Saturday, March 5, 2011

John Piper vs. Rob Bell

Have you heard the news?

No, I'm not talking about Charlie Sheen.

During the last week there have been a variety of intriguing news items. An old, now new, theological war has erupted with Rob Bell's soon to be released book "Love Wins: Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived." See the video which starts with a story about whether Ghandi is in heaven or hell at Love Wins promo I find the video true to Bell standards- catchy, edgy, hip, and offering an intriguing sound bite.

But, for some, the video opens up quick, easy answers based on their doctrinal view about God, heaven, and hell. Let the battle of doctrines on the blogosphere and Tweetworld begin as old evangelicals take on the new evangelical upstart! And, again, all of this before they've read the book. :)

Enter, John Piper (a Calvinist), who tweets: "Farewell, Rob Bell." That's all he writes.

Here's a recap of the larger issue if you missed it this week:
main stream news and
news with more theological background

Some of this is sad to me. I hate when Christians turn on each other, and clergy leaders at that, and make it appear we'll certainly turn on each other quibbling over ideas. Of course, thoughts, ideas, and words are important, as that leads us toward certain ways of life and action. After all, the reason that there are different religions and even subgroups within a religion is based on what you think is most important in thought and action.

At the least Bell will sell more books. Maybe there will be discussion about some theological concepts. How does an evangelical (wait, does Piper or Bell best espouse that thought?!) differ from a Baptist, or a Methodist, or a Catholic, or a Mormon, or a Hindu or Sikh? I'm curious what the average person (that is, not a pastor or academic or bookseller) thinks or questions about heaven, hell, and the nature of God.

Piper vs. Bell- I wonder who will win?


revscottep said...

I especially like the chart comparing 3 classical Protestant views of salvation.

Tim Halloran said...

I have read excerpts from Bell's book and I must say his book leaves one asking more questions than were answered. Not to mention his dangerous pluralist tenancies. I think the concepts that Rob Bell shows in his book are nothing new under the "theological" sun. There is what is and what we want to be, but that doesn't mean they are the same and I believe Rob is skewing those lines.