February 28, 2011
As one who comes from the Church, I have to defend Rob Bell a lot - from others within the Church. Rarely because of anything they have read or seen him say directly. But, rather, someone they respect has cried "heretic" at Bell and his teachings at some point in time.
To be clear, Bell absolutely could be a heretic. If being heretical means being wrong about something. Here's what I know. He is a fabulous communicator who has brought the 21st century church into the 20th century with his Nooma video series. And his honest exploration and questioning of the relationship between the Creator and creation, both at the individual and collective church level has been a wonderful resource for my spiritual growth.
(Note: these same people who cry "Heretic!" at Bell would most assuredly do the same thing to me if I had a larger platform - remind me to show you some feedback I got from my latest Christian indie-rock album.)
Bell has a new book coming out called, Love Wins. I have embedded a clip above, where he teases the book with the thought-provoking question, "Do we really know who's going to heaven and who's going to hell?", pointing out that the Christian church has simply evolved into this group of people who believe their primary role is simply to classify those in each category.
And, in one united voice, as soon as this video teaser was released, the Christian community shouted together, "Rob Bell is a Universalist and is going to hell."
The irony was completely lost on them.
It's not about ignoring foolishness. Or accepting lies. It's simply discouraging that the church has stopped even trying to be thoughtful - stopped even listening anymore. Because if you were, you'd realize that Rob Bell's making you look like a moron.