Okay, so that was a little bit of a cheap shot, but he started it! Fancy choosing such, as a title of one’s book!!!
I can’t say I am anything of an expert on Rob Bell, haven’t had the time or money to spend on something of his, but he does seem to elicit polar responses in differing Christian circles.
The team that I trust and respect is generally not best pleased with the man, which doesn’t mean that the man is one Deceptacon, void of truth, which is often how the form of the rebuttal is framed from those more inclined, with the expectation that a little unleaven, unleavens the whole lump. What it does mean is they view his teaching as “not best practice.”
Therefore, I bring the following news to you, not as someone who is informed, but as someone who is ignorant!
Here is a little taste from the beginning of the Globe article, which you can read the rest for yourself…
Rob Bell is one of the hottest names in contemporary evangelical life. He is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., but is better known for his books, and especially, for his road show, which combines preaching with performance art. He is much talk about among folks trying to discern what’s next for American evangelicalism. Bell is currently touring in conjunction with a book, “Drops Like Stars: A Few Thoughts on Creativity and Suffering,’’ and last weekend he appeared at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston. I caught up with Bell by telephone in Ottawa to ask him what he’s up to.
Q. What does it mean to you to be an evangelical?
A. I take issue with the word to a certain degree, so I make a distinction between a capital E and a small e. I was in the Caribbean in 2004, watching the election returns with a group of friends, and when Fox News, in a state of delirious joy, announced that evangelicals had helped sway the election, I realized this word has really been hijacked. I find the word troubling, because it has come in America to mean politically to the right, almost, at times, anti-intellectual. For many, the word has nothing to do with a spiritual context.
Seems not a fan of the Religious Right… some may not blame him there!
Some would say that his definition and lack of any historic, propositional reality to this concept proves to be as illusive as the location of Elvis [velvet even], who is not a fan of enclosed areas [as he always seems to leave the building].
Christianity Today may be highlighting what many may be thinking, where it points out that…
Bell provides an interesting, and likely contestable, definition.
However, Bell is not best pleased with the Globe, as the Christianity Today article further affirms…
He says that most of what he said was left out of the interview, and calls it “maddening.” He also goes on to clarify the historical roots of the word “evangelical.”
To be fair, the media is not. Therefore, here is what Bell actually said subsequently on his Twitter account… in reverse order… I am sure you will work it out!
What say you?
What does it mean to be an Evangelical?
Here is what Mark Dever, Don Carson, Phil Ryken, and C. J. Mahaney have to say, in the context of introducing, The Gospel Coalition…
Here is also a link to an Mp3 of what Don Carson thinks… What is an Evangelical? An Assessment of the Evangelical and Romans Catholic Project
Here is a link to a video of what Phil Ryken thinks… What is an Evangelical?… I am assuming this is a different video from the one above!
Here is a partial list… I may add the rest later, but if you want to follow it right the way through, follow your nose…
Enough resources for Readeeming the Time?!
Until Next Time
I am Jonny King
Postscript: Justin Taylor @ Between Two Worlds, has informed readers of D. A. Carson’s upcoming lecture at the ETS, which is related to his March 2010 to-be-released book, titled, Evangelicalism: What It Is and Is It Worth Keeping?
If you are in the New Orleans area, the greater US, or flush with c-ash, you should get in quick… or if you want to fly a ‘Kiwi’ in from NZ, I’m willing, under much duress you will understand, to go in your place!
For all you other plebs, like me, take note of the release date… and keep your blogging eyes pealed, as JT [can I call you this] is want to throw out tasty morsels to draw those thus afflicted in for more!
In light of the details in this post, it could be future fodder for much discussion, debate, dissection and reflection… Join the Conversation [how relevant sounding of me]!
Post postscript: Phil “the pyromaniac” Johnson and Kevin De-”not-so”-young have also commented on Bell’s thoughts, and are well worth your perusal as you digress on the one who seems intent on “Rob-bell-ion.”