Archive for December 10th, 2008

It seems that everyone has an opinion or Rob Bell these days, and it’s been my experience that a lot of people approach Bell without being able to see past their narrow theological boxes.  So it’s refreshing to me to read a review from a man who is a genuine New Testament scholar.  Ben Witherington III is currently a Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary, and he has authored over 30 books in the last 25 years.  Of course, academic credentials aren’t the lone arbiter of truth, but I’m more inclined to respect his views on a subject than some of the, shall we say, drive-by “reviews” of the ADM crowd.

In this review, Dr. Witherington shares some brief thought on discs 16-22 of the Nooma series.  Here’s an excerpt that I found particularly apropo given what some the usual critics say about Bell:

On the surface, some might be tempted to accuse Rob of serving up chicken soup for the soul, or pablum for the masses, or what passes for Christian pop psychology, but in fact on further review there is much more Biblical substance to these videos than might appear on first glance, and one needs to bear in mind that Rob is speaking to a post-modern generation that even if church attending are largely Biblically illiterate, and Rob is not. Indeed his teaching, including in his books tends to be consistently grounded in the Word, and those who keep complaining that this is not so: 1) need to lighten up; 2) need to consider the audience and level of discourse Rob is dealing with, especially in these videos.

So when I hear BWIII, someone who has written in depth commentaries on almost the entire New Testament, say that Bell’s teaching and books are “consistently grounded in the word”, I’m pretty sure I can take it to the bank.  Just a thought…

Grace and peace!

  • Share/Bookmark