He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. (Titus 1:9)
Rob Bell Questions The Salvation of Ken Silva
In a December 21, 2007 story over at ABP News.com which slipped in under the radar we read:
Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., has become a controversial figure among evangelical Christians. On a recent stop for his lecture tour, “The Gods Aren’t Angry,” in Louisville, Bell sat down for an interview with Kentucky Baptists’ Western Recorder. He shot back at his critics, saying precise definitions and formulations of doctrines aren’t necessary prerequisites to evangelism or Christian unity. (Online source, emphasis added)
Perhaps someone needs to get Rob Bell a good book on Church history and a copy of the 3 volume set Creeds of Christendom by church historian Philip Schaff. But certainly “precise definitions and formulations of doctrines aren’t necessary”—and, in fact, are to avoided like the plague—especially if your quasi-universal message and postliberalism doesn’t square with the aforementioned Creeds of Christian unity and the historic orthodox Christian faith which you are trying so hard to blur and erase.
I also found this interesting:
When asked whether he is an emergent-church leader or claims any affiliation with the movement, Bell simply said, “No.” But he said he understands the movement to be “simply a conversation asking, ‘What does it mean to be the people of Jesus?’” Addressing anyone who is critical of such a movement, Bell said, “I wonder whether that person is a Christian. That seems like a conversation they ought to have.”
Um ok; Rob Bell is not part of the Emerging Church. Right, and I am in line to become the next national co-ordinator of Emergent Village—sorry Tony Jones. Let me paraphrase an old adage in the case of Rob Bell: If it looks Emergent, and it does; if it acts like Emergent, and it does; and if it sounds like Emergent, and it does…then he’s as Emergent as his friend Doug Pagitt.
In addition, since it’s pretty obvious that I am highly “critical of such a movement [Emergent],” then based upon what he’s just said above it would seem that Bell must “wonder whether [Ken Silva] is a Christian.” Well now; hasn’t Rob Bell just questioned my salvation? Good; at least he may be starting to understand the very heart of the matter. Rob Bell preaches a man-centered gospel (at best), and I preach a God-centered Gospel. Maybe it’s time to face the fact that one of us is actually preaching a different gospel.
And finally—for now:
Bell insisted he is not worried about offending “fundamentalists,” adding that each time he does so, “there are a thousand [new] people who are now listening.”
In closing, 1) I am not a “fundamentalist”; 2) I insist that I’m not worried about offending postliberals, and 3) my concern is the very message that Bell is teaching this thousand new people who “are now listening,” which I make crystal clear e.g. in Rob Bell Says God Has Already Made Peace With All Men and Rob Bell And New Age Guru Marianne Williamson.