Archive for December 5th, 2008

Finally, someone has the courage to point out what we have all been wondering.

YouTube Preview Image

I listened to all 6 minutes of this because I was genuinely curious as to how Rob Bell would incriminate himself. After listening, I was at a complete loss. I suppose that the words that come out of our mouths are utter meaninglessness any more. Words cannot be taken at face value. Clearly Rob Bell doesn’t believe a word he is saying. So I went on to read through this post a little (OK, I read the whole thing) and then the answer became clear when I read this:

One more thing I would like to consider is his association with NT Wright. Now I haven’t read any of Wright’s books, but I have read a lot of his interviews and his scathing denunciation of the penal substitutionary atonement. In an interview with Beliefnet, Bell said in no certain terms that Wright is a hero of his (source). Now (and I will raise the ire of some with this next comment), Wright is a heretic on several levels. He is a proponent of the New Perspective on Paul which I consider to be a distortion of Paul’s teaching on justfication as so ably proved by John Piper in his epic work The Future of Justification. Wright also denies a penal substitutionary atonement which believers down through the ages have taught as part of the Gospel, yet this man is a hero of Bell – who supposedly calls people to faith in Christ? I will leave that to your late night contemplation (believe me I have been there)

What struck me first was the sentence, “Now I haven’t read any of Wright’s books, but I have read a lot of his interviews.” So, the author of this post learns all he needs to learn about NT Wright from reading, not his published works, but interviews. Am I the only one who finds this strange? (I have read five of Wright’s books this year, including a book of sermons he preached earlier in the year at Easter. Those Easter sermons certainly did talk a lot about the cross and crucifixion and his book Surprised by Hope talks a lot about resurrection and his book Simply Christian talks a lot about orthodox Christianity and Evil and the Justice of God sure talks a lot about the cross of Christ.) And the lunatic Wright has the nerve to affirm the historical creeds of the church! The nerve.

Well, at least we have this issue cleared up! I am glad to know that finally, someone has cleared up the issue of why Rob Bell is a heretic. I know that I for one have been trying to discover it. What makes me even more sad is that now it has been revealed that I, too, am a heretic because I do read NT Wright’s books and even though there are times when I disagree with him, just as there are times when I disagree with David Wells, and DA Carson, and John Piper, and Marva Dawn (a lot!), and Tim Keller, and Mark Driscoll (a lot!), and Eugene Peterson (hardly ever), I still consider him (and these others) my brother in Christ. (There are also times when I am in disagreement with the authors who write essays for JETS and BibSac and Modern Reformation. I have yet to consider Michael Horton a heretic because his ideas of Sovereignty are sadly out of step with Scripture.) I guess this is God’s fault for giving us a book full of narratives and letters and poems instead of a bullet point list of how to do things. Shame on God for causing us such confusion by asking us to actually interpret Scripture. (God forgive me if I have overstepped my place to make this point.)

It must be nice to be afforded the spiritual gift of discerning what a person believes without ever having read any of their work. Paul tells us to ‘desire greater gifts’ so I am currently desiring the greater gift of being able to lay my hand on my computer monitor and discern which ADM is likely to have complete breakdown first. What frightens me the most is that the ADM’s of the world expect us to take their words at face value, but we must interpret the words of Rob Bell and NT Wright (and in Wright’s case, without ever having read a word he has written). I find this highly suspect.

Oh, the reason Bell is a heretic? GBA: NT Wright. This makes many of us guilty now doesn’t it?

PS–I also found it rather amusing that part of the this particular author’s evidence against Bell is that evidently Bell sounds like Benny Hinn. Hmm.

  • Share/Bookmark

me, on a good dayADM Policy:  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  If it is broke, don’t fix it.  Just point it out.

You know how, when shopping in a store, if you actually need help, you can never find an employee; but if you’re fine, they come crawling out of the woodwork?  I’ve yet to find a solution to the problem, but I have figured out how to alleviate the frustration a bit.  When asked, “Can I help you?” (which is only when I don’t need help), I respond, “They tell me that I’m beyond help.”  It amuses me, sometimes the employee laughs too, and (if not) it’s always fun to mess with someone who talks as though they’re reading a script and doesn’t really give a rat’s glutes about you.

Well, apparently they (who say I’m beyond help) are right.  Or at least, so would say an ADM owner.

I’m not going to name the person, and will take pains to genericize the issue so as not to make it easy to figure out.  I will give the person a pseudonym — Patrick — and I will note that (surprise, surprise) the issue was regarding the “Emerging church”.  But the exact identity/issue is not particularly relevant, especially given the fact that I’ve encountered the same kind of spirit in many ADMs.

I recently came across a post by Patrick whose main point stood in direct opposition to an argument used by others of his ilk against a statement I have made on several occasions.  Actually, it’s inaccurate to state that this was it’s main point — it was the headline, and was obliquely referenced a number of times — but there was no evidence, links, or information supporting that point.  There were, admittedly, 8 links in the article, but none supporting the point.

I sent Patrick an email noting both the dissonance between his “point” and that of others, and also the lack of information on how he arrived at that point.  His response, though somewhat brief, contained all of the following:

  • absolute non-sequitur
  • statements that only bolstered my issue
  • gross over-generalizations  (What?  About Emerging?  No, never.)
  • insight into the inner workings of others’ hearts  (What?  From an ADM?  No, never.)
  • snarky and facetious uses of terminology used by some Emerging leaders
  • a statement that his point was “quite obvious” to him
  • an accusation that I hadn’t provided proof that his main “point” was incorrect (!!!)

This last one really threw me for a loop.  Patrick makes a definitive public statement, I ask him for evidence, and he states that I haven’t provided evidence to the contrary.  But let’s not dwell on that — it makes my hair bleed.

Having sufficiently evaded/ignored my actual questions better than any politician could dream of doing, he closed his note with “Thanks for playing”.

Trying to drag the conversation back into the same area code as my point, I sent him another note, clarifying my questions, claiming honest ignorance over what was “quite obvious” to him, and (to what extent possible) responding to the points in his email.  Riffing off his “Thanks for playing”, I closed my note with “Thus beginneth round 2″.

I received a reply stating that there would be no round 2.  I asked why, and he replied that it was pointless. I (admittedly, sarcastically) responded with what seemed to be his interpretation of Galatians 6:1 :

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, unless you deem it pointless.

His response was “Titus 3:9″ which reads:

But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.

Never mind that the context of this verse is false teaching and church discipline, not questions.  If you don’t want to talk to someone anymore because you consider them a fool, just whip out this verse.

I’m glad God didn’t give up on me that easily.

  • Share/Bookmark