.

that’s a royal cop-out that can be used by anyone at any time to justify whatever heinous opinion. just sayin’.

Unless you deny Jesus’ words that God is Spirit… then you have some doctrinal issues to work out.

yeah, and tying this all to something that occurred to me while i was in rush-hour traffic a little while – these people, these Ol’ Dirty schoolMarms (ODM), spend a heck of a lot of time complaining about people who bring far more people into Christianity than anything i’ve seen from those who share THEIR beliefs…

so, the sales manager in me is going “okay, Team B, when you produce like Team A, you can complain about Team A’s tactics…until then, shut up and learn.”

.

84   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 6:25 pm

I’ve been looking for a savior in these dirty streets
looking for a savior beneath these dirty sheets…

I hope she finds Him. Moving words though.

85   Evan Hurst    
March 27th, 2008 at 6:27 pm

that’s actually from my favorite song of all time.

86   Evan Hurst    
March 27th, 2008 at 6:31 pm

er. one of them.

that whole record.

“Silent All These Years” beats Crucify, actually…

“Years go by will i still be waiting for somebody else to understand – Years go by if i’m stripped of my beauty and this orange cloud raining in my head – Years go by will i choke on my tears ’til finally there’s nothing left – One more casualty you know we’re too easy easy easy…”

87   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Silver Fairy Tale.

88   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 6:45 pm

so, the sales manager in me is going “okay, Team B, when you produce like Team A, you can complain about Team A’s tactics…until then, shut up and learn.”

Jesus said it like this…

Someone not in the inner “circle” was doing the work of God and the disciples got jealous. They complained,

Mark 9: 38. “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
39. “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40. for whoever is not against us is for us.

But, then most ODM’s claim to be literalists yet really just casts such verses aside as they are too inconvenient.

iggy

89   Evan Hurst    
March 27th, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Silver Fairy Tale.

“a sorta fairytale”?

:)

strange title, i know…

90   Evan Hurst    
March 27th, 2008 at 6:56 pm

ya know, Rick…

Tori actually ties into part of this thread quite nicely…

many of her lyrics, considering her background and experiences, may be very uncomfortable for some Christians. of course, she speaks from a background of deep experience with the Christian church, being the daughter and granddaughter of Southern ministers.

yet she’s undeniably one of the most interesting voices out there in music today, and she has a lot to say.

even when she’s speaking to Christianity in harsh terms, she’s got a perspective that should cause people to at least consider her words. don’t have to agree with them, but they’re worth mulling over.

91   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 7:15 pm

You must be surprised that I of all people here know her and her music. Why? Because I am drawn to seekers and she is definitely a very vunerable seeker of sorts. Her music reminds me of the many goth kids that hang at the malls and have such needs and some feel so rejected in the world and unloved by some Christians.

That breaks my heart and Tori’s music speaks to me on that level and I am a pretending pianist and worship leader as well. The human experience is so complex but we seem to over simplify everything. I know that there are only saved and lost, but the lost have some very deep needs that sometimes need ministry before they will even feel confident enough to listen.

We cannot imagine the child abuse some have gone through, the incredible feelings of worthlessness, the deep depressions, the gay feelings which mesh with feelings of self rejection and the pain of not living up to family expectations, and a million other internal wars that we sometimes are so ambivilent toward and unwilling to enter into their suffering and pain.

The church has become a museum of the righteous instead of a spiritual furnace which heals wounds by the interactive smelting of other believers and their love. In so many churches they give off a sort of spiritual apartheid ambiance rather than a “come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden” atmosphere. That is why I can never stand for criticism of sinners in any form, they are our mission, our hearts, and should be our genuine concern.

Not in a “scalp counting” way, no never, but our eyes should be familiar with tears when we see their plight. And instead of a brokenness we have trained ourselves to look down our doctrinal noses at them and especially those who are easily identified by their outward visuals, which means they don’t look like us.

That is what her music reminds me of.

92   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Evan – her music also reminds me of the “cutters”, the mostly girls that cut themselves in order to relieve interal pain. I wrote about them:

http://judahslion.blogspot.com/2007/10/truth-war-casualties-resue-perishing.html

93   Evan Hurst    
March 27th, 2008 at 7:21 pm

You must be surprised that I of all people here know her and her music

i was surprised for a minute, then i wasn’t anymore.

haha

dunno why. i guess b/c i’ve been to so many of her shows, and they’re always such a melting pot of people.

plus, musically, she’s transcendent. so…i dunno.

i started listening when i was 11, the year Little Earthquakes came out…started when i saw a video for Silent All These Years, and, as a pianist (and composer, but i didn’t know that then), it literally stunned me silent.

and i’ve been listening ever since.

94   Evan Hurst    
March 27th, 2008 at 7:24 pm

i will say, though, that if you follow the trajectory of her career….sure, early on, there was some bloodletting to be done, and it continued until around…eh, 98 or so. and then there was a shift…she still tackles heavy subject matter, but she’s not always the narrator anymore. in fact, the topics are getting bigger and more diverse.

heck, the last record had her adopting five different personae to represent five aspects of herself, yet also tied into five archetypes from Greek mythology, and on and on…

she’s really flourishing right now, it seems.

oh, and she’s writing a musical, which is too cool.

95   John    http://www.verumserum.com
March 28th, 2008 at 1:05 pm

I just skimmed through Piper’s piece on the real Gospel. His critiques of Arminianism strike me as typical and not at all inspired. Sentences like this “can one be saved believing that faith causes regeneration?” are just dishonest. What Arminian argues that faith “causes” regeneration?

96   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2008 at 1:43 pm

I am not sure what you mean, John, I believe faith is a gift to all men, that when placed upon Christ, results in salvation. Piper is another “icon” in the Museum of Reformed Theology. Most of the debate of salvation chronology, “which comes first the chicken or the egg”, is an eternal waste of time. It obviously doesn’t matter and most especially to a Calvinist who seems most ineterested in studying salvidic cosmology!

97   Grace    
April 7th, 2008 at 9:10 am

Have you seen this interview with Rob Bell?

http://player26.narrowstep.tv/nsp.aspx?player=Premier2&void=33061