As his voice amplified through my car stereo I was reminded why so many of the ministers my age follow his teaching ministry.
Several months ago I listened to Rob Bell’s audio book “Jesus Wants To Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile.” It was a highly enjoyable experience. What Bell lacks in orthodoxy he certainly makes up for in charisma, creativity, and charm.
Rob Bell is a great communicator.
Rob Bell IS a GREAT communicator.
Herein lies both the danger and the opportunity: Believers should absolutely assess his theology and be forthright in a biblical appraisal of his position. Don’t shirk back. Don’t let the politically correct aficionados dampen your enthusiasm for truth.
The real danger is that readers will confuse matters of substance for issues of style. On this subject, Bell is precarious indeed. His manner is winsome and his presentation impressive. His core message will likely be garbed in ambiguity and cloaked in “mystery.” The discerning reader will need to consider what he says, doesn’t say, as well as the overarching heremeutic guiding his treatment of Scripture.
But don’t let the theological tripwires rob you of a great learning opportunity:
Bell has captured the attention of a generation and has learned to leverage the power of the new media.
Learn from his methods.
Evaluate his message.
Speak the truth in love.
The title of this article is based on two previous articles entitled “Why I Don’t Like Hell & Why It Doesn’t Matter.” Both articles relate directly to the topic of Bell’s forthcoming book, however they were written a couple of months prior to the release of the video promoting his book that elicited national controversy. To illustrate the trajectory of Bell’s theology, I did a sketch of Bell alongside Puritan Jonathan Edwards.