Primary Audience – To those of you who keep saying, “What’s going on with this whole …?”
Secondary Audience – Evangelicals.
A few of my friends have asked for my thoughts on the Rob Bell controversy. Like so many, I too have a lot of thoughts and to be honest, though this last week was pretty drama-crazy, I think there’s a lot of good to see here.
But before I post those and because everything is contextual (and spiritual :), this is the recap from where I sit.
On the Saturday (2/25) before the Grammy’s Rob Bell released this video to promote his new book to be released March 15th Love Wins. Here’s the book description from the publisher Harper One: In Love Wins: Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, Bell addresses one of the most controversial issues of faith–the afterlife–arguing that a loving God would never sentence human souls to eternal suffering. With searing insight, Bell puts hell on trial, and hismessage is decidedly optimistic–eternal life doesn’t start when we die; it starts right now. And ultimately, Love Wins.
Sunday night, (Feb. 26), John Piper, Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist, author, etc. made this tweet and included a link to Justin Taylor’s post.
No joke, #Rob Bell was a twitter trend alongside on Grammys, James Franco and Justin Bieber.
Justin Taylor blogs for the Gospel Coalition. This post, entitled “Rob Bell, Universalist?” was clicked thousands of times and went viral.
Thousands of tweets, FB status updates, blog posts, and conversations ensued.
Among the best posts I read were Scot McKnights “Waiting for Rob Bell Part 1″ and “Part 2″. I think it’s also worth noting that Relevant Magazine used McKnight’s posts for their blog. Also, in Part 1, Scot includes a brief overview of how his college students generally see ideas of the afterlife/universalism. As a youth pastor, just this mention was of great interest to me.
Jason Boyett had an excellent post, “Thoughts About Rob Bell, John Piper, and Justin Taylor”
Tony Jones offered his two cents and asked if Bell was the Jason Bourne of Evangelism in “What’s Up With Rob Bell?”
My friend Evan made some excellent points in his post, “Rob Bell – The Belle of the Universalist Ball”
Last week the NY Times had an article … on the front page.
My thoughts? I hope to express them Christianly (as so many actually have) throughout the week. Last week I was really irritated with the backlash from those that hadn’t read the book.