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Actually, that was pretty good. The message was sublime; he’s digested his NT Wright. The presentation distracting and irritating;but this is just a sign that I’m not young anymore. So it cancels out as pretty good.
John MacArthur isn’t impressed: “The sad reality is that if Rob Bell does not confess the truth in this life, one day he will realize how wrong his understanding of hell really is. His view of hell will be painfully altered forever when he receives the more severe punishment reserved for those who with a Bible in their hands mock God and trample the blood of Christ underfoot.”
This conclusion seems a tad overstated, and could be viewed as unhelpful. MacArthur’s argument skips a few premises and adds a few ad hominems. Not much has changed from the days of “Charismatic Chaos” in that respect.
It is hard for me to watch this video because the presentation style is so thoroughly unpleasant to me. However, it is clear that the speaker is declaring the gospel of Christ. It is also clear that the presentation style he uses is indeed attractive to many people today. Therefore, I am quite happy that this video exists so that more people can hear the good news of Jesus Christ our Savior and King.
Rob Bell’s presentation is attractive and stimulating, fast-paced and reminds me of what I tried to do in my youth ministry days. I think the focus on despair and the continuity of the importance of life and the hope that brings to all was really the point.
Nice job. My congregation might appreciate the occasional 4 minute sermon!
Wow, that was fresh!
I haven’t paid attention to Rob Bell until this _Love Wins_ thing hit the blogo-fan, but after watching this video I can see why the jealous types might do a little preaching of “Christ out of envy and rivalry.” Hey, I’m envious of any preacher or bible teacher, so I’m not judging anyone here. But it sure does seem like there has been a lot of over-the-top caricatures, ad hominems, and mis-interpretations of Bell, most of which feels a lot like some preachers were trying to make themselves out to be better, more faithful, more righteous purveyors of the Gospel than Bell. Yeah, he is a culturally accommodated Christian. Perhaps he is just better at being all things to all people so as to win some to Christ. All the best to all in Christ.
Yes, it is a nicely edited video. Rob Bell tells about the fact that Christ’s resurrection means God didn’t give up on us… but his line of reasoning then leads us to “every act of compassion matters, every work of art that celebrates the good and the true matter…” etc… “nothing will be forgotten, nothing will be wasted, it all has its place”. I don’t think that’s biblical or true or the right type of conclusions. Christ’s resurrection power doesn’t just apply to all things good now, it is only found when people choose to “live by the Spirit” that raised Christ from the dead (rom 8.11). His universalist views coming through here, it’s as if everything good done will be magnified and everyone’s experience is moving towards heaven. But I’m sure some criminal could do a good act of painting a nice drawing or helping a friend with a free meal and also kill someone on the same day. Just because people do good things doesn’t mean they get off and get to heaven or is a picture of God. God is looking for complete holiness and we find that that is only found in applying Jesus’ death and resurrection in your life. It kind of feels like he flips a saying, “God is love” to “love is God.” I read someone say that and I can see it definitely smacks of that in this video too. It’s not all bad, but it doesn’t ring completely true too.
Thanks, Johnny, for pointing out that Mr. Bell did not include the essential elements of the gospel in this presentation. All of what he said could just as easily be said by a full-fledged Unitarian. The actual physical resurrection of Christ was vaguely mentioned, but its reality is certainly not necessary for most anything else he said. It is not “HIS resurrection” that is emphasized, but “resurrection” as some kind of positive spiritual principle. That is not the saving Good News of Christ.
“Every good word and act” are in some way eternal? Umm…Rob, I’m a fan, but Jesus did sorta imply that both motive and heart and God-loyalty matter…right? Sorry, “imply” leaves room for doubt…Jesus actually exposed it. So art, niceness, kind words, and even kind acts are subject to God interpretation, not ours. They are not exactly “lasting” in any real sense other than those run through the often preconception-shattering lens of Christ.
Neat video. I hope the Easter Sunday message filled in some of the rather large and entrapping holes in that vignette.
Johnny and Rick, in his first letter to the church in Corinth, after a long and protracted passage on the resurrection of the dead, in the last verse of the chapter, Paul wrote, “Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know, that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.” I ask you, “What is the work of the Lord that will not be in vain, that is, worthless, temporary, meaningless, that Paul connects so closely to the resurrection?” Well, I take it to be a acts of service to children of the international sex-slave trade — finding them a safe home and long term care, or, supporting an elderly woman who is providing love and care for dozens of children who have been orphaned because of the scourge of HIV/AIDS – 300 at last count. The “work of the Lord” is enabling a young girl, who was traded into a brothel by her family, to learn a trade that enables her to earn an honest living without having to sell her body. It is providing a centre for young girls to learn what it is to be loved and cared for in a culture that, as a matter of course, allows a child to die simply because money is in short supply in the home. Jesus appropriates all of these acts of kindness and love to himself (‘they have done it unto me”) and he gives them permanence. And there are faithful followers of Jesus who are doing these very things today, with plans of more for tomorrow.
“every act of compassion matters, every work of art”
I’m not convinced, given that Paul wrote that anything good he does that does not flow from Christlike love is worthless.
I feel like I just went on an acid trip with Jesus and Rob
Do really assume that is true?
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