I am sitting here trying to figure out how to interact with Time Magazine's article on Rob Bell. (HT: JT) In it he is heralded as potentially "one of the most important leaders of the 21st century". Indeed with a church that tops 11,000 he has considerable influence. My concern lies in this quote: "the faith needs someone who can defend its tenets in the argot [specialized vocabulary] of the day". If Bell is hoping to be that man then he is falling way short. If you want a little more information on Bell's doctrine I suggest checking out Mark Sohmer's review of Velvet Elvis. In it he categorizes the errors as follows: Under heresy we see a wrong view of the Trinity, Exclusivity of Christianity, mankind, and the gospel; under aberrant theology we see a wrong view of Jesus' purpose, heaven and hell, rabbinc judaism, hermeneutics, and influences.
So, as I am trying to think of how to interact with this article I am struggling with knowing whether or not to dismiss Bell as a dangerous heretic or a brother with aberrant theology. All I know is this--I will not be suggesting his books or Nooma videos to the sheep God has entrusted to my care.
Also, over the weekend Mark Dever wrote an article about the gospel. To be honest, I am not certain I understand it. His central thesis is this: "It is very important to [mentally] divorce the gospel from its implications and entailments. [Do NOT divorce these in your life and practice--that is James 2 hypocrisy!]" I think my problem lies in wondering what Dever means by "implications and entailments". If you read the comments I apparently am not the only one. I await Mark's response. My take so far is this: Dever is simply saying that our ministries should be comprised of preaching Christ and Him crucified and THAT is the gospel. It seems to me that his "rebuke" is not aimed at social gospel adherents or vague presentations of the Emerging Church. It seems to me that his rebuke is towards those of us who are so passionate about saying all of the right words that rather than just preaching the gospel we go into really lengthy discourses and reject formulations such as the God-man-Christ-response. All in all, I am awaiting Dever's more in depth explanation of this comment. It is probably a profound one but as it stands it is far too vague and leaves open far too many questions.
That's all that we have so far today. I would also like to give a woohoo! to the Cleveland Browns who are now 8-5!! For those Chiefs and Rams fans who tease me for being a Browns fan I will not gloat that the Rams and Chiefs combined have 1 less win than the Browns. The Brownies are playoff bound and I'm happy--and I am hoping that it's first round Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland. How sweet it would be to walk into Pittsburgh and beat them senseless! (By the way, I think being a Cleveland Browns fan is proof that I have a big view of God--what hope could I have unless I believed in the sovereignty of God?!?!?) Oh, also if you are a lover of fantasy baseball then go to Fantasy Baseball Heaven and join a winter league comprised of all those old-timey players...looks like it could be fun.