Saturday, March 16, 2013

Apostolic Nonsense and Rob Bell: Chapter One

I've started a podcast with good friend David Sidebotham entitled "Apostolic Nonsense." We're still working through a suitable subtitle, but that isn't the entire point of this post.

What I want to talk about is what we talk about when we talk about Rob Bell and what Rob Bell talks about when Rob Bell talks about people talk about talk talk talk talk.

You see how confusing this gets, Rob?

Anyway. Moving on.

David and I will be reading through the book chapter by chapter and discussing our thoughts on each chapter via podcast. However, since we've already covered the first chapter in the podcast, I think I'll post some notes on this little book.

Shortly, I don't think there ought be much fuss about WWTAWWTAG. Rob Bell has some great insights into human nature and the societal instinct by which we view God and subsequently each other.

Bell:
Like a mirror, God appears to be more and more a reflection of whoever it is that happens to be talking about God at the moment (pg2).
Bell (and others) isn't satisfied with pat answers, and it shows in some of his probing questions: can God keep up with the modern world? What is God's problem?

Right away, Bell is surprisingly more pastoral in WWTAWWTAG than he was in Love Wins. Here, he seems to have learned from the reactions against his work, and has toned down a bit of the rhetoric. He is curious and surprised by how people respond to the gospel and how they respond and how atheists will spend hours talking about something they don't believe exists.

For Bell, God and Jesus are quite fascinating.

He touches upon the subjects of women in ministry, creation and evolution, and the issue of conflated hyperbole regarding homosexuality. For anyone who has seen the trailer, this won't be anything new. Bell does lose me about halfway through when he seeks to define what he means by God and everything else.

And then it hit both myself and David. We lost interest when he defined him, thus we realized that Bell wasn't saying anything provocative or even remotely unorthodox. Nothing Bell wrote struck us as over the top or sinister or even poorly reasoned. It was general evangelical orthodoxy, though more generous than some.

So, what I and David hope to see is Bell dive into the topics he mentioned and see how they apply to God now and in the future.

Stay tuned!

--Nick

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