I guess it was about 2-3 years ago I read Bishop Carlton Pearson's " The Gospel of Inclusion ." It is one of the most thought provoking books I've read. It will challenge your limits of grace. It will challenge your view of hell. It will spark, ignite, set a blaze the radical redemptive imagination of divine eternal love. As humans we really only scratch the surface of what God's love might be like. Our concept of love is confined to the limits of our skulls, the hard casing our hard drives are in. God's love is beyond the depth and width of the universe, anything we can see, or feel.
I imagine Rob Bell will fair much better in this fuel charged emotional storm than Carlton Pearson did. It was 2000. His ministry was thriving, a mega-church. More than six thousand members, thousands whom packed a 2,200 seat auditorium twice on Sundays. His mission was to build a mega-church that would make him look good and possibly rich; it was to reach the unchurched and those spiritually unresolved.
But, then he was confronted by God. I might say much like Jacob wresting God. Pearson walked away, limping, his building blocks of knowledge lay in rubble around his Feet. From here... he began to speak the gospel of inclusion. And from here, he lost everything...church building, congregation, friends, colleagues, house...and wealth. He could have quites easily re-canted his so called heresy and have everything returned. So captivated by this radical scandalous redeeming love...he couldn't turn back.
I spoke with Mr. Peterson about his memoir, The Pastor, and I look forward to publishing those comments. But I also asked him — for our book feature on Love Wins — about the “Hellgate” controversy. Peterson wrote a blurb for the back of the book that says, “It isn’t easy to develop a biblical imagination that takes in the comprehensive and eternal work of Christ…Rob Bell goes a long way in helping us acquire just such an imagination — without a trace of the soft sentimentality and without compromising an inch of evangelical conviction.”
What are your thoughts regarding Rob Bell’s book and the controversy it ignited? What inspired you to endorse the book?
You can read the complete article...here
I watched the live- webcast of the Rob Bell interview about his new book “Love Wins” and blogged a couple of thoughts on it at an Everyday Theology. It got a good response so I thought I would post it here.
In case you had not seen the webcast, you can watch the video of the event here
Here are my two quick thoughts on it:
- We are not having this conversation in a vacuum
- Rob Bell is up to something
We are not in a vacuum and the context of this conversation is post-enlightenment / post-christendom. That means a couple of things:
a) everyone has their own bible
b) most people can read it
c) evangelicals do not have Popes or councils to make decisions on this kind of stuff
d) for Reformed folks (Piper, Driscol, Keller, etc) the bible just doesn’t say what they need it to say for this thing to be air tight.
Read the rest of Tripp's post here...he raises some very good theological questions.