This is just a quick post to those of you who are following the Rob Bell and his book “Love Wins” thing and the stir it has caused on the web. Brian McLaren has stepped up and defended Bell on his book by responding to Albert Mohler and his critique of the book.
Rob Bell: “A staggering number of people have been taught that a select few Christians will spend forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity spends forever in torment and punishment in hell with no chance for anything better. It’s been clearly communicated to many that this belief is a central truth of the Christian faith and to reject it is, in essence, to reject Jesus. This is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus’ message of love, peace, forgiveness, and joy that our world desperately needs to hear.”
H. Richard Niebuhr: “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”
Brian McLaren: “If a human father decided to throw his child in a fireplace for just ten seconds as punishment for disobedience, we wouldn’t fault the father simply for being unsentimental: we would say such behavior was unholy, an act of torture in violation of our most fundamental sense of justice. Any definition of justice and holiness that involves being unsatisfied unless the imperfect are suffering eternal agony seems to many of us as unworthy of a human being and if so, how much more unworthy of God whose justice must be better than our own.”
Albert Mohler: “That argument is straightforward enough, and we need to look at it closely. The central problem with McLaren’s formulation is that such logic destroys any faithfulness to the totality of God’s self-revelation about himself. It presumes to judge God by human conceptions of love — and this is precisely what God himself rejects. He will not allow himself to be judged by humans. We simply do not have an adequate moral vantage point from which to make judgments about the character of God. We are, as in all things, utterly dependent upon God’s self-revelation and self-definition.”
If nothing more, it has brought a debate that many haven’t heard in this day and age.