HysteriaStunned – That might approach my initial response to what I read today at Slice of Laodicea. The post, Rob Bell Wades Into Nuclear Disarmament, contains such sophomoric rants as this:

I think Rob Bell may have gotten into some wheat grass juice that fermented into something else altogether. USA Today is reporting that he is now on the anti-nuke bandwagon.

and this gem:

Maybe Bell could try his line out on North Korea’s Kim Jong iL. “Hi Kim, uh, your honor, I’m an American emergent guru and life is beautiful and nuclear weapons are ugly. Would you mind dismantling your nuclear weapons for me?”

which is surely outdone by this:

Nuclear weapons are certainly ugly, but so is communism and totalitarianism. Soviet communism fell because we in America had a powerful deterrent in our own arsenal. In short, we were stronger than the thugs. And that is something only a fool would attempt to change.

______________________

A few of us here at CRN.info have some thoughts on this post by the author of Slice and her criticism of Bell’s words. So in the spirit of our Christmas and Easter posts, we share with you: On Wolves, Lambs, Plowshares and Rob Bell.

*************************************************************************************

Contributed by Neil:

As we have often pointed out, one of the tragedies of Christendom was the mixing of faith and nationalism. Whether it is thinking all Serbs must be Orthodox, or Socialism is somehow unchristian – no good comes from such blurred lines. And for one who seems to like lines, Ingrid misses this point regularly.

I will admit that calling for multilateral nuclear disarmament sounds like the proverbial pipe-dream. But hey, there is nothing wrong with dreaming as long as the dreams are not careless. And this is what distinguishes Bell’s (et. al.) call from the No-Nuke Movement of the ‘80’s. In that decade the call was for America to unilaterally lay down its nukes – an idea no thinking person could accept. This call is different. A nuance that is lost on Ingrid – ironically, the discerner is unable to discern.

It is worth noting that Ingrid only calls out Bell. If you read the USA Today article, he is but one person listed. Yet Ingrid ignores the rest and mocks just Bell. Of course, this is no surprise given her propensity to twist his words to fit her own agenda.

Ingrid summarizes her post by saying “In short, we were stronger than the thugs. And that is something only a fool would attempt to change.” I agree, except this is not what anyone is calling for – as before she has twisted someone else’s words creating a caricature she can easily attack… Unfortunately, what she has created does not correspond with the reality of what Bell said.

______________________

Contributed by Chris L:

Every once in awhile, I wonder to myself – have significant pockets of modern Christianity simply become intellectually bankrupt? Is reading comprehension something not taught in the schools (or home schools) that have produced the current batch of “Discernmentalists” inflicted upon the blogosphere? Or have basic honesty and Christian charity been completely jettisoned by those who claim the loudest to possess these treasures?

After reading Ingrid’s spewings in the article on Nuclear weapons and Rob Bell’s (and other evangelicals’) opposition to them, such wonderings only become more troublesome in the answers they seem to provide.

So – let’s examine what he said: 1) Nuclear weapons are an affront to God’s dream of shalom (that’s peace for the completely Hebrew illiterate folks out there); 2) We believe things can change for the better.

Now, let’s examine how Ingrid has interpreted this:

Picture [Iranian President Ahmadinejad] coming in, fresh from his latest holocaust denying speech where he called for the utter destruction of Israel.

“Hi, I’m Rob Bell, and I’m an American emergent guru and I’m here to say that life is beautiful and nuclear weapons are ugly. Would you mind dismantling your nuclear weapons for me?”

Bell is the hidden ace up Obama’s sleeve to change the world. You read it here first.

Followed up with:

Soviet communism fell because we in America had a powerful deterrent in our own arsenal. In short, we were stronger than the thugs. And that is something only a fool would attempt to change.

Now – I think a few points bear additional exploration:

1) Multilateral Disarmament: – If you can read and comprehend the USA Today article, the group to which Bell belongs supports “multilateral disarmament”. Applying just a slight bit of intelligence and reading comprehension, a non-partisan reader could easily break this down into – a) “multilateral” – i.e. all parties involved; b) “disarmament” – to give up arms. Or, to put it all together – “multilateral disarmament = all parties involved get rid of nuclear arms”. Now, just to make sure that the reader understands this point, the article even ends with this statement:

The group is not calling for unilateral disarmament but a “multilateral process where the United States takes leadership,” Wigg-Stevenson said.

In other words – the words of my favorite president – multilateral disarmament can also be called “trust but verify”…

2) Failure to recognize that the ideal state is not to be “stronger than the thugs” – those are the values of the world – kosmos – speaking, not the values of the kingdom of God. In the kingdom of God, peacemakers will be called the sons of God. In the kingdom of God, we will rely on God to save, not the threat of man-made obliteration. Would it not be nice to spend more of the GDP of this country to aid the poor, the widow and the stranger instead of having to spend it for our own defense? The only way that will happen is if America takes a leading role in pushing for multilateral change.

3) Putting our faith in politics. The Slice article does little more than wring its hands, crying about fears and worries of this world and harping at Christians who think that perhaps the actions of our country should mirror the orthopraxy that springs from our faith, rather than just wielding its name as a source of moral superiority.

It is articles like this one from Slice that demonstrate that many Christians have no faith in God or the Holy Spirit. Such voices ignore the Psalms -

I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.

The Proverbs:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

the Apostles:

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

And Jesus, himself:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Am I (or Bell) advocating unilateral disarmament and leaving the people of our country unprotected? No. What many Christians, including Bell, are calling for is to look for ways that nations might work together to lessen the instances of and the destruction from war.

To close, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) may have been an adequate (or even successful) deterrent between nation-states during the Cold War, in actual effect preventing the use of nuclear weapons. However, in the modern reality of asymmetrical warfare and islamofacism, MAD is far less of a deterrent. In fact, MAD increases the likelihood of the use of nukes, because it makes it more likely that terrorists and dictators who are unafraid of assured destruction will have these weapons at their disposal.

It should be our desire that all war would cease, and that any weapons – especially the most destructive of weapons – never need to see use. Expressing this Christian desire should not be seen as a partisan issue (who cares if Obama agrees/disagrees w/ Bell? Even a stopped watch is correct twice a day), but as an issue of being the peacemakers – the sons of God – we were called to be.

______________________

Contributed by Jerry:

“Followers of Christ missing the central message of the Bible? It happened the, and it happens now. And sometimes the reason is, of course, empire.” (Rob Bell & Don Golden, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, 131)

I suspect that, when the new heavens and new earth finally dawn upon us, there will be no nuclear weapons in existence. Dare we dream? Dare we perpetuate God’s ideas for what is peace on this planet? Dare we think along the same lines as God who has made it abundantly clear in Scripture that man’s way of doing things will, at last and finally, someday, be done away with?  Isaiah saw it:

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”

Yes. Yes. Let’s be fair. Isaiah probably wasn’t talking about someone going around and calling for multi-lateral disarmament. And he probably wasn’t thinking of nuclear weapons. And he wasn’t thinking of Rob Bell. But he was thinking of Someone who would make such an announcement. Jesus is one person who made such an announcement. Paul the apostle also seems to think that christians ought to make such announcements too. (See Romans 10.) So I guess we could say that worst Mr Bell is guilty of going around and imitating the words of a prophet. Isn’t that what preachers, christians, are supposed to do? Or maybe we should expect Mr Bell to go around saying things like (hyperbole alert), “God has a dream that all of us will one day destroy ourselves with our weapons. Therefore, I call on the US and Russia to start giving nuclear weapons to anyone who asks for them.”

I suppose it is better to live in fear and with eyes. We have weapons not because we need them, but because we can. We create fear in order to maintain control. We wield power in order to subjugate the weak. This world would be no worse than it is now if all such nuclear weapons were dismantled and the secrets forever burned. With all due respect, I don’t care why or how the SU was dismantled. I don’t know that ‘we’ ‘won’ anything; a lot of Russians have suffered much since as did before. My point is that I am not living in the United States, as an American, with my fingers crossed that our government will be quicker to the button than will the Chinese.

My hope does not rest in the United States possessing nuclear weapons. Destroy them all.

In what sense is war ever a good thing? In what sense can we say that the proliferation of weapons that can destroy humanity is ever a good idea? I guaran-damn-tee you it won’t be the rich and powerful in Washington, DC who suffer from such wars! Just because the Bible says ‘there is a time for war’ doesn’t necessarily mean that war is ever a good or necessary thing. Just because Paul wrote that governments are the swords of God’s justice (and reward!) doesn’t mean we have to be so quick to wield it.  I’ve come a long way on this precisely because, when all is said and done, we as a people are not protected because we have the biggest guns or the biggest bombs. I might also go so far as to say that God doesn’t need another nation, bigger or smaller than ours, to wipe us out if he, in his Sovereignty, decides to wipe us out.

Try not to be too offended at the notion that God is sovereign enough to make such decisions. Try not to be more offended that I happen to believe getting rid of nuclear weapons is a good idea even if it opens us up to severe consequences from rogues and rebels. Christians do not exist to perpetuate the American Dream nor is the American Dream biblical Christianity. But let me go out on a far left limb here, perhaps one that might make other writers here a bit uncomfortable. Let me say, imitating another prophet, that we are not citizens of this world. We are strangers, sojourners; pilgrims all. “We” should be opposed to the machinations of those in power–those rulers and authorities and principalities who in no way imaginable have the best interests of the kingdom of God in mind. Christians are not allies of the world in their power plays.

Consider:

They [principalities and powers] select as their primary target those whom God elects and sets apart (saints), those to whom God reveals his love in Jesus Christ (Christians), and the fellowship of such people (the church). The efforts of evil powers (I call them such for convenience, although I repeat that they are not powers in themselves nor evil as the antithesis of the good God) focus on the place where God’s grace and love are best expressed. They deploy their full strength on Jesus Christ. They concentrate all the forces of evil on Christians. […] [The Devil] brings all his efforts to bear against those who carry grace and love in the world. For his problem is not to bring people to eternal loss or to carry them off to hell, but to prevent God’s love from being present in the world. (Jacques Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity, 176ff)

I might go so far as to say that a superpower nation is not required to destroy life as we know it.

The prophet Isaiah had more to say. Listen:

48:22 “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.”

The wicked do not know how to find peace or what it looks like. Nor, for that matter, do they have the foggiest idea how to perpetuate it. What better person (people) than one who knows the Prince of Peace, to make the announcement, the proclamation, that God actually has a dream for Shalom? Or are we just terrified because someone used the words ‘God’ and ‘Dream’ in the same sentence?

Only a person who has the uncomfortable position of not being heard can sit back, behind a computer screen, and write with a straight face the following words:

Picture [Iranian President Ahmadinejad] coming in, fresh from his latest holocaust denying speech where he called for the utter destruction of Israel.

“Hi, I’m Rob Bell, and I’m an American emergent guru and I’m here to say that life is beautiful and nuclear weapons are ugly. Would you mind dismantling your nuclear weapons for me?”

Bell is the hidden ace up Obama’s sleeve to change the world. You read it here first.

Soviet communism fell because we in America had a powerful deterrent in our own arsenal. In short, we were stronger than the thugs. And that is something only a fool would attempt to change.

It takes no amount of courage in this world, rife with war, anxiety, poverty, and latent fears to sit back and boast about strength. This is pure, unadulterated arrogance. It is contrary to the ways of God who prides himself on weakness and the cross. (Let no one boast, he said, save for the cross.) It takes no little courage to walk into the face of ‘enemies’ and suggest that perhaps there is a better way of doing things–a way that is motivated and amplified by the presence and Spirit of Almighty God. “He prepares and table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

I don’t believe Bell is the hidden ace of President Obama’s sleeve to change the world. I don’t believe for a minute that Rob Bell is one who would concede that Christians are those who should be manipulated and cooperative with the very powers that mean to destroy Christ on this earth. Rather, I do believe that Rob Bell, since he is a Christian, and all Christians who are empowered by the Holy Spirit, are the aces up God’s proverbial sleeve and that it is we, us, whom God is using to change this world.

10For,
“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from deceitful speech.
11He must turn from evil and do good;
he must seek peace and pursue it.
12For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

–Peter

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This entry was posted on Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 4:35 pm and is filed under Church and Society, Ingrid, Theology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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205 Comments(+Add)

1   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 4th, 2009 at 5:15 pm

INGRID SCHLUETER’S LATEST POSTS
(A Topical Index in date order)

- SEX & Miss America

- SEX & Impurity

- SEX & “breast-augmented, naked beauty queen. . . . dancing naked women”

- Link to a devotional teaching

- Link to Ken Silva article about the lack of “real men”

- SEX, NUDITY, & Miss America (complete w/a video link to NOT watch because it’s to adult/lascivious)

- Word of Faith

- Obama-related artwork

-ACOG

- Rob Bell

- Joel Osteen

- John MacArthur

- Quotes of the Day

- Missions

- Talk Radio

- Emerging Church

- Obama

- SEX & Mark Driscoll

- SEX & HOMOSEXUALITY

- SEX & NUDITY & Miss America

Interesting……..

RAbanes

2   nc    
May 4th, 2009 at 7:24 pm

I love how the “letter of encouragement” touted by Ingrid in the whole Miss USA debacle is one that denies the theological ground of the gay marriage debate and dismisses it as a “political issue” compared to the moral/biblical, er, “depth” of the issue of modesty and not wearing bikinis.

You can’t have it both ways, people.

3   nc    
May 4th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

RE: Rob Bell’s “power”

I think they greatly overestimate his importance…

4   Joe    http://joemartino.name
May 4th, 2009 at 7:49 pm

I think they greatly overestimate his importance…

Yeah, but that’s just b/c you’re not drinking the kool aide I keep sending you.

5   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
May 4th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

INGRID SCHLUETER’S LATEST POSTS
(A Topical Index in date order)

It becomes apparent who really is obsessed with sex… that is for sure!

6   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 4th, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Contributed by Rick Frueh:

Ingrid – your nationalistic idolatry is showing. When you reference the pronoun “we” you are embracing the bath house deviants as your American brothers, and Miss USA as your American sister. The church should have no official position on weapons since guns have killed more than nuclear weapons.

One good thing about having a nuclear arsenal, it keeps us free to have augmentations.

I do commend Bell for admitting being conflicted as it concerns defending his family. I feel the same way. I am a compromising pacifist.

* I do find this unsettling, though.

7   Neil    
May 4th, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Bell often says things I find unsettling, sometimes it appears to be just provocative, other times I just disagree. What the discerns forget/ignore is context. Whether Silva is berating Bell for saying the Bible was not created by divine fiat, or berating him for the manner in which he describes the hope of the Gospel…the context is ignored.

Could Bell have been more thorough, sure. But this was not a theological exam it was a discussion on the hope we have in Jesus.

8   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 4th, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Back to th OP:

I find it spiritually duplicitous to write and teach and speak about believing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ for all sinners, and then espouse weapons of mass destruction, or as would doctrinally describe them – instruments that send masses of humanity to hell.

Jesus said the entire world is not as valuable as one soul. Believers say that America’s freedom is worth many millions of souls.

Quiz: Who is right?

9   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
May 4th, 2009 at 9:26 pm

That brings up an interesting line of thinking Rick. Americans fight for freedom (political, religious, social, etc), but is it the value of that freedom worth the lives of anybody? I use to think so, but that doesn’t fit with Jesus’ teaching to love others as he has loved us.

Now, I’m not talking about national policy, but what we as followers of Christ support and/or desire.

10   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 4th, 2009 at 9:48 pm

In two plus years ago I brought up the nationalism issue and it seemed radical. I used to think it was radical as well. Two years later does it now at least warrant contemplation, if not actual conideration?

When we, as Christian P. mentioned, assess the teachings of Christ they do not seem to find a comfortable place within the “violent depending” foreign policy. I do not have all the answers, but I am not required to have those answers. I am just required to follow Christ and Christ alone, and believe me, that makes my plate more than full.

Does God ever call a believer to send a sinner to hell, or has God through the centuries called believers to sacrifice their lives for sinners?

( The answer can be found in the gospels)

11   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 4th, 2009 at 10:59 pm

I think Bell has an interesting eschatology. Deciphering this phrase is all kinds of fun.

“God’s dream of shalom for the world”

12   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 4th, 2009 at 11:03 pm

This is how I pretty much feel about all politics and getting worked up over anything political:

“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
- JESUS CHRIST

IMHO, Christians have indeed become too worldly — but not by the way they dress, the music they listen to, or the beverages they drink.

They’ve become too worldly by overemphasizing political/worldly issues over matters of the heart, soul, and mind that relate directly to either:

a) getting people into the Kingdom of God; or
b) helping people grow in the grace & knowledge of Christ.

Oh, that we might weep each day for a few minutes over the lost souls who need Christ, rather than ranting and raving against gays, swimsuit competitions, “worldly” music (i.e., w/ a 21st century beat), and other non-gospel matters.

IMHO, Christians have become fixated on majoring in the minors, replaced simple preaching with policing others (doctrinally and socially), and abandoned the fruit of the spirit in favor of forcing their own comforting subjective beliefs (especially political) on others.

“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
- JESUS CHRIST

Rant over. :-)

RA

13   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 4th, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Richard,

I think Bell’s statement isn’t really political. I think it is theological, eschatological to be exact.

14   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 4th, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Hey Chris,

Yeah, I wasn’t really talking about Bell specifically — just the current situation in the church in general.

RA

15   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
May 4th, 2009 at 11:15 pm

So Chris R… do you agree with Rob Bell? It is hard to tell by you statement…

16   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
May 4th, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Chris R – My understanding is that Bell holds a partial preterist view of eschatology, so that particular statement is consistent with the view. Within the partial preterist view is the concept of Tikkun Olam – “the repair of the world”, a contemporary first-century concept that both Paul and Jesus echo (and many Hebrew sources consider Abraham’s promise from God to “be blessed to be a blessing” )

Here’s an article I wrote on the topic last fall.

I would note that I first heard/learned this particular concept from the professor who is now the President of Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI – a guy’s who’s about as Reformed as Reformed can be. It’s also a common teaching from the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research.

17   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 4th, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Richard,

I know what you were doing.

But, I think that people are missing the more interesting story in this post.

Bell, doesn’t strike me as a ‘political wonk’. (I used the be the Treasurer for the Republican Party in CA Congressional districts 43 & 44)

Up to this point I’d have said that Bell seemed a-political. In fact, his comment is politically naive by today’s slick political spin standards.

Which leads to the question, “Why is Bell wading into political waters when it’s obvious this is not his field of specialty?”

I think the answer lies in the phrase, “God’s dream of shalom for the world”.

I think Bell is a closet Hegelian Utopian. That to me is the more interesting story.

18   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 4th, 2009 at 11:25 pm

I think I agree with Bell’s apolitical stance, if that is what it is. Much of Bell’s verbiage is code speak and difficult to pin down. The shalom thing I guess comes after the “flaming fire” and all that non-poetic stuff.

The Scriptures are replete with all sorts of dualisms, and without balance anyone can focus on a particular stream and either downplay or outright ignore the more unpleasant future narratives.

19   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 4th, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Chris L,

I have a hard time putting Rob Bell and Hank Hanegraff into the same camp. But, you could be right.

I think Bell is actually much closer to Pagitt and McLaren.

I don’t think Bell agrees with the Nicene Creed when it says of Christ that He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead.”

20   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 4th, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Iggy,

The phrase “God’s dream of shalom for the world” is code speak.

Before I could agree or disagree with it, I have to have clear understanding of what is meant by that statement.

Do you know what it means? I admit I am only guessing at its meaning from my reading of Bell in other places.

21   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 4th, 2009 at 11:32 pm

BTW – the woman in Jerry’s post picture has just caught her duaghter listening to Hannah Montana.

22   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
May 4th, 2009 at 11:32 pm

I would note that Tim Brown and Ray VanderLaan (who Bell has commented in the past have been huge influence on him, particular on his view Hebraic viewpoints) have given a number of sermons at Mars Hill (Tim’s given 2 or 3 this year). The trip Bell took to Israel & Turkey with RVL was almost identical to my trip with Brown (both through That The World May Know Ministries), only a year apart. Brown taught about Tikkun Olam when we were sitting in the ampitheater at Pergamum. A friend of mine on RVL’s trip the fall before Bell’s said the same lesson was taught by RVL in Pregamum, as well.

Bell’s sermons on Revelation at Willow Creek and Mars Hill were lifted directly from Brown, RVL and Dwight Pryor (another Jerusalem School alum). It doesn’t seem a stretch that Bell’s eschatology came from these guys…

23   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 4th, 2009 at 11:35 pm

CR: Which leads to the question, “Why is Bell wading into political waters when it’s obvious this is not his field of specialty?”

RA: I have no idea. And, TBH, I don’t know why pastors do it. I wish they wouldn’t. That’s just me. I don’t like the mixing of religion w/ politics. I don’t like blurring the lines between our spiritual mission and our personal political views. It’s messy, IMHO. And it causes confusion, division, and mistrust. One of my favorite verses Jesus ever spoke was the one I’ve already quoted: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” I love that. I just love that.

RA

24   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 4th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

Chris L,

There is no doubt that Bell believes in “the repair of the world”.

My question is whether he believes things on Earth are going to get worse and worse here on planet Earth which will culminate in Christ’s return in glory to judge the living and the dead and a JESUS will create a new heavens and new Earth after the judgement.

OR

Does Bell believe that things on Earth will get better and better and better and through our making the world a better place that we’ll eventually reverse entropy and WE will bring about the fulfillment of God’s dream for the earth, (heaven on Earth and a restoration of Eden).

Which do you think is closer to Bell’s position?

25   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 4th, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Escahtology is the one theology about which I am Calvinistic. Whatever is going to happen will happen. Bell’s eschatology doesn’t concern me since the believers who attend churches that teach the “flaming fire” brand of eschatology don’t seem any more disturbed by that notion than the Mars Hill attenders.

The “huh?” description of the gospel is much more unnerving, and Peter Rollins as a featured speaker indicates a move away from the moderate emergent camp. The Christianity 21 conference is a textbook example of emergent “all over the map” version of “where is truth”.

Notice how many speakers are women and read the phrases that identify their themes. I’d rather be eaten by wolves. :cool:

26   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
May 4th, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Chris R,

My understanding of Shalom is that of ” God’s peace but done” To “give and receive peace”.

It was most often used as a greeting and salutation when someone met someone or left someone.

So I see when Bell uses this phrase (which is sort of paranoid of you to call it code speak in my book unless you are talking the bible code) he is saying, “God’s dream of shalom for the world” he means, “God dream of eternal peace for the world.”

Sort of the same thing the angels announced of the birth of Jesus… “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men..” in it’s fulfillment.

So do you agree or not? It seemed straight forward to me…

iggy

27   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 4th, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Richard,

RA: I have no idea. And, TBH, I don’t know why pastors do it. I wish they wouldn’t.

CR: But that’s the Big Story here. Bell has never been political. In fact, people expect a Pastor like Rick Warren to be political and Warren has to bend over backwards to stay out of partisan politics.

But Bell has never really been political before this. But, now all of a sudden he is making political statements. That’s a big story and it caught me off guard.

28   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
May 4th, 2009 at 11:45 pm

There is no doubt that Bell believes in “the repair of the world”.

My question is whether he believes things on Earth are going to get worse and worse here on planet Earth which will culminate in Christ’s return in glory to judge the living and the dead and a JESUS will create a new heavens and new Earth after the judgement.

OR

Does Bell believe that things on Earth will get better and better and better and through our making the world a better place that we’ll eventually reverse entropy and WE will bring about the fulfillment of God’s dream for the earth, (heaven on Earth and a restoration of Eden).

Which do you think is closer to Bell’s position?

Both… it depends on which side you are on…

iggy

29   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 4th, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Everbody believes God wants and will bring peace to the earth. Everybody. That is not the issue. The issue is how will that peace be achieved?

30   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 4th, 2009 at 11:47 pm

CR,

It is a big story. I agree. And I don’t get it. But whatever. I guess, on a personal level, I just don’t care that much. :-)

RA

31   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 4th, 2009 at 11:48 pm

Iggy,

I’m sorry that i sound paranoid.

Truth be told you are far more versed in Emergent categories and language than I am.

To my ears, “God’s dream of shalom for the world” sounds VERY eschatological and it has an unstated premise behind it that is difficult to define.

32   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 4th, 2009 at 11:49 pm

“Which do you think is closer to Bell’s position?”

Which identifies a problem. Bell’s positions are usually explained by others.

33   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 4th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Rick,

I think you’re on to “it”.

The HOW “IS” the issue.

34   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 4th, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Follow Up Question on God’s Dream for Shalom.

Is the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal a real obstruction to God in His Dream for Shalom for planet earth and humanity?

If so, how is that possible?

If Christ is coming again to judge the living and the dead and establish a new heaven and new earth how could the U.S. nuclear arsenal stop Jesus from establishing His Eschatological Shalom?

35   nc    
May 4th, 2009 at 11:59 pm

OR!!!

The 3RD OPTION:

Lovers of Jesus are to sign the healing/repair of the world that started in the Incarnation of Jesus, was fully effected on the Christ and certified/promised in the resurrection.

They cooperate with God’s ultimate dreams for the world by working to make the world a better place in every way for every personas a witness to coming full and final repair that will be made complete upon the return of our Lord out of love for his Creation that he has not abandoned to sin and death, but has redeemed, is redeeming, and will redeem in finality and completion.

36   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 5th, 2009 at 12:01 am

NC,

I agree that it could be a third option.

However, I think the option you outlined is a beautifully fleshed out version of option 2.

37   nc    
May 5th, 2009 at 12:02 am

it’s not an article of faith to believe the world is getting worse or better.

It is an article of faith to believe that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead.

38   nc    
May 5th, 2009 at 12:07 am

it really isn’t…because it doesn’t claim that we do anything with respect to the full establishment of the kingdom. We bear witness to it in our efforts to sign the coming Kingdom…knowing full well that the world is a place of wretched beauty, broken and wonderful.

The critique of #2: basically says that humans can reverse the fall, etc. etc. or that humans usher in the kingdom.

There’s no promise of that in #3.

That way the hope in Jesus and Jesus alone remains because ultimately, even though called to cooperate with God’s dreams, we are still only human and we will fail. This does not exempt us from cooperating with God and the inexorable move of history to its consummation in re-ordering, renewal and re-creation.

39   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 5th, 2009 at 12:07 am

NC,

The creeds do not say one or the other.

However, whether you believe things will get better or worse says A LOT about your hermeneutics and how you treat the Bible.

40   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 5th, 2009 at 12:09 am

NC,

You argued your point well. You’re right. You’ve established a valid 3rd option.

Which of the three do you think Bell is closer too?

41   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 12:11 am

Everbody believes God wants and will bring peace to the earth. Everybody. That is not the issue. The issue is how will that peace be achieved?

God’s way…

Turn the other cheek, love God and your neighbor, if someone takes your coat give them your shirt… walk that extra mile… you know like Jesus TOLD US TO DO IT>..

Is it really that hard?

iggy

42   nc    
May 5th, 2009 at 12:15 am

CR,

don’t know…

I really don’t listen to him.

I like some of his Nooma’s from the past, but haven’t really been following him over the last 3-4 years.

Honestly, I think he’s a really effective communicator, but I really don’t care about him. (No offense to anyone here who really digs him.)

Btw, Chris R,

thanks for your approach to things lately.

I know I’ve been a real dick in my responses to you in our different interactions.

I apologize.

Peace.

43   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 5th, 2009 at 12:15 am

Iggy,

A good follow up question for you would be, do you really think it is that easy?

The passages that you quote don’t promise that turning the other cheek and giving our coats away will bring eschatological shalom. In fact, that behavior may only leave us coatless and suffering from a stinging face with big red hand print on our cheek.

44   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net
May 5th, 2009 at 12:16 am

“Shoot ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out.”

There’s that.

45   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 5th, 2009 at 12:20 am

NC,

You are forgiven. With all of the love and forgiveness extended to me through Christ’s death on the cross for my sins I extend that same mercy and forgiveness to you.

I have also been a dick in how I have handled things.

As for Bell, he’s been a bit of an enigma to me for a while. Which, because of my psychological makeup makes me want to solve the riddle of the enigma even more.

I know I am on to something. I can feel it.

46   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 12:20 am

It is easy to understand harder to walk…

47   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 5th, 2009 at 12:23 am

Iggy,

I COMPLETELY agree with you.

48   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
May 5th, 2009 at 12:24 am

Julie,

If were going to go through all the trouble of shooting them all and let God sort em out we might as well just go ahead and use the nukes. It would get the job done a lot quicker.

49   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 12:44 am

My question is whether he believes things on Earth are going to get worse and worse here on planet Earth which will culminate in Christ’s return in glory to judge the living and the dead and a JESUS will create a new heavens and new Earth after the judgement.

OR

Does Bell believe that things on Earth will get better and better and better and through our making the world a better place that we’ll eventually reverse entropy and WE will bring about the fulfillment of God’s dream for the earth, (heaven on Earth and a restoration of Eden).

Which do you think is closer to Bell’s position?

I think NC’s option 3 is much closer to Bell’s position – particularly if his primary influences are still Brown, RVL, Brad Young, Dwight Pryor, etc. (the guys he always references – by name or by argument – when he references first century Hebrew theology).

One of the primary differences between partial preterism and full preterism is the difference between option #3 (Partial) and option #2 (Full). In several of Bell’s sermons in the past year, he’s referred to Jesus’ return bringing perfection, which meshes more with option #3 than option #2. I’ve not heard him suggest that anything we do will bring Jesus’ return (a component of #2), and some of his comments in the current series on Lamentations suggest that he takes no position on the trajectory of the world (reaching perfection or spiraling to chaos).

As a lifelong Republican (my single D vote was in the ‘88 primary for Jesse Jackson at the behest of Lee Atwater), a number of Bell’s comments (and Rick Frueh’s) have challenged me because I found that I was blending my theology w/ politics in ways that were not healthy – something I still catch myself doing from time to time. I would agree that he is aggressively non-political, which can be maddening for folks on both ends of the political spectrum.

50   John B    
May 5th, 2009 at 12:52 am

Ok, I read the post of the CT interview with Bell twice. I really have no idea what he is talking about. ???

It does seem he enjoys being a bit vague. It does not go well with my desire for black and white answers. :)

But I also don’t think it really measures up to the simplicity of the gospel clearly proclaimed in the Bible. :(

51   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 1:48 am

But I also don’t think it really measures up to the simplicity of the gospel clearly proclaimed in the Bible.

John -

There are two topics Paul and the Apostles taught on – the gospel and the kingdom of God/heaven. For example, at the end of Acts, we read:

Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

In this particular case, Bell is primarily dealing with discussions about the kingdom (how to live under the reign of God – what it means to apply Jesus’ teaching in this particular context). Theologian Brad Young describes the dichotomy many modern Christians deal with as “too often modern Christians focus so much on belief in Jesus that they forget to learn the beliefs of Jesus.”

In making disciples, we teach primarily about the kingdom (how to live). In evangelizing, we proclaim the gospel. They are both important, two sides of the same coin. So, to say teaching about the kingdom doesn’t “measure up to the simplicity of the gospel clearly proclaimed in the Bible” is kind of like saying “driving on the interstate doesn’t measure up to the simplicity of taking the test to get your driver’s license” – they are both related to each other, but one is about basics of belief, and the other one is applying the full scope of belief.

52   merry    
May 5th, 2009 at 3:52 am

~I can’t read through all the comments right now, so sorry if I’m repeating everything.~

Joining the “anti-nuke bandwagon” is something to complain about? I’m not interested in politics at all, but I definately have thoughts about nuclear weapons–the World War II stories make me sick. Thousands of uninvolved Japanese civilians were killed or maimed without warning so America could be established as a superpower? Maybe someone could explain this to me, but I can’t see this as a reason to defend nuclear weapons or America, and if that wasn’t the intent, then I certainly can’t see a reason to use such a heavy topic simply to bash a pastor whose theology one doesn’t agree with.

The article at Slice is completely void of any Christian meaning or message, and I’m struggling to see what the complaints about these particular set of comments by Bell are about. The author is defending America, not Christianity; two vastly separate entities. The content of this article does not reflect the Christ I know and it makes me sad.

53   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 5:41 am

As evidenced by comments #49 and #51, it has been my experience that Bell’s views are often explained/interpreted by others since his language is many times vague and metaphorical. If you lean toward a positive view of Bell your interpretation will be within accepted evangelical parameters.

If not, then not. Nowhere do I find any writings from Bell that directly address the issues that continue to be raised and that he is well aware of. It is without controversy that he has the theological acumen to see what is being asked and the communicative resources to sufficiently answer these questions on the level they are being asked.

Even Chris Rosebrough openly admits Warren clearly states the foundations of the faith although he has significant disagreements with his methodology and practice. With Bell, there is no such doctrinal Rosetta Stone by which we can disagree but be assured that his presentation, however flowery and poetic, does not represent a different gospel itself.

There seems to be a moving away from the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that begins with faith in that redemptive gospel and then is revealed in a believer’s life. Rollins himself, Bell’s guest speaker, suggests working for humanity first and see if faith follows. And there is almost an exlcusive emphasis on the resurrection which is translated through human deeds, but a noticeable absence of focus, teaching, and redemptive explanations of the cross.

And bringing in the kingdom is not just turning the other cheek. If that was the core criteria than Gandhi would be considered one of Christ’s finest disciples. Making disciples is not just teaching people how to act, the core of discipleship must be centered on learning of Him and emulating Him, not just coming into compliance with a set of interactive moral behaviors.

Who will be persecuted for being kind to people, or being helpful, or for extending gracious acts of humanitarianism? Jesus said we would be persecuted for HIS sake, and in that lies the emphasis. It is easier not to witness for Christ than it is to witness. And that truth usually strengthens through time.

So when we speak of bringing in the kingdom with the humanitarian works of the church being central, we have missed the entire theme of the gospel. Humanitarian works by believers are extremely important and they should not be dismissed in any way. But just as the law’s inherent strength was its weakness, so is the the subservience to Christ and His gospel message the inherent strength of our humantarians deeds.

When a church teaches the necessity of the law for redemption we call that church a cult. The same must be said if we ever give the slightest impression that helping your fellow man is part of redemption itself. This is no trifle, this is a colossal nuance through which many deceived sinners are coming. Just read the statements of the speakers at that Chrisianity 21 conference, or go to their websites and read their views. Some feel comfortable without being an active follower of Jesus Christ, the Person.

There is a revolution taking place that undermines the foundations of the faith. It no longer just centers on methodology and practice, it is now being processed through the ambiguous, and not so ambiguous, representations of the redemptive narratives. Much of the emergent movement no longer considers Christianity as exclusive, and there are many inter-faith cooperations that represent all faiths as equal and valid expressions of a spiritual journey.

And most of the leading men and women in this movement are not hucksters who prey on people for personal financial gain, no, they are incredibly astute teachers who seem to have a genuine compassion and concern for the state of suffering humanity. Most are thoroughly involved with humanitarian outreaches around the world and, like Clairborne and others, the least among us here in America.

And may I say I both am convicted and genuinely admire such men. I cannot dismiss their expressions of compassion just to soothe my orthodox conscience, but I also cannot blindly accept what seems to be a seismic, but clandestine, shift in gospel truth.

And this is where many ODMs have completely missed the mark and have, in fact, become a stumblingblock to the truth they desire to “protect”. If we are not willing to be uncomfortably humble, if we cannot bridle our tongues and pens, if we are not willing to interact with some essence of grace, then we should not speak. If caustic rhetoric and visceral dislike becomes our medium, then in many ways we are dismantling the gospel in ourselves.

We seem to be afraid of compromise, and even the slightest compliment of Rick Warren (for example) is met with rejection and a certainty about the diabolical nature of his motives. Rob Bell is a father and husband and a pastor, and regardless of how deep our concerns he deserves respect, to say nothing of love and prayers.

In general, the church is in a mess. But let us not be myopic in our assessment, we all stand in a profound need of a major spiritual unheaval. We who believe we espouse the tenants of the common faith, have we neglected some of the weightier issues of Christlikeness? Are all our doctrinal jots and tittles neatly inventoried, but are they presented with self righteousness and meanness and are they etched upon tablets of stone?

Is truth love in and of itself, or must love be the driving force of truth? It will take more than just a set of doctrinal truths to navigate the present storm, and if we wish to be approved of God it will take a cross reflected humility not just a cross reflected theology. It must be both.

54   Joe    
May 5th, 2009 at 7:04 am

All right, I remind that I will not discuss Rob directly on this or any other thread. However, the idea that we are to work to make the world a better place is not exactly new with anyone and it certainly has never been called a heresy except by the most rabid of fundamentalist. Amil-ers have been around for a long time. (Again, I’m not saying what Rob said is amil or that he is an amil). I know many people who hate Mars and Rob who would still agree with him that nukes are an offense to God.

55   Joe    http://joemartino.name
May 5th, 2009 at 7:12 am

Oh! and we read the Nicene creed together at our Sunday gathering this week. ;)

56   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 7:21 am

“I know many people who hate Mars and Rob who would still agree with him that nukes are an offense to God.”

I’m assuming that is hyperbole, and those who truly hate Rob Bell have no business in any discussion of Christian views.

57   Joe    http://joemartino.name
May 5th, 2009 at 7:49 am

Well, Rick, you tell me. What are the markers of hate?

58   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 8:08 am

I would think we are in general agreement with those markers, but only God can see the heart. One of the challenges of us all is to confront people without hatred, even when we are very strong in our confrontation.

59   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 8:56 am

My delight in reading this comment section, with Chris R bringing his balanced and intellectual viewpoints, and with the great conversation engaged in by all, was trumped by the revelation that Chris L voted for Jesse Jackson.

:)

60   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 9:10 am

I was (theologically) raised in a strict dispensationalist camp… therefore the expectation of a great falling away and things getting worse and worse was assumed.

On the other end of the spectrum were the post-millers who expected things to get better and better until we just oozed into the Kingdom. Though it’s hard to find many of these since WWI and WWII.

Since giving up dispensationalism and since I have started studying the church (not just in America but worldwide) I have modified me views.

I expect the church to continue to grow and exert more and more influence on the world – as she has exponentially over the past 200 years. On the other hand, I expect the opposition to grow as well – as it has over the past 200 years.

61   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 9:12 am

As well, it is very cool to see a lively discussion -

62   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
May 5th, 2009 at 9:13 am

I often put it this way: If there is a God, some sort of Divine Being, Mind, Spirit, and all of this is not just some random chance thing, and history has some sort of movement to it, and you have a connection with Whatever—that is awesome. Hard and awesome and creative and challenging and provoking.

And there is this group of people who say that whoever that being is came up among us and took on flesh and blood—Andrew Sullivan talks about this immense occasion the world could not bear. So a church would be this odd blend of swagger—an open tomb, come on—and humility and mystery. The Resurrection accounts are jumbled and don’t really line up with each other—I really relate to that. Yet something momentous has burst forth in the middle of history. You just have to have faith, and you get caught up in something.

I like to say that I practice militant mysticism. I’m really absolutely sure of some things that I don’t quite know.

How is this the Gospel?

We have a connection with Whatever, and get caught up in something?

I guess it all depends on what is is.

I mean I am a young Christian, I only know a little of the Bible, and I already know this is not the Gospel.

63   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 9:13 am

RE #60

In other words, I expect the extremes to grow in both directions.

64   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 9:15 am

Thurstin,

You left out making the “if” bold – Bell is question the very existence of God?

65   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
May 5th, 2009 at 9:27 am

Very astute, Neil.

The question is also for me, based on the little I have read or seen of Bell, he does not even sound Christian. What kind of church is he the pastor of?

66   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 9:29 am

…on the little I have read or seen of Bell…

Does that include his books and sermons?
Or is it limited to what others have said or written about what Rob has said or written?

67   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 9:32 am

Very astute, Neil.

The question is also for me, based on the little I have read or seen of Bell, he does not even sound Christian. What kind of church is he the pastor of?

Actually Thurstin, it was a bit tongue-in-cheek. Bell is no more questioning the existence of God with the “if” than he is denying God’s knowability with the “whatever” and “something.” it’s just a literary device.

68   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 9:34 am

What kind of church is he the pastor of?

Prepare yourself for an onslaught …

Here is what Bell believes: LINK.

69   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 9:35 am

Does that include his books and sermons?
Or is it limited to what others have said or written about what Rob has said or written?

This is an important distinction since many of the ADM’s will create a Bell caricature before telling us what’s wrong with him.

70   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
May 5th, 2009 at 9:48 am

We believe these longings found their fulfillment in Jesus the Messiah, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, mysteriously God having become flesh. Jesus came to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted and set captives free, proclaiming a new arrival of the kingdom of God, bringing about a new exodus, and restoring our fractured world. He and his message were rejected by many as he confronted the oppressive nature of the religious elite and the empire of Rome. Yet his path of suffering, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection has brought hope to all creation. Jesus is our only hope for bringing peace and reconciliation between God and humans. Through Jesus we have been forgiven and brought into right relationship with God. God is now reconciling us to each other, ourselves, and creation. The Spirit of God affirms as children of God all those who trust Jesus. The Spirit empowers us with gifts, convicts, guides, comforts, counsels, and leads us into truth through a communal life of worship and a missional expression of our faith. The church is rooted and grounded in Christ, practicing spiritual disciplines and celebrating baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The church is a global and local expression of living out the way of Jesus through love, peace, sacrifice, and healing as we embody the resurrected Christ, who lives in and through us, to a broken and hurting world.

1. Who is the we? Is it humans? Is it Rob Bell and the mouse in his pocket? Who is the We?
2. Certainly, this quotation Jesus used in describing his ministry is part of what he came for. But didn’t he come mainly to bear the very wrath of God for our sins?
3. I thought this redemption was for humans that repent and trust in Christ alone, not for all creation. This sounds like what Oprah teaches.
4. I agree Jesus is our only hope. But which humans get to take part in that? It isn’t clear.
5. Who, again, is the ‘we’ and the ‘us’?

I really want to know. Dad does not have a very high opinion of this man Rob Bell, and I respect Dad but I want to find out for myself. So far, I see that Dad is not very far off base in his assessment of Bell.

71   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 9:56 am

What in this statement of faith is anti-biblical?

72   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
May 5th, 2009 at 10:00 am

#71
How would anyone know? There is no Bible references in it.

It looks like they didn’t want to be associated with the Biblical narrative, just with their own.

73   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
May 5th, 2009 at 10:02 am

3. I thought this redemption was for humans that repent and trust in Christ alone, not for all creation.

The Apostle Paul would disagree with you:

Colossians 1:15-20

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

74   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 10:07 am

How would anyone know? There is no Bible references in it.

If I question the validity of something, the onus is upon me to prove where it is invalid.

It is not first placed upon the one making the statement.

If I do not believe Mars Hill’s statement of faith lines up with the overall teaching of the scriptures, it is upon me to clearly point out the areas of digression.

75   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
May 5th, 2009 at 10:27 am

I appreciate Phil’s answer more than Nathanaels. At least he is trying to be helpful.

Even though it is a proof text, and not consistent with the whole of scripture. Only humans are saved.

76   nc    
May 5th, 2009 at 10:33 am

There’s also the prophetic texts that speak of a renewed and reordered world. There’s Revelation…19-22…

There’s more to this than just the Colossians verse.

I don’t get why it’s a problem to speak of the whole universe being redeemed/renewed in the end. Humans are still a part of it…

77   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 10:35 am

That made me smile. Actually, I am trying to be helpful.
I’m trying to help you (and me) think for ourselves.

Sorry if it came across as not being helpful.

Unfortunately, this mode of communication does not carry with it the emotion of the one typing unless (like Rick) they overuse smileys.

Sorry if it sounded cold and indifferent.
That was not even remotely my angle.

I was just hoping you could point out specifically where the Mars Hill statement of faith deviates from the overall teaching of scripture.

:)

78   nc    
May 5th, 2009 at 10:36 am

All this particular stance does is speak of the range of impact of the atonement.

There is a curse upon creation because of the fall, God’s not just throwing it away and keeping the “human bits”…

Actually, the whole of Scripture demonstrates a full undoing of the curse.

It’s so weird to me when I hear people insist that “only humans are saved” as if it is a critical point.

I mean..it’s cool to have a point of disagreement on this…but to say that it’s not consistent with the “whole of Scripture”…

baffling.

79   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 5th, 2009 at 10:38 am

I read Bell’s comment again — this time very carefully, thoughtfully, and slowly, trying to see just how I thought he really meant his comment (which, TBH, he didn’t really explain, so this is all a guess).

I took it as non-eschatological remark that was given as a life-application message which parallels God’s desire for peace among all men (NOT in an eschatological sense, but in a daily living sense):

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy (Heb. 12:14).

I can see this passage, and many others, to be a condemnation of anything that might hinder our ability as Christians to be obedient and live at peace with others.

It’d be a bit over-the-top, IMHO, to apply the sentiment behind this phrase so globally and specifically (i.e., nuclear weapons), but I can see how/why someone might do it if they take God’s desire for us to live peacefully out to an extreme length–i.e., sort of a philosophically projection of that theme into things like war, national conflict, and weapons of mass destruction.

It’d say that Bell was also making that remark based on how we are to be good stewards of ourselves, our resources, the environment, the world in general.

I say this because of his follow-up comment after he said, “Nuclear weapons are a direct affront to God’s dream of shalom for the world.” He added: “Life is beautiful, and nuclear weapons are ugly.”

So there seems to be a whole lot wrapped up in Bell’s remark. I suppose someone should just ask Bell.

There will be an ultimate, total, eternal world peace when Jesus comes. Before that day, we as Christians are to not only live at peace with others, but also be peace-makers in the world, which in turn will make the world a better place and eases suffering–i.e., just as we are to feed the hungry, clothe those in need, comfort the sick, assist the poor, love the loveless, and help the helpless. Maybe that’s all Bell was saying.

RAbanes

80   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
May 5th, 2009 at 10:45 am

I appreciate Phil’s answer more than Nathanaels. At least he is trying to be helpful.

Even though it is a proof text, and not consistent with the whole of scripture. Only humans are saved.

Sigh…

I don’t really have the time or energy to get in long debate about this, but I suggest you read the book of Revelation, specifically chapter 21. What emerges is a picture of God not destroying everything, but of Him restoring the cosmos. Check out these verses:

1Then 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. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

5He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

The words used for “making everything new” would be better translated “renewing or restoring everything”. God made everything in the beginning, and He doesn’t make anything just to throw it away. His Creation is precious to Him, and He’s restoring it to how He originally intended. Jesus’ work on the cross was about reconciling everything back to the Father, destroying the work of the devil, and claiming the earth as the Lord’s again. We are to join with Him in that work – not in the sense that we are trying to take everything over, but in the sense that we are working with God so that His will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

81   Eugene    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
May 5th, 2009 at 10:52 am

I think the last paragraph of Mars Hill’s Narrative Theology puts Bell’s “Nuclear weapons are a direct affront to God’s dream of shalom for the world.” comment into perspective:

We believe the day is coming when Jesus will return to judge the world, bringing an end to injustice and restoring all things to God’s
original intent. God will reclaim this world and rule forever. The earth’s groaning will cease and God will dwell with us here in a restored
creation. On that day we will beat swords into tools for cultivating the earth, the wolf will lie down with the lamb, there will be no more
death and God will wipe away all our tears. Our relationships with God, others, ourselves, and creation will be whole. All will flourish as
God intends. This is what we long for. This is what we hope for. And we are giving our lives to living out that future reality now.

Thurstin, you asked:

1. Who is the we? Is it humans? Is it Rob Bell and the mouse in his pocket? Who is the We?

The “we” is quite obviously Mars Hill church.

2. Certainly, this quotation Jesus used in describing his ministry is part of what he came for. But didn’t he come mainly to bear the very wrath of God for our sins?

I would rather say that the reason why Jesus came includes bearing God wrath in our place, but it was for much more than that and it is quite well laid out by this narrative theology.

82   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
May 5th, 2009 at 10:52 am

#77, 78,Then salvation involves reconciliation and restoration, but reconciliation and restoration don’t equal salvation?

83   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 10:53 am

1. Who is the we? Is it humans? Is it Rob Bell and the mouse in his pocket? Who is the We?

Since it’s the church’s statement of belief, I assumed the “we” is them.

2. Certainly, this quotation Jesus used in describing his ministry is part of what he came for. But didn’t he come mainly to bear the very wrath of God for our sins?

I don’t follow what the problem is… you say “bear the wrath” and he says “bringing peace and reconciliation between God and humans” – sounds like you are talking the how and bell the result – no conflict there.

3. I thought this redemption was for humans that repent and trust in Christ alone, not for all creation. This sounds like what Oprah teaches.

Redemption is for humans, of course. But the Scriptures make it clear that it will be applied to all of creation as well… think new heaven and new earth.

4. I agree Jesus is our only hope. But which humans get to take part in that? It isn’t clear.

The Spirit of God affirms as children of God all those who trust Jesus. Only those who trust Jesus are saved – seems pretty clear to me.

5. Who, again, is the ‘we’ and the ‘us’?

See #1 above. Why is this such an issue that it bears repeating?

I really want to know. Dad does not have a very high opinion of this man Rob Bell, and I respect Dad but I want to find out for myself. So far, I see that Dad is not very far off base in his assessment of Bell.

If by dad you are referring to Pastorboy, I will say this. Much of the time what he addresses is not Bell, but a caricature of him. For example, in a recent exchange he took a swipe at Bell and his belief in how we got the Bible. What Pastorboy argued against is not what Bell actually said/meant. And in the process, he mocked Bell for denying something (the Bible being given by divine fiat) that is properly deniable. In other words, he mocked Bell for denying something all Christians (your dad included) would deny.

I want to tread carefully, since I do not want to drive a wedge between you and your father. And I have said repeatedly I have issues with bell as well. But when it comes to Bell, Pastorboy seems incapable/unwilling to discuss him without resorting to hyperbole, caricature building, and sometimes sloppiness of thought (which I think can be blamed on haste).

84   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 11:00 am

It looks like they didn’t want to be associated with the Biblical narrative, just with their own.

Everything in the statement is based on their interpretation of Scripture. You may disagree with their interpretation, you may have written it differently. but just because they do not put in the address of ever biblical reference does not mean they are distancing themselves from the Bible.

I think you are projecting you own stylistic preferences.

85   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 11:06 am

#77, 78,Then salvation involves reconciliation and restoration, but reconciliation and restoration don’t equal salvation?

In Scripture, the word translated “Salvation” or the verb “saved” is also translated “healed” and “mended” – as in “The fishermen were mending their nets.”

So there is no problem applying salvation to the created universe in the sense that it will be healed, restored, even mended.

So what’s the problem?

86   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 11:08 am

Thurstin,

To your earlier quote from the Bell interview, you forgot the first paragraph of his answer:

I am leery of people who have very clear ideas of what they’re doing from outside of themselves: “You have to understand that I’m doing this and doing this.” I would say that for 10 years, I have tried to invite people to trust Jesus. You can trust this Jesus. You can trust him past, present, future; sins, mistakes, money, sexuality. I think this Jesus can be trusted.

The question he is answering is aimed at the skeptic and/or the cynic (id’d further into the interview). The “if” in the next paragraph “if there is a God…” is a rhetorical device which says “OK, I believe there is a God, and if this is true, then…”

1. Who is the we? Is it humans? Is it Rob Bell and the mouse in his pocket? Who is the We?

It is Mars Hill Bible Church’s statement of narrative theology, and the “we” refers both to the church as a local body and Christ’s church as a whole.

2. Certainly, this quotation Jesus used in describing his ministry is part of what he came for. But didn’t he come mainly to bear the very wrath of God for our sins?

Not according to Jesus’ teaching. This gets back to the difference between having faith in Jesus and having the faith of Jesus. The role of Messiah is Prophet, Priest and King. Focusing only on Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins is to focus only on his role as High Priest.

3. I thought this redemption was for humans that repent and trust in Christ alone, not for all creation. This sounds like what Oprah teaches.

Actually, it’s what Paul teaches, not Oprah:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

4. I agree Jesus is our only hope. But which humans get to take part in that? It isn’t clear.

What does it matter to you? (John 21:21-22) It is God’s angels who will separate the wheat from the tares, and it is God who will judge and God who will give out grace. Your call is to hear, love and obey, to become a disciple – and to make disciples.

5. Who, again, is the ‘we’ and the ‘us’?

The church. Bell didn’t write this – members of his church did. Perhaps that wasn’t clear in the link.

How would anyone know? There is no Bible references in it.

It looks like they didn’t want to be associated with the Biblical narrative, just with their own.

The Bible is referenced throughout the statement, but it is not broken up with chapter/verse denotations (which came about only 500 years ago, or so). Typically, a narrative is something to be read out loud as a story – not like a bullet-point summary, so it is not broken up with parenthetical references.

Even though it is a proof text, and not consistent with the whole of scripture. Only humans are saved.

Actually, when we read of a ‘new heavens’ and a ‘new earth’, these may also be translated as a ‘renewed heavens’ and a ‘renewed earth’. All of Creation is groaning for the culmination of Jesus’ return – not just humans.

87   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 11:17 am

Okay, in reading everyone else’s comments, I can see Thurstin’s point that I was not being helpful.
Phil and Eugene and Neil and Chris L all addressed his specific questions with thoughtful answers.
I did not.

I apologize.

88   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 11:20 am

And even my apology is off because it is not addressed to Thurstin directly.

Thurstin, I am sorry.

89   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 5th, 2009 at 11:23 am

“This is what we long for. This is what we hope for. And we are giving our lives to living out that future reality now.”

RA: Seems pretty clear to me. And there’s not much more to say.

Dear Thurstin,

From my limited perspective, it seems that you are trying to dig for something negative on Bell — which I am guessing might be a method of “discernment” you’ve unfortunately picked up from others whose actual goal is just to nail as a heretic various persons that simply make them uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be that way. :-)

There are MANY ways to share the gospel, live the gospel, show the gospel, stress certain aspects of the gospel, and preach the gospel. You do NOT always have to use the exact, same, precise words — just like you can preach the gospel in different languages. The various questions you asked have been answered:

1. Who is the we? Is it humans? Is it Rob Bell and the mouse in his pocket? Who is the We?
= MARS HILL MEMBERS

2. Certainly, this quotation Jesus used in describing his ministry is part of what he came for. But didn’t he come mainly to bear the very wrath of God for our sins?
= THIS IS NOT A THEOLOGICAL TREATISE TO BE PICKED APART AS IF IT WERE SOME TERM PAPER FOR A SEMINARY. IT’S A CHURCH’S NON-CONVENTIONAL/NON-TRADITIONAL EXPRESSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH USING 21st CENTURY, ARTISTIC, CREATIVE, JARGON.

3. I thought this redemption was for humans that repent and trust in Christ alone, not for all creation. This sounds like what Oprah teaches.
= All CREATION HAS BEEN CURSED (see Gen. 3:17). OUR FINAL REDEMPTION AND THE REDEMPTION OF CREATION ITSELF WILL COINCIDE (see Rom. 8:19-21). THIS IS NOT AT ALL WHAT OPRAH TEACHES (see A NEW EARTH, AN OLD DECEPTION).

4. I agree Jesus is our only hope. But which humans get to take part in that? It isn’t clear.
= THE HUMANS THAT TRUST IN CHRIST….”The Spirit of God affirms as children of God all those who trust Jesus.”

5. Who, again, is the ‘we’ and the ‘us’?
= “The Spirit of God affirms as children of God all those who trust Jesus.”

I hope this helps.

peace,

RAbanes
my 2 cents

90   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 11:28 am

Even though it is a proof text, and not consistent with the whole of scripture. Only humans are saved.

I missed this response. It’s not a proof-text in the negative sense – it’s proof from the text. That God will “save” (heal, mend, restore) the universe is absolutely consistent with the whole of Scripture.

[please note; no one is advocating universalism - that humans will be saved]

91   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
May 5th, 2009 at 11:31 am

#83
You are mischarachterizing my dad. He rarely talks about Bell, he just says to filter what any man says (including himself) through scripture.

Neil I appreciate your explanation.

1. Is it just Bell’s church that is saved then? Or is it only those people who hold to the same beliefs?

2. Because I think he sees a difference in the sin problem. It seems with Bell he is all about peace and justice and not about solving a sin problem that stands in the way.

92   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 5th, 2009 at 11:38 am

Thurstin,

You asked: “1. Is it just Bell’s church that is saved then? Or is it only those people who hold to the same beliefs?”

Again, here we have another example of you almost wanting, needing, trying to find some serious flaw in Bell and his church.

- Only Bell’s church is saved?

- Only those who hold to Bell’s beliefs are saved?

If anything, this is actually the opposite direction from where Bell would go, IF he were to go astray at all.

Brother, you don’t need to try so hard to find/create heresy: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. . . . always trusts, always hopes…” (1 Cor. 13:6-7).

RA

93   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 11:43 am

#83
You are mischarachterizing my dad. He rarely talks about Bell, he just says to filter what any man says (including himself) through scripture.

I understand you get to experience him in his totality and I only experience him on this site. Please understand that what I said about him is limited to how he behaves here when talking about Bell.

Scripture is, of course, the final and supreme filter. Caution should be maintained to make sure what is being filtered is what was actually said/meant; and the filter is only Scripture.

This is actually a great example of the need to realize people are deeper than the quips we see about, or from them. This applies to both Pastorboy and Bell.

94   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 11:44 am

1. Is it just Bell’s church that is saved then? Or is it only those people who hold to the same beliefs?

This question has no basis in the reality of this conversation.

95   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 11:44 am

“Is it Rob Bell and the mouse in his pocket? ”

Thurstin – I love that sentence. Very funny, I may use it in the future. :)

Not because of the Bell discussion, it’s just a funny way to say something.

96   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
May 5th, 2009 at 11:48 am

How would you present this gospel on Twitter?

I would say that history is headed somewhere. The thousands of little ways in which you are tempted to believe that hope might actually be a legitimate response to the insanity of the world actually can be trusted. And the Christian story is that a tomb is empty, and a movement has actually begun that has been present in a sense all along in creation. And all those times when your cynicism was at odds with an impulse within you that said that this little thing might be about something bigger—those tiny little slivers may in fact be connected to something really, really big.

I am sorry, that looks nothing like the Gospel; it is not even close to a Biblical model.

97   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 11:49 am

2. Because I think he sees a difference in the sin problem. It seems with Bell he is all about peace and justice and not about solving a sin problem that stands in the way.

it’s a false dichotomy. He is about peace and justice. But how you can question his belief in solving the sin problem when he ackowledges the problem of sin

The enemy tempted the first humans, and darkness and evil entered the story through human sin and are now a part of the world. This devastating event resulted in our relationships with God, others, ourselves, and creation being fractured and in desperate need of redeeming

.

as well as the solution

Jesus came to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted and set captives free, proclaiming a new arrival of the kingdom of God, bringing about a new exodus, and restoring our fractured world….Yet his path of suffering, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection has brought hope to all creation. Jesus is our only hope for bringing peace and reconciliation between God and humans. Through Jesus we have been forgiven and brought into right relationship with God. God is now reconciling us to each other, ourselves, and creation. The Spirit of God affirms as children of God all those who trust Jesus.

It is all there. It is thoroughly biblical. It is just not presented in a customary manner.

98   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
May 5th, 2009 at 11:49 am

Neil I appreciate your explanation.

1. Is it just Bell’s church that is saved then? Or is it only those people who hold to the same beliefs?

I’m having a hard time understanding what exactly your issue is with the word” we” in that narrative. It seems like a rather conventional use of the plural first person. There are many times when I write letters or other correspondence in a professional capacity where I use “we” even though I am the writing. In this case, Bell didn’t pen this narrative himself, though. I imagine it was a collaborative effort on the part of the part of the church leadership, which would make the use of “we” even more appropriate.

2. Because I think he sees a difference in the sin problem. It seems with Bell he is all about peace and justice and not about solving a sin problem that stands in the way.

I would say that Bell sees sin as symptom of our separation from God, not the other way around. In other words, we sin because we have strayed from God. It’s not that God has separated Himself from us because we sinned. The lack of shalom in the world and the injustice that comes with it is also a symptom of our personal and communal separation from God. So the Gospel deals with these as well as our sin.

99   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 11:50 am

Thurstin,
Where is this interview?

Thanks.

100   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 11:52 am
How would you present this gospel on Twitter?

I would say that history is headed somewhere. The thousands of little ways in which you are tempted to believe that hope might actually be a legitimate response to the insanity of the world actually can be trusted. And the Christian story is that a tomb is empty, and a movement has actually begun that has been present in a sense all along in creation. And all those times when your cynicism was at odds with an impulse within you that said that this little thing might be about something bigger—those tiny little slivers may in fact be connected to something really, really big.

I am sorry, that looks nothing like the Gospel; it is not even close to a Biblical model.

I see you have taken you father’s MO – when one avenue of objecting does not pan out…switch to another. Second to his twisting of quotes, this is a frustrating practice.

I for one WILL NOT discuss another line of objections until you acknowledge our responses to the current document. We have shown how they align with biblical teaching, and you do not respond – instead you switch to another objection. This is not an honest inquiry as long as you refuse to give and take.

[and for what is worth, we have already acknowledged the deficiency of this statement]

101   Joe    http://joemartino.name
May 5th, 2009 at 11:52 am

I’m having a hard time understanding what exactly your issue is with the word” we” in that narrative. It seems like a rather conventional use of the plural first person.

See, Rick I wasn’t being all the hyperbolic at all.

102   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 11:56 am

Joe – In your words what does hate look like?

BTW – Ingrid has posted about the new photos and posted e-mail extolling her valiant stance against Christian immodesty.

What a warrior!

Here is an e-mail to me:

Rick, You are the closest thing to the Apostle Paul I have ever encountered. Please keep writing since I have my devotions from your posts.

Signed,

JM

:lol:

103   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 11:57 am

Many time s I hear some speak of regeneration as just being when we humans are saved… in a sense I think part of the issue is that regeneration is the process and fulfillment of being transformed.

So for those who think that only man is saved…

Jesus refers to the Day of Judgement as the day of regeneration (KJV)… NIV says it this way:

Matthew 19: 28. Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Jesus does not speak in terms of just the redemption of man at that time but the “regeneration”or “the renewal of” all things

104   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 11:58 am

I’m having a hard time understanding what exactly your issue is with the word” we” in that narrative. It seems like a rather conventional use of the plural first person.

Unfortunately Phil, Thurstin will not engage in further conversation (or at least has not so far) – he only lays out further accusations. The issue with the “we” is hard to understand. As is the question about only those at Bell’s church being saved – where did that come from?

I hope that sometime in the future we can have an actual conversation regarding this statement – instead of the same old – “Yeah, well… well… what about THIS!…”

105   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 5th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

The apple does not fall far from the tree…..

RA

106   Joe    http://joemartino.name
May 5th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Joe – In your words what does hate look like?

Well, read I Corinthians 13 and compare it to this…stuff

107   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

My mouse is named “Rudy”!

108   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I believe hate is the natural outflow of self righteousness. There are blogs that are effuse in their hatred.

109   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Where is this interview?

LINK

110   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

I do not see Thurstin’s comments as personal attacks or even as condescending as some that used to comment here.

111   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Rick, I agree. Maybe his switching to another line of objection without acknowledging our responses to his first set was an anomaly.

112   nc    
May 5th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Twitter Gospel:

We’re all bastards. God loves us anyway.

;)

113   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
May 5th, 2009 at 12:26 pm

1. What is an MO? (besides the brother of Larry and Curley)

2. I think just like you take the whole of scripture, you must take the whole of a mans writings, speakings, sayings, etc. You even said yourself (Phil) the narrative theology was a group effort. Does Bell line up with that? In this interview it does not seem so.

3. Is the renewal of all things different from salvation?

4. Is the kingdom of heaven or of God brought about by us? To say it differently, Is it God that brings the kingdom of heaven and will it exist without Christ’s return?

5. And what is really killing me here (not trying to change the subject) is the definition of the Gospel, the kingdom of God, and Salvation from Bell’s point of View and not the Bible.

6. And that is the problem with the whole anti-nuke thing; I think it is rooted in the belief that we can somehow bring peace on earth- we can’t. We can strive for it, we can bring people to a place where they can have a relationship with and enjoy peace with God, but outside of Christ that is impossible.

114   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 12:30 pm
How would you present this gospel on Twitter?

I would say that history is headed somewhere. The thousands of little ways in which you are tempted to believe that hope might actually be a legitimate response to the insanity of the world actually can be trusted. And the Christian story is that a tomb is empty, and a movement has actually begun that has been present in a sense all along in creation. And all those times when your cynicism was at odds with an impulse within you that said that this little thing might be about something bigger—those tiny little slivers may in fact be connected to something really, really big.

I am sorry, that looks nothing like the Gospel; it is not even close to a Biblical model.

So this is not the gospel or biblical model according to Thirsten?

1. “I would say that history is headed somewhere.” So God never had an eternal plan with Jesus that was going anywhere? God is not going somewhere with His plan?

2. “The thousands of little ways in which you are tempted to believe that hope might actually be a legitimate response to the insanity of the world actually can be trusted.” So God does not give us Hope through Jesus and this hope is NOT legit?

3. “And the Christian story is that a tomb is empty, and a movement has actually begun that has been present in a sense all along in creation.” So the tomb still has the body of Jesus in it? And again, the eternal plan of God was not present at creation when through Jesus all things were created and now through Jesus all things are being reconciled and restored by the Father through Jesus? That is not Gospel? Better go and tell Paul who wrote much of that ideology!

4. “And all those times when your cynicism was at odds with an impulse within you that said that this little thing might be about something bigger—those tiny little slivers may in fact be connected to something really, really big.” Maybe the real issue is that whoever stated this is not the gospel or biblical model may not have been taught properly… which is really a bad place to be. Worse, if not properly taught on this, maybe, he is not properly taught on some other very important matters!

Praying for you!

iggy

115   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

My mouse is named “Rudy”!

I have a miniature giant space hamster in my pocket, named “Boo”…

116   Mike    
May 5th, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Chris was that a reference to Baldur’s Gate?!

I’ll take obscure video game references for 1000, Alex.

:)

117   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 12:42 pm

1. What is an MO? (besides the brother of Larry and Curley)

Sorry, MO = Modus Operndi = Mode of Operating.

2. I think just like you take the whole of scripture, you must take the whole of a mans writings, speakings, sayings, etc. You even said yourself (Phil) the narrative theology was a group effort. Does Bell line up with that? In this interview it does not seem so.

I will grant you that, although (without having really processed the interview) the interview does not contradict the statement it just does not include as much. I assume that the pastor of a church is in agreement with the church’s statement of faith.

3. Is the renewal of all things different from salvation?

…not sure what ya mean. As I said before “salvation” and “healing” and “mending” are all legitimate translations of the same word.

4. Is the kingdom of heaven or of God brought about by us? To say it differently, Is it God that brings the kingdom of heaven and will it exist without Christ’s return?

The Kingdom is reflected by us in the instrumental sense – instrumental cause. It is brought about by God – causative cause. The Kingdom already exists, so yes – it does exist without Christ’s return in this sense… though his return will greatly effect it – of course.

These answers are mine, I know not bells’ thoughts on these things.

5. And what is really killing me here (not trying to change the subject) is the definition of the Gospel, the kingdom of God, and Salvation from Bell’s point of View and not the Bible.

I do not see the conflict betweem salvation from Bells’ point of view and the Bible… his point of view is biblical – see post #97

6. And that is the problem with the whole anti-nuke thing; I think it is rooted in the belief that we can somehow bring peace on earth- we can’t. We can strive for it, we can bring people to a place where they can have a relationship with and enjoy peace with God, but outside of Christ that is impossible.

We can strive for it, as you said. So what’s the problem with Bell doing just that?

118   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 5th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

#102, RICK: BTW – Ingrid has posted about the new photos and posted e-mail extolling her valiant stance against Christian immodesty.

* * * * * * *
ALERT: INGRID SHLUETER SUPPORTS GAY ACTIVISTS AND ADVANCES GAY AGENDA — PRESS RELEASE!!!!

Ingrid Schlueter, one-time defender of the faith and a voice of opposition to the Gay Agenda, has apparently become a supporter of Gay Activists and their Gay Agenda. In her newest post, “When the World Gets It and Christians Don’t,” Schlueter has taken a stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rabidly anti-Christian/pro-homosexual journalist Michael Rowe, going so far as to quote Rowe’s attack piece on fellow Christian and beauty pageant contestant, Carrie Prejean (see Michael Rowe, “Regarding Miss California, At Least Anita Bryant Could Sing”).

As many readers might know, Prejean was the Miss U.S.A. beauty pageant contestant from California who essentially lost the crown because she answered a question posed to her about Gay Marriage in a way that was in line with her Christian beliefs, rather than in line with what would have been politically appropriate. And Rowe, like so many other pro-gay activists, has used this situation to lambaste Christians, Christianity, and the church.

Rowe, for those who might not know, is currently a contributing writer to The Advocate — America’s leading Gay & Lesbian magazine that has featured half-naked men, sexually explicit stories, support for Gay Marriage, and religious articles advancing the gay agenda for the Christian church (i.e., the promotion of “Gay Christianity”).

He has also authored “Writing Below the Belt: Conversations With Erotic Authors,” which features interviews with “the best and brightest erotic writers” who offer their views of sexual freedom, pornography, and sexual expression that are resoundingly unbiblical.

Additionally, Rowe has written “Looking For Brothers” and “Other Men’s Sons. The first book offers “a multifaceted perspective on ‘the common threads that run through’ gay mens’ lives. . . . Rowe makes it clear that the gay man’s story is the story of his extended family in the largest human community.” The second volume is filled with essays “on popular culture and gay themes today” including “the power of erotica, the beauty of men, the real reason for gay marriage, and the importance of the chosen family.”

Despite Rowe’s clear support and radical attempts to push the gay agenda on society and the church, Ingrid Schlueter has now offered her own voice of support to Rowe and his agenda — i.e., to denigrate/mock Carrie Prejean’s faith, her attempts to stand for truth, and her willingness to put her beliefs before personal glory/fame, and Christianity in general (specifically, fundamentalists).

I urge all readers to write to Schlueter and request that she stop supporting the gay agenda and to no longer quote/endorse the likes of anti-Christians like Michael Rowe who blasted Christianity and Carrie Prejean in his Huffington Post article that Schlueter quotes (and links on her site).

RAbanes

119   Joe    
May 5th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

I do not see Thurstin’s comments as personal attacks or even as condescending as some that used to comment here.

While you may be right, you’re using the wrong comparison.

120   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Get your lawyer ready.

121   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
May 5th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

4. Is the kingdom of heaven or of God brought about by us? To say it differently, Is it God that brings the kingdom of heaven and will it exist without Christ’s return?

5. And what is really killing me here (not trying to change the subject) is the definition of the Gospel, the kingdom of God, and Salvation from Bell’s point of View and not the Bible.

6. And that is the problem with the whole anti-nuke thing; I think it is rooted in the belief that we can somehow bring peace on earth- we can’t. We can strive for it, we can bring people to a place where they can have a relationship with and enjoy peace with God, but outside of Christ that is impossible.

I think you sort of wandered into the issue here yourself. We seem to have different definitions of what the Kingdom of God is. My definition would be that it is anywhere God’s will is done. So inasmuch as we can align our wills, efforts, and energy with His, we can work with him to bring the Kingdom. We cannot do all of the work, of course, but we are not completely powerless to change certain things.

I grew up people who had a very fatalistic view of things. In fact, according to them, I’m surprised we’re all still around. Things were supposed to have gone completely down the toilet by now. Now certainly there are many systemic evils in society, and there are parts of society where decay and decadence are rampant. On the other hand, there are other parts of the world where God is working, and the Church is affecting society for the good. So in that sense the Kingdom of God is advancing. It advances whenever His will is done.

122   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

1. What is an MO? (besides the brother of Larry and Curley)

Modus Operandi – the pattern, or mode of interaction you were displaying.

2. I think just like you take the whole of scripture, you must take the whole of a mans writings, speakings, sayings, etc. You even said yourself (Phil) the narrative theology was a group effort. Does Bell line up with that? In this interview it does not seem so.

I guess I’m not seeing anything inconsistent in Bell’s answers with Scripture or his church’s narrative theology.

One thing that may have you a little “stuck” in reading him, though, is that he (like many who take a first-century Hebrew view of the Gospel) sees the focal point of the Gospel as the empty tomb (the resurrection), while much of the Reformed tradition has seen the cross as the Gospel’s focus. Yes, without the cross, you don’t have the tomb, but without the empty tomb, you have no kingdom, restoration or salvation.

3. Is the renewal of all things different from salvation?

The renewal of all things is still to come, whereas salvation has already occurred.

4. Is the kingdom of heaven or of God brought about by us? To say it differently, Is it God that brings the kingdom of heaven and will it exist without Christ’s return?

The kingdom arrived with Jesus. (See here for one article on the topic) When he said “the kingdom is at hand”, the phrase “at hand” meant that it could be touched. His arrival brought the beginning of the kingdom, which will be completed and perfected when he returns. The kingdom is not like our world’s kingdoms – which are based on geography, power and politics. His kingdom exists where God’s people are living under His authority, as He would have them live.

5. And what is really killing me here (not trying to change the subject) is the definition of the Gospel, the kingdom of God, and Salvation from Bell’s point of View and not the Bible.

I would say they (Bell’s POV and the Bible’s POV) are one and the same, particularly when viewed from a first century perspective. 2000 years have piled a lot of baggage (”Christianese” and “loaded terms”) onto what these might mean, from the perspective of systematic theology. Bell, as I have read and understood him – and those who have influenced him, (particularly those affiliated with the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research) – is doing his best to understand Jesus and what Jesus’ followers thought about him from the perspective of his original audience. Then, taking that perspective, translating it to 21st century terminology.

6. And that is the problem with the whole anti-nuke thing; I think it is rooted in the belief that we can somehow bring peace on earth- we can’t. We can strive for it, we can bring people to a place where they can have a relationship with and enjoy peace with God, but outside of Christ that is impossible.

Actually, I think it’s rooted in Jesus’ teaching – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God” (among others). Again, it is focusing on what Jesus taught – and living it out – not only on religious conversion as a means to an end.

123   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Chris was that a reference to Baldur’s Gate?!

I’ll take obscure video game references for 1000, Alex.

Give Mike a prize… :)

124   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

MO is proper for Moron.

125   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
May 5th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

What does Carrie Parajean have to do with nuclear disarmament and Rob Bell?

It seems Rabanes is either really mad at Ingrid for something or is a closet homosexual himself.

Can we get back to the subject at hand?

Neil thanks for the explanation. I think I almost agree on all but #2,3.

126   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

So in that sense the Kingdom of God is advancing. It advances whenever His will is done.

The Kingdom is anywhere the King reigns – would be another way. My theological roots are dispensational, so the Kingdom always meant the Millennium. This is way too narrow. Are we to relegate our prayer “…Your Kingdom come…” to just a plea for Christ’s return?

127   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Thanks for the link, Neil.

128   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
May 5th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Chris L Thanks for the explanation.

129   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Can we get back to the subject at hand?

Neil thanks for the explanation. I think I almost agree on all but #2,3.

There are often multiple subjects in one thread…

RE#2 – Not sure why you would think he does not believe his church’s statement. And i agree that the twitter answer was deficient, though I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt based on greater statements he has made.

RE#3 – How can you deny the renewal of all things, it is a thoroughly biblical concept.

130   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 5th, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Thurston,

Before my post, I noted very plainly a comment by RICK:

“#102, RICK: BTW – Ingrid has posted about the new photos and posted e-mail extolling her valiant stance against Christian immodesty.”

My so-called “PRESS RELEASE” (lol) was in reference to this remark by Rick and was made as a satirical post showing the extraordinary double standard that is often used by ODMs like Ingrid and others.

Oh, and yes, I’m gay, gay, gay myself. You caught me. I love pink. Appreciate flowers and was a ballet dancer when younger. So, clearly, I’ve now been caught. ROFL. So sad :-( .

RA

131   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Chris L.,

Good point of clarification, particularly on Thurstin’s points #2 and #3.

132   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
May 5th, 2009 at 1:13 pm

#129
I think that Christ came primarily to bear the wrath of God for our sins, but just like the resurrection account in Matthew 27-28 had some side benefits, so does the death and resurrection of Christ. Indeed, Paul says in Romans that the entire earth is groaning waiting for the appearing of the Lord. So I can see that Christ’s death and resurrection not only saved us but ushered in the kingdom of God which will have no end, and that when Christ returns there will be a new heaven and a new earth. I don’t think that there will be anything left from the old earth, so all our efforts at ecology and other social aspects of trying to bring the kingdom I believe will be destroyed by fire (is it 1&2 Peter that say this??) I think that the salvation purchased by Christ’s death and resurrection is exclusively and specifically for humans, but it has side benefits…Is that understandable or do I seem dumb?

133   Thurstin    http://www.needgod.com
May 5th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

#130
What does it have to do with this OP?
Does Rob Bell support homosexuals and beauty pagents also, I mean, we are having a serious discussion here.

134   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 5th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

T.,

You’re not reading. I just answered that in English.

I was talking to Rick F. as an aside from the main topic of conversation.

I really don’t know how to speak any other language. Sorry.

You can see my thoughts on the MAIN TOPIC in #12, #14, #23, #30, #79, #89, and #92. Please scroll slower. :-)

RA

RAbanes

135   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

“And I agree that the twitter answer was deficient”

The fact that such a simple question only elicits a deficient answer is curious.

136   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Thusrtin – Every thread makes room from time to time for an Ingrid update – it’s in the contract!

137   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

And let’s put this in perspective –

*Ingrid attacked Bell for suggesting the evil of weapons of mass destructruction.

*Ingrid is in posting double digits about a beauty pageant.

Discuss…

138   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 1:47 pm

And let us directly address the OP. Is this what should come from a Christian lady’s mouth?

* “I think Rob Bell may have gotten into some wheatgrass juice that fermented into something else altogether.”

* “Bell is the hidden ace up Obama’s sleeve to change the world. You read it here first.”

* “In short, we were stronger than the thugs. And that is something only a fool would attempt to change.”

I find Ms. Schlueter to be significantly less than a “quiet and meek spirit”.

139   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 1:52 pm

RE #132

I would disagree with some of this, but we certainly have a lot lot more in common than in disagreement. I agree that the primary purpose of the incarnation was for the benefit of humans. I would say the benefits to creation are more than side benefits though. I do not think that the salvation purchased by Christ is exclusively for humans – primary, yes – exclusive, no. There is too much about renewal of all things to limit it.

I think there will be a correspondence between this world and the next. I believe the resurrected body of Jesus serves as an illustration. There was definitely a correspondence between his pre-resurrected body and his glorified body. Therefore, I think there will be a correspondence between what we do here and now and the eternal new heaven/new earth.

140   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
May 5th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

I think that Christ came primarily to bear the wrath of God for our sins, but just like the resurrection account in Matthew 27-28 had some side benefits, so does the death and resurrection of Christ. Indeed, Paul says in Romans that the entire earth is groaning waiting for the appearing of the Lord. So I can see that Christ’s death and resurrection not only saved us but ushered in the kingdom of God which will have no end, and that when Christ returns there will be a new heaven and a new earth. I don’t think that there will be anything left from the old earth, so all our efforts at ecology and other social aspects of trying to bring the kingdom I believe will be destroyed by fire (is it 1&2 Peter that say this??) I think that the salvation purchased by Christ’s death and resurrection is exclusively and specifically for humans, but it has side benefits…Is that understandable or do I seem dumb?

Well, you definitely don’t seem dumb. You seem perfectly intelligent. You just have been taught one perspective on things, which, in my opinion, seems relatively idiosyncratic to 20th century, American Evangelicalism when compared to the history of Christian thought over the past two millennia.

As far as what Peter is describing in 2 Peter, I would say this. He is contrasting the judgment that will happen on the Day of the Lord with the judgment associated with Noah’s flood. Judgment leads to purification, not destruction. A good analogy is when you heat an ore extracted from the ground to produce a metal. All the impurities get burned away, and what is left is the pure metal. This is something a first century would intuitively understand, but a process that not many modern readers are familiar with. But the main point is that God will judge, but judgment will lead to something good and positive, and God will claim what is good from His creation. In essence, restoration of creation is sort of like God claiming back what is rightfully His from the Enemy.

141   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

1 Corinthians 15:58: what you do in the Lord is not in vain. You are not oiling the wheels of a machine that’s about to roll over a cliff. You are not restoring a great painting that’s about to be thrown in the fire. You are not planting roses in a garden that’s about to be dug up for a building site. Your are – strange though it may seem, almost as hard to believe as the resurrection itself – accomplishing something that will become in due course part of God’s new world. Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of his creation; every minute spent teaching a severely handicapped child to read or walk; every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings and for that matter one’s fellow nonhuman creatures; and of course every prayer, all Spirit-led teaching, every deed that spreads the gospel, builds the church embraces and embodies holiness rather than corruption, and makes the name of Jesus honored in the world – all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make.

N. T. Wright; Surprised by Hope; pg 208

142   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

or do I seem dumb?

I meant to address this as well. By no means do you seem dumb.

143   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 5th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Thurstin,

No, you are not dumb.

RA

144   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Punishment – wrath – penalty – justice – sacrifice – substitution – atonement

All of the above. What’s the big deal? Just believe it.

There will be a REAL SIMPLE quiz.

145   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

I would bet that Obama has no real clue who Rob Bell is…

iggy

146   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

God’s making all things new, including a new heaven and a new earth, have nothing to do with the resurrection. The resurrection of the Messiah was for the justification of believing sinners, not for a new breed of future dogs.

147   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 5th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

As is my way, I proudly derail this thread….

Happy Cinco de Mayo

RA

148   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

I don’t think it is that great of a leap from Christ’s resurrection being a model for our future resurrected bodies (as well as the means) and it also serving as a correspondence to the new heaven and new earth.

149   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

For us, yes, but for inanimate creation, a metaphor.

150   Neil    
May 5th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Metaphor – ok… and as a metaphor it shows correspondence of some sort. Christ’s body was not destroyed and a new one created, his earthly body was renewed, glorified… that’s how I see the correspondence.

151   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
May 5th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

I think it comes from the misunderstanding of “passed away” and the wrong idea of “destroy” as in the verses in Rev 20 and 2 Peter 3:10-12.

10. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12. as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

Note that Peter says the elements of the this Heaven and earth are destroyed, but the earth itself is not.

Just as Jesus died as a seed dies and yet new life comes from the seed as new life comes from Jesus… the elements of this creation will be burned away and restored in the New Creation at its fulfillment.

To say this earth will be destroyed sort of distorts the meaning in the Bible.

iggy

152   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net
May 6th, 2009 at 1:01 am

RE: #48

That was exactly my point.

153   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 2:39 am

“To say this earth will be destroyed sort of distorts the meaning in the Bible.”

Or presents a view other than your own. However, the destruction of the earth is well on it’s way without God’s “help”.

Note – God did “destroy” the inhabitants of the world, minus eight, at one time. We can rearrange and metophorize the New Testament, but there are still many verses which openly suggest a coming violence upon this world.

154   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 3:04 am

Right Rick, in a sense God destroyed the earth before… yet here it is… and we are still on it. Or do you believe this is not the same earth that was talked about in Genesis?

That is the point… this is the same earth of Genesis, from creation, to fall, to reconciliation and then restoration…

It is the story of Jesus as the Creator, dying for us, bringing reconciliation and then restoration to all.

The first was by water. Symbol of chaos… God in a very graphic illustration retells through Noah, the story of the first creation coming from the chaos of the waters… or abyss.

Now we are purified by fire, or the Holy SPirit… so as we pass through the fire of Judgement some will not make it and be “destroyed” and some will go on into the New Creation as New Creations.

Yet this earth… the ball itself will remain, though in a new for or whatever God has planned.

iggy

155   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 3:05 am

The point is that some teach that the earth itself will not be here… it will be destroyed as in annihilated into non existence… and that is not biblical.

156   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 10:12 am

Note – God did “destroy” the inhabitants of the world, minus eight, at one time. We can rearrange and metophorize the New Testament, but there are still many verses which openly suggest a coming violence upon this world.

Rick, I agree. My point was to address Thurstin when he said,

…I don’t think that there will be anything left from the old earth, so all our efforts at ecology and other social aspects of trying to bring the kingdom I believe will be destroyed by fire (is it 1&2 Peter that say this??)

I believe this to be wrong. Granted, we are not going to bring in the Kingdom in some Utopian/Postmillennial sense… but neither should we just give up and only save the souls since it’s all gonna burn either.

157   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 10:27 am

I do not believe in global warming, and I am not passionate concerning ecology. However we all must be involved on some level, or else let’s all just live in a pig’s sty. However I do believe that this present earth will be either transformed or destroyed.

It is not a stretch to interpret Scripture to indicate a destruction of this material creation that ushers in a new one.

158   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 10:42 am

Are we to believe by

this

that the editor (Ken?) is attempting to make a case that Ingrid is measured and gracious? Oh yea, I was almost convinced. :cool:

159   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 6th, 2009 at 10:50 am

Rick, I’ve only recently paid any attention to this whole Miss America fiasco. In a sentence, can you clarify what your issue is specifically with SoL speaking on it? Is it just the volume of posts or is it something else?

160   Sandman    
May 6th, 2009 at 10:54 am

153-155: Don’t care, as long I’m where Jesus is.

161   Sandman    
May 6th, 2009 at 10:59 am

159: Paul, you know how dogs always seem to harbor hostility and suspicions about the mailman?

Same principle, different parties.

162   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 11:02 am

Paul – here is a comment I left on Steve Camp’s blog:

“The entire Miss California incident might have provided a clear platform for pointing out the pitfalls and compromises that these events generate concerning Christian modesty. This might have been done with humility and might have served as a reminder to women about what they wear as well as for men and what we look at.

And those who held this woman up as a role model could have been prayed for and left in God’s hands and very soon many would be corrected by the coming events. But in many corners that is not what happened. It became such a temptation for ridicule within the Christian community, and those who were correct in their original assessment were quick to project a “I told you so” spirit rather than being broken about the entire scandal.

Most mature believers recognize the compromising nature of beauty pageants, but how many mature believers recognize the self righteous nature that can so easily pervade the Christian community? We must be careful not just to be a spectator to the lessons dished out to others, but we must be willing participants to the lessons God desires to teach us as well.

What does it say about the church when one insignificant woman makes one statement and the fabric of the bond of peace is ripped asunder? And it wasn’t just this woman who bore the attacks, anyone who offered even the slightest appreciation for her words became targets as well.

As the length and breadth of the blogosphere continues to expand it would seem that we no longer need the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

(As a side not I have major differences with being seen as the moral police as the expense of living and preaching the everlasting gospel of Christ. If you read the story of this Perez’s childhood and teenage years it is tragic and he needs Christ.)”

In short, Ingrid pounces on things like this with the ferocity of a carnivore, fortifying the moral high ground, and eviscerating both the woman and those who spoke a word of agreement with her marriage comment. Peruse the posts and Ingrid calls men sissified and other invectives, and she publicly and by name demeans and scolds male bloggers like Camp by name, and all because of this one incident.

I happen to believe that much of what Ingrid writes is every bit as scandalous as what this woman was wearing. Ingrid could use an augmentation of humility, grace, and a observable committment to ecclesiastical complentariansism.

Other than that, it was OK. :cool:

163   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 11:03 am

RE: 158

WOW – that is all I can say. I agree holding Miss California up as some kind of role model is unwarranted – but so is the criticism of her. And the comment “If she truly knows Christ, she is…” is mid-boggling arrogant. Who is Ingrid to question this woman’s salvation?

The post is not without some very very thick irony when the editor says “When a professing Christian is unrepentant in very public sin, the Body of Christ does not do the person – or the Christian witness – any good by allowing them to simply continue in it.” – that’s beaut.

164   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 11:08 am

“When a professing Christian is unrepentant in very public sin, the Body of Christ does not do the person – or the Christian witness – any good by allowing them to simply continue in it.”

I would assume that includes bloggers who continue in very public verbal sins. We cannot allow them to continue in them. :cool:

165   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 11:10 am

I happen to believe that much of what Ingrid writes is every bit as scandalous as what this woman was wearing.

If not worse… on the one hand you have a young woman engaging in a secular activity vs. a mature woman who is in the ministry.

What scares me is that Ingrid is representing Christianity if she really is “part of a panel discussion of this issue on a major news channel.” YIKES!

And there is this. I would expect such viciousness from the likes of Perez Hilton, but this tabloid venom coming from a brother in Christ against his sister in the Lord is… cold, calculated, and unChristlike.

It is worse than body augmentation.
It is even worse than what the secular media has done.

166   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 11:13 am

The Patriarch David’s testimony doesn’t add up. Read all about it in my new post called,

“King David – Just Go Away!”

167   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 11:14 am

I would assume that includes bloggers who continue in very public verbal sins. We cannot allow them to continue in them. :cool:

Yeah… the Editor defending Ingrid by saying “When a professing Christian is unrepentant in very public sin, the Body of Christ does not do the person – or the Christian witness – any good by allowing them to simply continue in it.” is one of the most blatant Pot accusing the Kettle comments I have read in a long long long time.

We should/could take on that very quote as our reason for blogging here.

168   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 11:17 am

I would love to be on a panel discussion with Ingrid. Wouldn’t you pay to see that? :lol:

169   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 11:17 am

The Patriarch David’s testimony doesn’t add up. Read all about it in my new post called,

“King David – Just Go Away!”

…and check the link below for the video of that “professing Jew” Bathsheba!

170   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 11:17 am

I would love to be on a panel discussion with Ingrid. Wouldn’t you pay to see that? :lol:

As a matter of fact – I would.

171   Sandman    
May 6th, 2009 at 11:20 am

Take care that you not dismantle her with too much vigor, lest ye be accused of rape.

172   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 6th, 2009 at 11:22 am

INGRID: In a short while, I will be part of a panel discussion of this issue on a major news channel.

RA: Oh, this is just what the Christian church needs — Ingrid Schlueter representing its view on Prejean.

I find it fascinating how the secular media always finds just the right person to represent the church/Christianity on heated/emotional issues like this one. I’m sure they have already scanned her site and found gems like this one:

“Steve Camp, Paul Proctor and others have defended the breast-augmented, naked beauty queen as a Christian example for women. What they’re really showing forth is the sissification of manhood.”

Oh my goodness…..

RA

P.S. I wonder why no one is talking about the fact that when these scandalous photos were taken — she was 17!!! It sounds like someone else besides Prejean needs to start getting held accountable.

And perhaps a little understanding, love, gentleness, sensitivity, compassion, and protection, sorrow, and support should be shown to a girl, who at 17, was convinced to pose like that — but that would be too Christlike for some, it seems.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM PREJEAN’S REPRESENTATIVES:

“This was a photo that was taken several years ago, when Carrie first started modeling. In her naivete, an agent convinced her to pose for this photo to submit to a lingerie company, claiming they could make her the next Victoria’s Secret model. She has since learned what a lie that was, and what a mistake it was to have the photo taken.”

“Is there any allowance for the fact that she was a minor when the photo was taken, that would allow you not to post? She was only 17.”

173   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 11:23 am

And here is a real scandal – not only did Jesus eat with sinners, he allowed His lineage to go through that disgusting whore Bathsheba and that whore monger David. Talk about you all time compromises!!

* Watch for my discerning article on the sins of Rahab the Harlot. The details are explicit and it will have you soaring on wings of eagles!

174   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 11:29 am

PANEL DISCUSSION

Moderator: OK, Mrs. Schlueter, how do you view this Miss California issue?

Ingrid: This is what you get from the clown churches, and when you allow a bath house deviant to ask a question to a painted woman of Sodom, this is what you get.

Moderater: OooooooK…uh…we’ll be right back after this short break.

(After an executive decision, the panel discussion was terminated. Many viewers were drawn to Jesus by such boldness for truth, though.)

175   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 11:33 am

Take care that you not dismantle her with too much vigor, lest ye be accused of rape.

If challenging Ingrid on her vindictiveness in the supposed Name of Jesus (not questioning her salvation,just motivation and call)… what is it she and the editor are doing the their sister in Christ?

176   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 11:35 am

This current “I am being persecuted for Jesus’ sake” post on SoL is an e-mail from a man named Rick. I want everyone to know that was not me, I find his grammar significantly deficient. :cool:

From my mailbag:

Rick,

You are going to burn in hell and I will be laughing with Jesus. I hate you and I will kill your dog soon!!

Chris L.

177   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 11:35 am

P.S. I wonder why no one is talking about the fact that when these scandalous photos were taken — she was 17!!! It sounds like someone else besides Prejean needs to start getting held accountable.

The editor did… he basically called her a liar.

178   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 11:39 am

I believe part of Christian modesty is to be clothed with humility. That addresses the issue of nudity from another perspective.

179   gordo    
May 6th, 2009 at 11:47 am

you might say that King David was the gift that just kept on giving

180   Sandman    
May 6th, 2009 at 11:49 am

175: Neil, they’re using a speculum to bring light to a dark place.

181   John B    
May 6th, 2009 at 11:57 am

In short, Ingrid pounces on things like this with the ferocity of a carnivore, fortifying the moral high ground, and eviscerating both the woman and those who spoke a word of agreement with her marriage comment. Peruse the posts and Ingrid calls men sissified and other invectives, and she publicly and by name demeans and scolds male bloggers like Camp by name, and all because of this one incident.

And thus the circle of craziness draws smaller. It is inevitable with this type of person. I think the only major former “fellow traveler” she has not attacked lately is Silva.

182   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 11:58 am

you might say that King David was the gift that just kept on giving

Brilliant!

183   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 6th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

RICK F.,

ROFL……Can we be friends. You are killing me.

RA

184   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 12:04 pm

I find it fascinating how the secular media always finds just the right person to represent the church/Christianity on heated/emotional issues like this one. I’m sure they have already scanned her site and found gems like this one…

What amazes me is how blind some Christians are to being used as pawns by the secular media. CNN’s goal is not to shed any kind of light… their goal is to shed darkness. Their goal is to expose sin within the church (Something in common there with Ingrid) and to portray a caricature of what it means to follow Christ.

Some Christians can rise above that and appear on CNN in spite of the network’s goals. Too often though the Christian only fortifies the stereotype.

Not sure which Ingrid was, since I have not seen the video… but I’m not hopeful.

185   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Anyone know where the panel discussion can be heard or seen?

186   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Gordo strikes gold!

187   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 6th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Contrary to Ingrid’s shrieks about the secular media getting it, the fact is that the secular media has just found another lightning rod for lambasting Christians. And this time its in the form of a young/naive girl who was not properly guided along the paths of Christian maturity, which in turn resulted in some serious unwise mis-steps (i.e., posing at 17 for topless lingerie shots).

The secular media is loving this! And finger-pointers like Schlueter are being used to help tar & feather all of Christianity as hypocritical, without integrity, lascivious, and just as bad as everyone else 9especially if they dare stand against something like gay marriage, which will get you blasted to bits today).

The secular media doesn’t care about truth, or love, or accuracy, or compassion — and sadly, it seems that a good many “Christians” (so-called) don’t either.

Ingrid and other like-minded watchers and accusers of the brethren have jumped on this issue like a fly on……..garbage. And they’re eating it up like there’s no tomorrow because they see the trash man coming down the street to soon haul away their meal. It’s tragic.

RA

188   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Anyone know where the panel discussion can be heard or seen?

I did a quick search on CNN.com but did not find it.

189   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

RA – I agree, save the comment about “so-called” Christians…

190   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Paul Proctor issued an apology because of the new pictures that have surfaced. Ingrid posted here about it, but she cannot even help but mention the the numerous times “When I have backtracked, apologized for or corrected something I’ve written, I appreciate it when others acknowledge it”.

Yea, all those times when she has apologized. The Twilight Zone strikes again!

191   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

As far as I recall she has corrected herself once… related to Miss Arizona (I think) and her rant against her.

192   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Has he [the name I will not type] ever recanted, begged forgiveness, publicly apologized, called for prayer, or learned anything from his heinous and embarrassing sin regarding Kyle Lake?

193   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 1:44 pm

#192 – It would be an affront to God to apologize for His well orchestrated and public demonstration of His wrath upon a vile sinner like that pastor.

Let’s tally the score:

Kyle is dead
The Mormon Bishop lives.

God really has His favorites.

194   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 6th, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Neil: save the comment about “so-called” Christians…

RA:I’m just trying to stay biblical. I offer this poignant and insightful engraving, which can be found on the wall of a German cathedral:

THUS speaketh Christ our Lord to us,
“You call me Master, and obey me not;
You call me light, and see me not;
You call me the Way, and walk me not;
You call me life, and live me not;
You call me wise, and follow me not;
You call me fair, and love me not; You call me rich and ask me not;
You call me eternal, and seek me not;
If I condemn you; blame me not.”

As the New Believer’s Bible: New Testament observes: “God is looking for genuine believers whose walk matches their talk. Are you one?” (p. 10).

“On the last day many people will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, we spoke for you, and through you we forced out demons and did many miracles.’ Then I will tell them clearly, ‘Get away from me, you who do evil. I never knew you.’” (Matt. 7:22-24, NCV).

RA

195   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

You’re Just Fooling Yourself

You say you believe in Jesus and you are striving to be just like Him.

*You say He controls you and yet you speak things that cannot possibly come from His lips.
*You say you love Him and yet you spend much more time with others than you do Him.
*You say you want to please Him and yet you so often please yourself.
*You say He is Lord and yet you’ve created your own plan and called it His.
*You say you love His brethren and yet you breathe fire down upon them.
*You say you love His Word but you pull out what pleases you and leave the rest.
*You say you care for the poor and yet they continue to walk right in front of you.
*You say you desire His kingdom and yet you’ve built your own.
*You say you care about the lost and yet you shed no tears for their souls.
*You say you are nothing and yet you take offense when someone attacks you.
*You say you believe in God’s love and yet you speak words of hate.
*You say you believe in mercy and yet you show very little to anyone.
*You say you believe in a kingdom to come and yet you store up treasures here.
*You say you are humble yet you let everyone know what you have done for Him.
*You say He says love your enemies and yet you barely love your friends.
*You say that eternity matters most but you get all stirred about earthly issues.
*You say God answers prayer and yet you pray so little and so predictable.
*You say you are growing and yet you act as if you’ve arrived.
*You say you believe in God’s truth and yet you act as if it is yours.
*You say you are filled with His Spirit and yet you speak and act like you.
*You say you believe in grace and yet you live in law.
*You say salvation is a gift and yet you refuse to offer it without strings you’ve made.
*You say you believe Jesus and yet you return evil for evil.
*You say you desire forgiveness but you refuse to forgive.
*You search for the sins in others and are blind to your own.
*You say you speak for Christ but your words are yours.
*You say your life was changed and yet you sound just like before.
*You say you desire reconciliation and yet you seek to destroy.
*You say Jesus is your Master and yet you love the praises of men.

You say you believe in Jesus and you are striving to be just like Him.

You’re just fooling yourself.

196   Neil    
May 6th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Neil: save the comment about “so-called” Christians…

RA:I’m just trying to stay biblical. I offer this poignant and insightful engraving, which can be found on the wall of a German cathedral:

I understand… just being diligent (if not obsessed) with being different from them in the issue of questing someone’s salvation

197   Sandman    
May 6th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

187: I think the term “useful idiots” captures the essence of what you’re describing.

198   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 6th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

#196, understood.

Back to Prejean, I just posted the following at Steve Camp, who just put up a great defense of Prejean in this thing:

MS: How godly is it now to bear herself before the world with nearly nothing on?

RAbanes: What is tragic here is how things like the skimpiness of one’s bikini, the presence of tattoos, the style of music one listens to, and similar things now trump far more damaging aspects of life.

I wonder how something like a girl in a bikini has been exalted to nearly the unforgivable sin — when in reality such a judgment is, in itself, just a HIGHLY subjective call.

Go back to the early 1960s. Were those swimsuits better? How about the 1950s? Better yet? If so, the problem is that those swimsuits were illegal until those decades. Ever see swimsuits for women from 1890s-1920s? THEY WERE FELL DRESSES! Now what?

Transport yourself back in time to the 1920s and ask this same question of the VERY FIRST 2-piece swimsuit ever seen, which by today’s standards would be a tank top and a pair of shorts: “How godly is it now to bear herself before the world with nearly nothing on?”

Even more serious, to me at least, are a whole lot of other questions:

“How godly is it to make accusatory attacks against a young woman who was misled by those who should have known better?”

“How godly is it to make accusatory attacks against a growing Christian who is seeking to be as godly as she knows how to be and actually put truth (as much as she knows) ahead of her own ambition and career possibilities?”

“How godly is it to contribute in the name of Christ to a media frenzy wherein the world is actively seeking to use a sister’s unfortunate mistake and errors of youthful judgment/experience to mock Christianity?”

I am seeing precious little love, understanding, compassion, true concern, forgiveness, and Christ-like-ness in far too many watch-bloggers who are using this controversy to just cause more trouble, negativity, darkness, conflict.

Too many posters in cyberspace thrive on such controversy, just like one of the alien beings I remember seeing in the old Star Trek series. It lived on and became more powerful through the negative feelings and hate generated between people and always sought to stir up conflict wherever/whenever possible.

Oh, Lord, help us stop! Whatever wrongs have been done by Prejean, I guarantee you they pale in comparison to what is going on now in response to those wrongs.

I can only praise God that when Jesus met the adulterous woman, there were not some of the bloggers there to hear him say, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”

I have a terrible feeling that our Lord himself might have been caught in a hail of rocks!

Richard Abanes

199   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Richard,

In order to be Rick’s friend you need to pay him a tribute. He takes only cash, but on occasion a sheep or a goat will suffice… if your income is too low he might take a turtle dove.

But if you want to have him as a best friend, he will only take your first born as tribute.

Of course send all cash to me and I will facilitate the transfers through my Nigerian contact who will make sure we get that $4 million he emailed me about again today.

iggy

200   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

I am so pure and holy I have no friends.

201   rabanes    http://abanes.com
May 6th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

RF,

you’ve got mail……

ra

202   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 3:28 pm

I think I am so pure and holy, I have no friends.

There, fixed it.
;)

203   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 6th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Thank you, Nathanael, I will add your vicious attack to my mailbag sampler. I am happy to be persecuted for stating truth!

204   Sandman    
May 6th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Rick, maybe the air up where you is a little thin… ;-)

205   Sandman    
May 6th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

where you are