Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Coffee and Hell

Review copies of Rob Bell's new book are now circulating and the first reviews seem to justify those accusing him of Universalism. Joe Carter is inclined to think that "hip young evangelicals" are a bit too willing to discard "unpalatable" doctrine:
After years of incessant whining and pleading, my dad finally caved in on my tenth birthday. If I would agree to finally shut up about it and not tell my mother, he’d let me start drinking coffee. Thrilled to have tiptoed inside the outer realm of adult pleasures, I poured myself a big cup of Folgers, took a sip, and instantly spit it into the kitchen sink.

The stuff was nasty. Nasty and bitter.

So I added a little milk and sugar. Then I tasted, spit, and added more milk and more sugar. I continued this process until what remained tasted like the leftover liquid from the world’s worst sugary kid’s cereal (Super Sugar Coffee Puffs!).

By the time I was ten years and three days old I had forever given up being a coffee drinker. Surprisingly, though I had developed a talent for watering down and sugarcoating the bitter, I never became a hip, young evangelical pastor.

Evangelicals may not have been the first Christians to dilute doctrine to make it palatable—but we’ve refined it into a fine art.

Take, for example, the doctrine of hell. .... [more]
Yes, Evangelicals, There Really Is a Hell » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog