March 4, 2011

The Rob Bell Effect

This past weekend (so I'm really behind on getting into this discussion) Rob Bell got slammed like Lady Gaga would at a Westboro Baptist Church service for opening the discussion that so many in an up and coming generation of the Church are interested in and wrestling through. A generation that has been told that there can't be truth because those who have truth, that know truth, have for so long used that truth as a tool, a weapon against people and principalities of this world, not recognizing the long-term effect of using those tactics and armament.

I haven't read the book and I really haven't even glanced a page of discussion or writing that might entertain or work through the intricacies of universalism and such. However, I ran across an article that is written by someone much more involved in the discussion and much more enlightened to the thoughts, I fancied to link to it today. Check out this article by Scot McKnight on the Relevant Magazine website. Here's probably my favorite clip from it for your enjoyment:

Friends, this is an old discussion, and there are some great studies out there. Rob Bell is almost certainly not adding something new, but he’s pushing the door open and saying: “Folks, this vast and massive room of universalism and what’s awaiting us when we die are things we must take much more seriously. The next generation of Christians are pressing upon this door and we better stop and listen and think it through one more time.”
My contention is this: the approach to this generation is not to denounce their questions, which often enough are rooted in a heightened sensitivity to divine justice and compassion, but to probe their questions from the inside and to probe thoughtful and biblically responsible resolutions. We need to show that their questions about justice and God’s gracious love are not bad questions but good questions that deserve to be explored.
You know, I've been thinking after seeing this controversy spark up about the same time as the Charlie Sheen escapade has been revealed to the world, I wonder if there is a authenticity and a transparency that both of these guys are portraying that will attract and resonate with many students and those in youth culture. Throw in Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Glen Beck and we've got one huge pot of conversation, enticing students to be distracted and defeated in recognizing their mission and purpose in life and seeing that align with the Grace and Will of God as it pertains to their existence.

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