Saturday, April 9, 2011

Love Wins: A Cage Fight for Truth, Rd 1

Round 1, The Preface

Bell comes out in his typical stance. Not Southpaw, but still “Unorthodox.” If you’ve ever read a Bell book, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

If you haven’t read a Rob Bell book before, this is what I mean:

Rob Bell

writes most

of his


like this.

He writes

in such a way that


have to follow

a pattern of reading

that defies

common sense

and a normative

reading flow

in general.


most people


it’s edgy,

and really


In fact, they get so caught up in how awesome and different Bell’s “style” is that they forget that they might actually need to cross check his words with the Bible. You know, that thing that has become a coaster for their Starbucks latte.

Side Bar: Actually, the hardcore Bell fan doesn’t go to Starbucks. They’re usually the kid that will give you a 15 minute spiel on how Starbucks is “evil” and it would be better if the entire world abandoned Starbucks and went to the cool, low-key, local coffee joints like they do. But all the while they secretly hope nobody listens because they really like the fact that they have that “indy” coffee shop all to themselves and if everyone abandoned Starbucks for the local joint, then their own patronage would no longer be cool because then “everyone would be doing it” and they find their identity in being “rebellious” and talking about how much they want to stick it to “The Man.” So, of course, if too many people show up to “their” coffee shop where they hangout and listen to John Mayer while wearing TOMS, their good time will be ruined.

By the way, I own a pair of TOMS and I love them. My anti-Starbucks friends introduced me to them and I couldn’t be happier. End Sidebar.

So that’s what’s going on. Typical Bell print style as expected. No surprises. To be honest, it’s cool for like 10 pages and then it’s just annoying.

As far as the content of the Preface goes…it’s not a great start for Rob Bell, but it could get worse in the pages to come. I’m hoping it doesn’t.

So far, in less than four full pages, Rob Bell has:

-Read John 3:16, but failed to mention the rest of the passage, which he could make up for later.

-Failed to read John 18 and therefore he has wrongfully stated the purpose of Jesus’ entry into human history.

-Called a basic teaching/doctrine of historical, orthodox, Biblical Christianity “misguided and toxic.”

-Failed to mention justice, wrath, and holiness alongside love, peace, forgiveness, and joy as attributes of God, which is not surprising given the previous point.

-Said that our faith isn’t one that “skirts” the big questions. Let’s hope he doesn’t do what he just said our faith was not all about.

-Failed to read 1 John 2:19 and numerous other passages to mold correct theology and doctrine on those who are “Christians” and then dip-set from (leave) the faith.

-Correctly stated that others have taught what he teaches in this book for years and years. The only question I have is: Were his predecessors heretics?

That’s in less than 4 pages. I’m sure the next 200 pages should be a real blast. But that brings a close to a short Round One. It’s too early to tell whether or not Bell will make some sort of epic turn around in the next few rounds so out of the generosity of my heart and being the kind of writer that would like the benefit of a doubt to be given to me, I’ll call Round One: A Draw.

The good news is: it’s still early in the rounds for Bell.

The bad news: he’s in the cage and dealing with a Big subject here. This is no Bantamweight he’s staring down. It’s much bigger.


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