Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An easily digested slurry?

[This was originally posted several days ago and then lost when Blogger went down - Blogger just now restored it]

Adam Palmer offers a decidedly qualified defense of Rob Bell's Love Wins which is really a criticism of the evangelical reaction to the book:
.... Full disclosure: I don’t really care for Rob Bell, or at least for the media image he conveys. I don’t care for his writing style; I don’t care for his over-earnest speaking delivery; I don’t care for the way he portrays himself as an iconoclast, intentionally stirring the pot of controversy. I really don’t care for the way he charges admission when he tours, so you can buy a ticket to hear him preach.

Which puts me in the uncomfortable position of defending Rob Bell.

Granted, Rob Bell brought this on himself by writing the book he wrote. That’s his deal. He is rabbinical in his approach, asking questions, then answering those questions with other questions. It’s a thought-provoking approach, to be sure, though he inevitably smarms it up with an “ain’t I a stinker?” smirk peering through the hip fonts and sentence fragments.

That said, there’s nothing revolutionary in Love Wins that I hadn’t read before. Imagine putting N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope, C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce, and part three of Robert Farrar Capon’s Between Noon and Three into a blender and running it on high until it becomes an easily digestible slurry. But instead of drinking the whole thing, just skim the surface. That’s Love Wins. ....

Bell asks questions that he doesn’t answer, hems and haws, plays a bit of a shell game with Greek translations, but the overall message of the book is this: don’t base your faith on pocketing a “Get Out of Hell Free” card and instead join the redemptive work God is doing in the world right now.

So why does the Christian subculture refuse to let Rob Bell make this point to Christians? Why are they shying away from this particular controversial figure while prominently displaying material from authors that non-evangelical Christians find controversial?.... [more]
iMonk Review Of Love Wins | internetmonk.com