The other night, while Rick Frueh was asleep, I raided his bookshelf and found that he has a large number of Bibles (apparently one is not enough – so Rick needs a LOT of them)…

What interested me the most, though, were two Bibles in particular, which raised a number of questions in my mind…

Some things never change

I think what struck me the most was how one of these would have been unthinkable in its relative epoch, yet the other one is currently in distribution, with nary an outcry from the Christian public at large…

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120 Comments(+Add)

1   John Hughes    
October 2nd, 2009 at 1:18 pm

The other night, while Rick Frueh was asleep,

This story cannot possibly be true. He who watches over CRN.Info slumpers not, nor sleeps. ;-)

2   John Hughes    
October 2nd, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Hey, Dr. Lee gotta eat.

3   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 2nd, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Was the second one published by Rob Bell, because that is what he believes as far as evangelism, the church, etc came out of the deities and worship of the Caesers in Rome.

4   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 2nd, 2009 at 1:58 pm

I refer you to my body of work relating to that subject with this one addendum:

In the Bible shown at the top these words will be changed to reflect a more patriotic doctrine.

Lord = President
Deacon = Senator
Prayer = Complain
Faith = Vote
Honor = Demean
Gospel = Morality
Spiritual = Conservative
Prophet = Talk show host
Great Commission = Political advertisement
Humility = I am right
Hebrews 11 = Former Presidents
Brother in Christ = Political soulmate
God’s will = Lower taxes
God’s heart = Higher taxes
Sinner = Liberal
Saint = Ronald Reagan admirer
Satan = Obama
Hell = Socialism
Heaven = Prosperity
Deliverer = Someone in 2012
Mary = Sarah Palin
Beulah Land = America
Paul = George Washington
Turn the other cheek = Kill em’ all and let God sort em’ out

These clarifications will help us fulfill God’s mandate to America.

BTW – The Olympic Committee will pay dearly for their choosing of Rio and their blatant hedonism and debauchery over the Godly city of Chicago. God is angry. He originally desired the Olympics to be in Milwaukee, but those repulsive gays blocked it. :cool:

5   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
October 2nd, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Was the second one published by Rob Bell, because that is what he believes as far as evangelism, the church, etc came out of the deities and worship of the Caesers in Rome.

You just can’t stop can you?

6   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 2nd, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Jerry,

Have you seen the video and heard what Bell claimed?

Of course you have, but Rob Bell can do no wrong. Oh that we would all examine our worldview in the light of scripture!!

7   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 2nd, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Satan = Obama

no, just the anti-Christ ;)

8   Joe C    
October 2nd, 2009 at 2:08 pm

I can bet a pretty penny that a bunch of fellas that I go to chapel with have that “Bible”. The thing I really dislike about military chapels is it seems to breed this “Ameristianity”. Jesus rules on the Throne with an American flag on the pole to the right.

But in general…Jesus=American seems to be pretty prevalent the whole world ’round these days.

I honestly don’t see why we seem to ignore the “live quiet and peaceful” lives aspect of the NT teachings…

9   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 2nd, 2009 at 2:11 pm

that is what he believes as far as evangelism, the church, etc came out of the deities and worship of the Caesers in Rome.

*sigh*

PB – you have to either be evil or just a complete imbecile to continually make such ludicrous claims. I’m not being hyperbolic here – I’m being serious.

No such claims have been made. Making observations that early Christians used ‘word pictures’ to contrast the way of Christ with the way of Rome (which Bell, VanderLaan, Piper, Driscoll, MacArthur and others note from time to time) is NOT equivalent to claiming that Rome was the source of early Christian practice.

10   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 2nd, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Of course you have, but Rob Bell can do no wrong. Oh that we would all examine our worldview in the light of scripture!!

No, it’s not that Bell can do no wrong, it’s just that you don’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about.

Here’s a quote from Michael Gorman, the author of Apostle of the Crucified Lord said regarding Caesar and the “Good News”.

Augustus was the bringer, and his successors the guarantors, of peace and security–in a word, of salvation. This was his ‘evangel’ or good news (euangelion/euangelia), as an inscription from 9 B.C. at Priene, not far from Ephesus in the province of Asia, asserts about the Savior(sot?r) Augustus:
‘[S]ince the Caesar through his appearance (epiphanein) has exceeded the hopes of all former good messages (euangelia), surpassing not only the benefators that came before him, but also leaving no hope that anyone in the future will surpass him, and since for the world the birthday of the god was the beginning of his good messages (euangelia)…’ This inscription echoes the sentiment expressed by Horace in poem (Carmen saeculare) written in 17 B.C. for games in honor of Augustus: ‘Already faith and peace and honor and ancient modesty and neglected virtue have courage to come back, and blessed plenty with the full horn is seen.’ Similarly, a sheperd’s speechin Virgil’s Eclogues (1.6-8) contains this claim about Augustus: [I]t is a god who wrought for us this peace–for a god he shall never be to me; often shall a tender lamb from our folds stain his altar.’

As magnificent benefactors, Augustus and his imperial successors were given (or took themselves) titles such as Savior, God and Lord. The emperor was ‘equal to God’ (cf. Phil 2:6 where this is predicated of Christ). Although most emperors did not require the actual worship of themselves as a god(notable exceptions being Caligula [Gaius], who ruled from 37 to 41, and possibly Domitian, who ruled from 81-96), the power and might of the imperial office made each of them recipients of godlike honors simply by being emperor of Rome.

Jews(and thus the earliest ‘Christians’) enjoyed exemption from certain aspects of Roman life, including the imperial cult. Needless to say, however, any movement or message that appeared to displace the emperor from his throne would be understood as counterimperial and anti-Roman (cf. Acts 17:1-9; pp.17-18).

It’s no mere coincidence that Jesus was born when He was, and it’s no coincidence that the Gospel writers and Paul to large extent use the same language as their contemporaries to contrast the true good new that Jesus brought against the parody that Caesar represented.

11   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 2nd, 2009 at 2:19 pm

There is only one person I know who can do no wrong and I am sworn to secrecy concerning his name. :cool:

12   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
October 2nd, 2009 at 2:28 pm

PB–I have no idea what you are talking about.

“All have sinned….”

But you forgot that too didn’t you?

13   Neil    
October 2nd, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I suppose asking Pastorboy for documentation would be asking too much… I mean, if it’s true a quote should be easy to find.

14   Neil    
October 2nd, 2009 at 6:07 pm

RE 13: similarly though I am still waiting for evidence against N. T. Wright.

15   pastorboy    http://riveroflifealliance.com
October 2nd, 2009 at 7:41 pm

The gospel according to… Video Rob Bell did in July.. You all saw nothing wrong about it then so you won’t now.

16   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
October 2nd, 2009 at 8:03 pm

I don’t remember seeing a video that Rob Bell did in July. In fact, I’m pretty sure I didn’t. So what video are you talking about? And by “You all” I’m sure you didn’t mean to include me right? What about Eugene? Is he included?

Speaking of which, where is Eugene? Eugene, are you out there?

17   Bo Diaz    
October 2nd, 2009 at 8:16 pm

I always find it interesting that ADMs like “Pastor” boy rarely if ever comment on Bell’s actual sermons. Why is that? Speculation would have to include:
1) Bell’s sermons by their nature are more focused on the core tenants of Christianity and so much harder to spin negatively (especially given how much Bell brings it back to the resurrection).
2) Sermons require more time to actually listen to than watching a few minutes of video or copy/pasting a few lines from a book (notice how many times ADMs come out against a book but don’t actually read it).
3) ADMs by their nature are knee-jerk reactionaries with a penchant for attention, Bell’s sermons are not as attention grabbing as his books, videos and tour stops, and so without a strong reaction for them, there’s no strong reaction against them, and since analyzing a sermon won’t bring much attention, it doesn’t get done.

18   Neil    
October 2nd, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Christian P.,

Pastorboy routinely ignores the fact that we are not monolithic in our views, that we allow dissent, that we disagree with each other… it could be that he assumes that since ODM sites do not allow dissent we do not either… or it could be he just cannot discern distinctions like that – hard to tell.

19   Neil    
October 2nd, 2009 at 8:56 pm

The gospel according to… Video Rob Bell did in July.. You all saw nothing wrong about it then so you won’t now.

Post a link and I will tell ya what I think.

20   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
October 2nd, 2009 at 11:48 pm

I did not see that video. Sorry to ruin your theory.

21   M.G.    
October 3rd, 2009 at 12:00 am

For what it’s worth, I thought Rob Bell played fast and loose with some of the facts at the beginning. There, I said it, Rob Bell made some mistakes.

But I did like the bit about the risen Jesus saving people from their sins. To be honest, I’m unsure why some people have a problem with that.

22   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 1:51 am

I don’t remember this video, either. He did do an extended sermon on August 16th that included the basic gospel message, as a narrative of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It also gave his answer to a number of the debates we’ve had here (from missions, to the emphasis on sin, etc.)…

23   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 3rd, 2009 at 8:02 am

I am sure you have all seen it…but here it is. you are the Gospel.
http://www.casadeblundell.com/jonathan/video/the-gospel-according-to-rob-bell/

24   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 8:19 am

I don’t remember this video, but none of it is new to me, nor have I ever thought it was all that controversial. I’ve heard it from Tim Brown (president of the Reformed seminary – Western Theological Seminary), Ray VanderLaan, Brad Young and others.

Even so, it truly takes an unChristian, uncharitable reading (or an utter lack of literacy) to conclude that “what he believes as far as evangelism, the church, etc came out of the deities and worship of the Caesers in Rome.”

25   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 8:48 am

A resurrection rescue? No mention of the blood, and the cross is just an example of Ceasar’s brutality with no mention of the redemption of sins. Paul preached Christ and Him crucified, Bell preaches that Jesus hasn’t given up on the world.

The resurrection is projected as a new way of living, a peaceful, loving, and compassionate community. That is very clever since anyone who objects to that is accused of being against those things.

The gospel is that Jesus died for the sins of the world, and His resurrection substantiated all his claims. Bell’s teachings are somewhat New Age with an ambiance of humanism. The acts and behavior of believers are the message according to Bell, and as is his tradition, the cross is avoided almost compeletely.

Without the cross there is no resurrection and without the atonement there is no forgivness of sins. Without the shedding of blood there is no redemption. It is unsophisticated and almost barbaric in these enlightened times to speak of a blood sacrifice, but that is still the gospel.

The video is not in any way Christian and is a fabrication that arrives at a compeltely different truth than the Scriptures teach. God did not come to change the world, He came to save us from our sins, and I find it profoundly unsettling when men make so little of His sufferings in favor of a new world outlook.

Let is be known here, the world continues to unravel and will one day be judged severely, not because we did not feed the poor or show compassion, those things we should and must do. But the world will be judged because they believed not on the Son of God. If Jesus should tarry that message will continue to disappear from evangelical parlance, and this new and bloodless message will have gripped the church.

In many ways it isn’t embarrassing to feed hungry people or to meet their other outward needs. In fact, we almost always receive praise and thankfulness for doing such things. And we feel a sense of purpose and philanthropy and inward satisfaction. But it is quite another to preach Christ and Him crucified, and many have been verbally and physically attacked for preaching the exclusivity of Christ. Throughout church history believers have been martyred for their faith, and that continues today. Not because they fed the poor, but because they spoke of Jesus and His cross and resurrection.

Many countries will allow Christians into their country to help with issues of food, agriculture, medicine, and a host of humanitarian needs. But most times the restriction is this: Do not speak of Christ or your faith. The devil is not nervous when the poor are fed, unless the feeders speak of Jesus Christ and His atonement. In Bell’s view the devil has little to fear. Bell’s point about political and military might is excellent, however instead of the message of Christ he replaces those with a gentler, more compassionate community. And the deception is so nuanced that one can appear argumentative and harsh simply be disagreeing.

We are so clever, so intelligent, and so avante garde in our knowledge of historical paganism while we remain ignorant of the simple and everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ. The latter is losing popularity, just as our Lord had told us. Without the blood there is no gospel.

26   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 8:58 am

God did not come to change the world, He came to save us from our sins, and I find it profoundly unsettling when men make so little of His sufferings in favor of a new world outlook.

Sorry, Rick, but the version of the Bible I read begins with Genesis 1, not Genesis 3…

27   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 9:11 am

Any changing of this world through the church is risidual. The church itself has not exhibited the change suggested, much less the entire world. It is a “consummation devoutly to be wished” but it is not the gospel.

Things will continue to get worse, not because the church hasn’t done enough good, but because of sin. I am not sure what Genesis 3 has to do with the subject.

28   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 9:31 am

But does your version include Genesis 3? Thorns, thistles, sorrows, curses, sweat, and dust? I realize a more upbeat message is more exciting and palatable, however the only message that is upbeat must be eternal life through Christ.

If even a superficial assessment of the state of this world should lead one to embrace a more tragic reality. But if we cannot see events as they are, then we cannot be persuaded. And all of us, even those who espouse a more compassionate community, spend tons of money and time on ourselves while people around the world suffer horribly and starve. In short, all this talk of compassion and the poor is much more talk than it is action, especially in the west.

Churches that do have food banks and humanitarian efforts overseas etc. almost never do it with any real sacrifice. We do it out of our abundance. We are Biblical hypocrites, faring sumptuously while millions of Lazarus’s die in the streets.

But we are real good at holding conferences and selling books and letting it leak out that we give the money to charitable causes. And writing blogs. :cool:

29   nc    
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:02 am

i don’t know if it’s about us totally changing the world on our own…

it’s about how we proclaim (in everything we do and say) the coming of a better day and a better way that can only be possible because Jesus has destroyed sin and death.

it’s the proclamation of the Gospel that God so loves what God has made that God would rather die than live without it.

that’s the beauty of a redeemed creation (that includes people–their bodies, not just disembodied souls)…it’s the extravagance and farthest reach of the Gospel…

i think that’s something to be excited about and makes the problem of sin come into high relief.

it’s just mind-boggling to me how people say that making explicit how extravagant the gospel is somehow cheapen’s sin.

it’s only so amazing in light of how broken in every way the whole creation is…it’s extravagant in that God is not willing to just walk away from creation or to just pluck disembodied souls out of this beautiful expression of God’s creative love.

30   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:05 am

Rick

It’s not an “either-or” proposition (and Bell never claims it is).

However, – the key to whether the story starts in Gen 1 or Gen 3 is this: If it begins in Gen 1, then the story is about how God creates the world, how it was broken and then how it returns his creation to its original state of shalom with Him.

If it begins in Gen 3, then it’s all about how broken everything is, God’s wrath and destruction of the creation, from which a small group will be taken away somewhere else.

If the story begins in Gen 3, then you’re criticism is correct. If it begins in Gen 1, then it is not.

31   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:11 am

Does the blood come into play? And if so, does the blood have to be included in the gospel teaching? Show me where Bell even mentions the blood as it pertains to redemption.

It really doesn’t matter, everyone will retain their former view. Just talk, really.

32   Bo Diaz    
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:30 am

There was another heretic who laid out the basic gospel message. He didn’t include the blood anywhere in it. In fact, he was so focused on the resurrection that the vast majority of his message is spent showing the resurrection happened and pinning the work of God to it.

That man would be Paul of Tarsus, the passages in question was in the second letter to the Corinthians chapter 15.

Frankly, Rick, your theological focus smacks far more of Calvin than it does of scripture.

33   Bo Diaz    
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:39 am

I will never understand the American protestant impulse to downplay the resurrection.

34   M.G.    
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:39 am

I think it’s the first letter to the Corinthians, but the point stands. Paul doesn’t mention blood in his gospel presentation either.

35   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:40 am

I am not saying it must be mentioned every time, but culling out one Pauline chapter misrepresents Paul’s theology. And if Paul wrote Hebrews, that is a pile on. What does it matter, though.

It doesn’t matter at all. Resume general swim.

36   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:43 am

“I will never understand the American protestant impulse to downplay the resurrection or the cross.”

I do not “downplay” either. Check out this and many, many others on my blog. The difference is I do not downplay the cross, and neither does Paul.

37   Bo Diaz    
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:43 am

Back at ya Rick.

38   M.G.    
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:47 am

But Rick, can’t you imagine if Paul were writing for the first time in an internet age?

A reading of 1 Corinthians 15 gets put on YouTube. Paul’s followers insist that there is more to his theology, and that it’s unfair to judge him on just 1 Corinthians 15.

Others insist that 1 Corinthians 15 proves that Paul doesn’t preach a full gospel. No blood, no hell, no wrath.

If it could be done to Paul, who could it not be done to?

39   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:47 am

And THIS.

I reject the suggestion that I downplay the resurrection and that simply does not address the question. Where does Bell address and teach the cross and the blood of Christ. You know what your answer was? Paul did not say blood in one particular chapter in Corinthians. That is a diversion and I hope it does not suggest Paul didn’t teach nthe blood in many places.

40   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:49 am

No one can teach everyting in one message. But over a broad sampling of a preacher’s ministry, there are themes that should be reoccurring. The cross just might be somewhere in the top 300. No?

41   Bo Diaz    
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:49 am

See MG’s response.

Have you even bothered to listen to a significant number of Bell’s teachings available freely online?

42   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:51 am

BTW Bo, my message that I linked to in comment 39 was in March of 2006 before I ever heard of Rob Bell OR the emergent church.

43   Bo Diaz    
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:52 am

You seem very interested in justifying yourself.

44   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:54 am

No, I wish to justify my ministry and openly reveal that I did not “donwplay” the resurrection.

Your sentence was a sweeping generalization with no factual evidence. Objecting to some of Bell’s teachings does not mean we downplay anything. That is just a diversion.

45   Bo Diaz    
October 3rd, 2009 at 10:59 am

No, it was a sweeping generalization based on my experience with American protestants that may or may not apply to you specifically. Thats the nature of generalizations.

You never answered my question. How many of Bell’s freely available teachings that address his church have you listened to?

Because the irony of your outrage when you perceive yourself placed in the exact same situation as you’ve placed Bell is almost overwhelming.

46   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 11:03 am

“Because the irony of your outrage when you perceive yourself placed in the exact same situation as you’ve placed Bell is almost overwhelming.”

I have provided evidence to the contrary, which Bell seems adverse to provide.

It’s all talk, Bo, all just talk. It generates emotions but little else. I have listened to and read maybe 7 of Bell’s messages. I have asked repeatedly to those of you who have done much more research, to provide me with a couple of his teachings on the blood or the cross.

I am still awaiting the links.

47   Bo Diaz    
October 3rd, 2009 at 11:17 am

Rick,
7 teachings? Wow you really knocked yourself out there. I could easily go through your blog and find 7 posts that have no reference to the cross.

You want links to teachings that are taken down after 12 weeks? Do you know how the internet works?

And yes, it is all talk that only generates emotions. If you were willing to apply that observation to yourself it’d be far more accurate.

48   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 3rd, 2009 at 11:53 am

I apply it most to myself because as you state, it is far more accurate personally. I just find a continuum of disjointedness as it applies to discussing issues of doctrine.

I have never attcked Bell personally, but even in this thread you have suggested I am self righteous, uninformed, and willing to ask questions of Bell that I would not want asked of me.

I am guilty of far more than just those things. Peace.

49   Neil    
October 3rd, 2009 at 4:25 pm

I remember that video. I remember someone complaining that at the end Bell was looking in a mirror.

50   Neil    
October 3rd, 2009 at 4:28 pm

The skeptic in me wonders if his history is accurate, it sounds too convenient. In other words, when something sounds too good to be true, too easy to preach, it makes me wonder.

51   Neil    
October 3rd, 2009 at 4:31 pm

I also think the message of the video is a wonderful reminder to believers in America that the Gospel is more than accenting to the four spiritual laws, it is more than realizing God is a Republican and you should be too.

This video fits well as a polemic against the nationalistic cult of Christo-Americana that the Patriots Bible fosters (or is a product of).

52   Neil    
October 3rd, 2009 at 4:32 pm

If the video were a response to the question “How does one become born again?” – I would agree it is a failure. But if it is a response to “What does it mean to be a Christian” – I would say it is spot on.

53   Neil    
October 3rd, 2009 at 4:34 pm

God did not come to change the world, He came to save us from our sins, and I find it profoundly unsettling when men make so little of His sufferings in favor of a new world outlook.

I believe you have set up a false dichotomy here. It is clear from the whole of Scripture that God did indeed come to save us from our sins, AND to change the world in the process. What I find unsettling is men who make so little fuss over God’s command to love our neighbors, to pursue justice, to champion the oppressed – in favor of a purely internal/spirital translation of my eternal destiny.

54   Neil    
October 3rd, 2009 at 4:40 pm

I also find it interesting how failure to mention something automatically equates to its denial and/or down-playing.

Even the comments in response at the blog Pastorboy linked to complained about what he did not say…

So, until I see where Bell actually denies the blood or the deity or the salvation of Jesus, I’m not gonna label him a heretic.

Not based on what he did not say.

55   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 3rd, 2009 at 7:35 pm

I find it interesting that none of the critics of Bell have even tried to interact with the Michael Gorman quote I posted earlier. I posted this specifically for the reason that it was an outside source that I have not heard Bell reference, so when something is corroborated by another source like that, it seems like just maybe we shouldn’t just ignore it.

56   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
October 4th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Speaking of which, where is Eugene? Eugene, are you out there?

Busy helping my friends on some “jobs” :)

57   pastorboy    http://riveroflifealliance.com
October 4th, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Who is Michael Gorman, and all it really corroberates is faulty history.

58   Bo Diaz    
October 4th, 2009 at 5:39 pm

“Pastor” Boy’s astute, thoughtful demeanor shines through again.

Who needs God when you’re already infallible?

59   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 4th, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Michael Gorman’s book is repeating that, in the roman world, the Emperor was seen as a god, that the imperial cult was alive and well in Paul’s day, and that it took on some interesting language, not the least of which was the emperor’s title of pontificus maximus- a representative of both religious and political authority.

So, really, was Bell talking about the Gospel, or the foundations for the Roman Catholic Church, which took on this and many other parts of the Pagan system of Rome….

60   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 4th, 2009 at 6:34 pm

This is on page 15 of his book, by the way….

61   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 4th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

PB,
The point is that by declaring “Jesus is Lord”, Christians are also saying Caesar is not. Caesar is a parody, Jesus is the real thing. I don’t see how anyone could see anything controversial about that.

62   M.G.    
October 4th, 2009 at 6:59 pm

PB:

Subvert and replace are two different verbs.

By referring to a caricature of the Roman Catholic church, you are implicitly arguing that Bell’s picture of early Christianity is one where Christians *replaced* the Roman system with a Christian version, without changing the basic power structure.

This is incorrect.

Rather, Bell is positing that early Christians were a subversive force counter to Rome, where instead of power and strength functioning as the dominant virtues, compassion and sacrifice were the dominant virtues.

That’s why, in every sense of the word, Caesar was a parody of Christ.

Does this make sense?

63   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 4th, 2009 at 7:35 pm

#61 True, But Bell did not say that. He stated how similar they were, almost sounding as though Christianity was a cheap knock off of the Roman paganism.

Sort of like Roman Catholicism.

64   M.G.    
October 4th, 2009 at 10:29 pm

#61 True, But Bell did not say that. He stated how similar they were, almost sounding as though Christianity was a cheap knock off of the Roman paganism.

This is a clear distortion of Rob Bell’s words. Words are inadequate to describe how phenomenally absurd this claim is.

65   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 5th, 2009 at 7:27 am

MG
Lets review the video again. It is not absurd, it is fact. He is as clear as muddy water in his presentation comparing the two. It sounds like he is saying that Christianity is a knock off of Roman Paganism.

Then the Gospel is you. Hmm. That at least is humanism.

66   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 5th, 2009 at 7:43 am

The Gospel is NOT that God hasn’t given up on the world.

The Gospel is not that a giant resurrection rescue is underway.

The Gospel is not that we are restoring everything on this earth.

The Gospel is not God wanting to put it all back together

The Gospel is not you. The resurrection is not all around you.

This is not the historical Gospel

67   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 5th, 2009 at 8:26 am

It sounds like he is saying that Christianity is a knock off of Roman Paganism.

If that’s what you hear, than you’re simply not understanding correctly. If anything, he’s saying the exact opposite. Roman Paganism is knock off of the true story of God – the “true myth” as C.S. Lewis called it.

The Gospel is NOT that God hasn’t given up on the world.

The Gospel is not that a giant resurrection rescue is underway.

The Gospel is not that we are restoring everything on this earth.

The Gospel is not God wanting to put it all back together

The Gospel is not you. The resurrection is not all around you.

This is not the historical Gospel

What you are saying is not the historical Gospel is a lot closer to it than anything I’ve heard from you. Unless of course, you expect people to really believe the Christian history didn’t start until the 1500’s. If you read virtually any of the writings of the Church fathers who were only a generation removed from the Apostles, you will constantly see them referring to the renewal of all things and the victory of life over death in a cosmic scope.

Your gospel and your God is too small. By denying that God can redeem his creation you are actually implying that He isn’t and won’t be Lord over it. All creation is eagerly awaiting the consummation of the Kingdom, or as Paul said “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.”

68   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 5th, 2009 at 8:40 am

“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.”

I assume you are quoting Romans 8:19 completely out of context, as if creation actually groans- this is called personification, and in this verse/passage, it speaks of the curse of sin which is brought on the whole world, and in verse 20, the creation is subjected to futility- in other words it cannot accomplish God’s original purpose for it because it is broken. No part of the universe fulfills God’s original purpose.

God can redeem his creation, and has given humans who will repent and trust in Him the opportunity to be redeemed. There will be a new heaven and a new earth, this earth will be destroyed by fire. The kingdom, Phil, is not going to come about by our efforts, it will be by God’s design. The only way to enjoy that kingdom is to be redeemed by Christ. There is only a ‘resurrection rescue’ for those who personally trust Christ, those who are born again of God.

69   M.G.    
October 5th, 2009 at 8:56 am

PB:

I will make this is as simple as possible.

Rob Bell spends about 10 minutes trying to explain how Christianity was essentially the OPPOSITE of the Roman Empire.

OPPOSITE does not equal CHEAP KNOCKOFF.

If you want to criticize Rob Bell because you think this will world will burn, and the point of Christianity is waiting to be taken to heaven with the other Western European Reformed Protestants lucky enough to be alive between the 17th and 21st centuries, so be it. That would be a point of disagreement.

The knockoff argument, though, is silly.

70   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 5th, 2009 at 9:00 am

I assume you are quoting Romans 8:19 completely out of context, as if creation actually groans- this is called personification, and in this verse/passage, it speaks of the curse of sin which is brought on the whole world, and in verse 20, the creation is subjected to futility- in other words it cannot accomplish God’s original purpose for it because it is broken. No part of the universe fulfills God’s original purpose.

Sigh… out of context, huh…well, let’s look at what Paul has to say about Creation being redeemed in Romans and in other places.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that[i] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Romans 8:22-25
22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Colossians 1:15-20
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Acts 3:17-23
17″Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ[a] would suffer. 19Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.

(Please note, this is Peter speaking, the same guy whom people love to quote about God judging the earth with fire. It seems to me that based on this quote, Peter did not believe the whole earth would be annihilated. Rather, he, like Jews who truly understood the prophets. believed God would be faithful to his word and restore his creation from the ravages of the Enemy. Restoring implicitly means that the thing you are restoring still exists. You can’t restore something that has been annihilated.)

I could go on, but the restoration of all things is a thread that runs throughout Scripture, starting with God’s promise to Abram. To see salvation as only a personal transaction without the cosmic context is truly an American take on Scripture. Leave it to us to make the Scriptures “all about me”.

71   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 5th, 2009 at 9:03 am

And by the way, I have not heard anyone say we can bring the Kingdom of God by our own efforts. Certainly, we can choose to live with values that represent the Kingdom or not, and we can choose o work with God or against Him. I for one, do not want to stand before my heavenly Father and explain why I did not do all I could to work with Him in the furthering of the Kingdom.

By definition, a kingdom is a place where the will of the king is done. So I’d say on earth at any given moment, there are places where the Kingdom of God is advancing and the place that are inherently anti-Kingdom.

72   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
October 5th, 2009 at 10:43 am

I watched to the clip. I didn’t see what Pastorboy saw but, starting at about 3.00, I saw what could be interpreted as Dominionism. I’m not saying that’s what Rob Bell is, I can’t, based on one video(I’ve watched a handfull of his other videos). If I was going to pick out something negative in the video, that would be it.

I’ve come to the opinion that as one watches most, at least those I’ve watched, videos that Bell has made, he’s speaking to believers. I’ve noticed that many look for Bell’s salvation message in these videos and from the ones I’ve seen. I’ve not really seen that message myself but, again keeping with my previous logic that he’s addressing those that are already believers, his messages make more sense.

73   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 5th, 2009 at 10:51 am

Scotty,
That’s a fair comment, although, I’d say that when I think people who espouse Dominionist theology, Rob Bell would be about the furthest person from my mind. It seems to me that if someone espouses a Dominionist view, they are incorrect in the way the see the method the Kingdom advances. They are trying to use power over to expand the Kingdom, whereas the Kingdom actually expands through serving and dying for others, or “power under” as Greg Boyd puts it.

74   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
October 5th, 2009 at 11:04 am

They are trying to use power over to expand the Kingdom, whereas the Kingdom actually expands through serving and dying for others, or “power under” as Greg Boyd puts it.

That’s one variation, but there are also some more subtle variations of that same theme. The more obvious are easy to spot.

75   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
October 5th, 2009 at 11:26 am

If I could add one more thing. Bell is not my style, if I were going pick out a pastor he wouldn’t be it. And that’s NOT meant to be a negative comment. We all have different style, likes and preference we’re drawn too.

But in defense of Bell. What I observe is a lot of folks that expect/demand him to take on the role of evangelist in every work he does. Maybe it’s just not his calling.

And again in defense of Bell , I have a problem with my bothers and sisters that bring folks to church expecting the pastor to “sick em” and beat people into submission that they bring to church when, it’s our job to evangelize (us common folk for lack of a better term). It’s the job of us in the pews to evangelize! That’s how I was raised……

When I go to church, it’s generally for teaching. It’s been my experience that certain times are set aside for evangelizing within the church(building). But within the tradition I was raised Sundays were always teaching moments.

76   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 5th, 2009 at 11:40 am

Scotty,
That’s another excellent point! Pastor and evangelist are two different giftings, and I actually don’t think that most people in ministry are given them both. It seems to me that people are either one or the other.

It actually points to a much larger issue in the Church, where the work of ministry has for the most been co-opted by paid professionals. If you read what Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:11-13, you get a picture that looks very different than what we see today:

11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

First of all, Paul was not talking about paid professionals here. He was talking about people within the local body (all except apostles, really). The issue is we have taken the role of pastor today and expect him to fulfill all these role for the most part. Well it’s simply not possible.

As far as Bell, remember his actual title at Mars Hill is “teaching pastor”, so to me that implies off the bat the his primary calling is teaching Christians, not necessarily evangelizing the lost.

77   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 5th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Every Christian’s primary calling is to evangelize the lost.

While there is the gift of being an evangelist (we would see that in Paul and Peter) it is still a command for every believer to evangelize, to share the good news that Jesus is Lord.

As one with both gifts (though I would say teacher/evangelist/prophet kinda run together in me) I think it is fair to say (see Bullhorn nooma 9) that Bell sees evangelism as negative, as a ‘conversion over to your point of view’ as opposed to sharing the Gospel.

78   corey    
October 5th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

No, every Christian’s call is to make disciples of all nations (by going into all the world, baptizing, and teaching them to obey all he has commanded). That doesn’t mean that every Christian’s call is to primarily evangelize the lost. It means that every Christian ought to play a part in the process of making disciples.

79   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
October 5th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I concur with Corey. Much more balanced view of the life of service we have been called to in Christ.

80   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 5th, 2009 at 2:56 pm

While there is the gift of being an evangelist (we would see that in Paul and Peter) it is still a command for every believer to evangelize, to share the good news that Jesus is Lord.

I reject this notion as well, at least in the way that organizations like Way of the Master present. I don’t believe we need to drone on about Christians doing their duty, blah, blah, blah. All this does is pile up guilt on people. The fact is that all people are created with gifts and talents given to them by God, and not everyone is called to minister in the same way. Of all the Christians mentioned in the New Testament, we’re only given stories of a small minority of the evangelizing in an “in your face” way.

81   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
October 5th, 2009 at 4:18 pm

While there is the gift of being an evangelist (we would see that in Paul and Peter) it is still a command for every believer to evangelize, to share the good news that Jesus is Lord.

I knew a gentleman that was called to clean around all the pews after the service, little did I know what an apostate he was…..

82   Neil    
October 5th, 2009 at 5:34 pm

#61 True, But Bell did not say that. He stated how similar they were, almost sounding as though Christianity was a cheap knock off of the Roman paganism.

And you are able to read his heart on this matter? You know that his intention was not to show similarity but belittle the early church?

83   Neil    
October 5th, 2009 at 5:38 pm

The Gospel is not that a giant resurrection rescue is underway.

This is an interesting claim since the Father resurrected the Son as a first-fruit. Which implies more fruit to follow.

And we are, and will be, that additional fruit. And the Bible calls believers first-fruits. Which implies more to follow.

And there is. There is the promise of all creation being restored.

I suppose if you dislike the person who says there “is a giant resurrection rescue is underway” enough you can deny this is true… but, taken for what it is worth – it’s pretty much sums up the whole story of the Bible.

84   Neil    
October 5th, 2009 at 5:45 pm

And by the way, I have not heard anyone say we can bring the Kingdom of God by our own efforts.

Phil,

It does not matter if they say it or not. All you need to do is talk about justice, about advocating social change, about making a different beyond how many people you can get to repeat a prayer – and you are guilty of – I don’t know what.

The need to deny the role of justice and kingdom values is a bastard child of modernist thinking.

85   Neil    
October 5th, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Every Christian’s primary calling is to evangelize the lost. – Pastorboy

Oh really? Care to back this up biblically? Since you no longer respond to me I won’t hold my proverbial breath…

When Jesus was asked what the most important command was he responded with “Love the Lord…” and secondly “Love your neighbor…”

The first is primarily an issue of worship and obedience – no evangelism involved.

The second… when asked who is my neighbor Jesus told a parable about someone meeting the needs of a total stranger – no evangelism involved.

The final words of Jesus were a commission to make disciple the nations (in the Greek the verb is “disciple” not “make.”

Now, evangelism is but one step in making disciples. It may be the first step. But it is only one step.

Therefore, the pastor who preaches to believers is fulfilling the commission as much as someone who stands on a beach with a mega-phone.

Got it!?

We are commanded to do the work of an evangelist. I agree.

But, the call of the Christian to little more that relaying the facts of the Gospel is a modernist invention that is being, and should be rejected.

86   Neil    
October 5th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Other than misrepresenting his parallels with the Empire…

Other than denying God’s involvement in restoration from sin…

Other than bitching about what he did not say…

Is there anything in the video that he actually said that is heretical?

87   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 5th, 2009 at 6:13 pm

It all goes to show that the Scriptures say everything and nothing simultaneously. It is impossible to come to any understanding of redemptive truth, and sometimes impossible to realize that there are profound and far reaching implications between the unrecognized differences.

In the end, we can only come to one point of semi-doctrinal agreement – the ODMs are harsh and self righteous. Those parameters are fixed, anything else is a charitable up for grabs.

88   Neil    
October 5th, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Rick,

I agree that the Scriptures can be used to teach most anything – therefore you may say nothing.

On the other hand, I think it is possible to come to some understanding of redemptive truth.

And at its core, I probably agree with Pastorboy more than I disagree with him – at a theological core.

What I revolt at is his constant reliance on a modernist version of what Christianity must look like. His outer layers of redemptive truth, as they merge from theory to reality are frozen in time and space… the space is Western Europe and North America… the time is somewhere between the 16th and mid-20th Centuries.

89   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 5th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

If by making disciples you mean bringing believers into a deeper and more accurate understanding of truth, than should not that include the cross, the blood, justification by faith, etc.?

But it seems on one hand Bell is speaking to unbelievers (the tours) while on the other hand you suggest he speaks to believers. But neither address the issues I have listed. So just what truths should be taught to disciple a believer?

Everything has to be explained as to what Bell means and because his words are so ambiguous we are left to believe your interpretation. And when someone like me confronts and questions his teachings we are met with the same sarcasm, umbrage, and personal swipes that are deemed unpleasant in others.

Bell seems to have the same status as does MacArthur, Calvin, and Spurgeon in others. As I have said, words continue to mean what each individual deems them to mean. The level of charitableness or understanding of any teaching always seems inexorably connected to the identity of the source.

90   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 5th, 2009 at 7:33 pm

And what in God’s dear name are we supposed to believe when the main speaker at the latest Mars Hill conference posts this?

91   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 5th, 2009 at 7:35 pm

http://peterrollins.net/blog/?p=587

92   Neil    
October 5th, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Rick,

I have not a dog in this fight, that is, it is not my intent to defend Bell – ultimately. As far as I can tell I am not guilty of sarcasm, umbrage, and personal swipes as far as you are concerned.

I have no issue questioning the lack of discussion by Bell when it comes to the things you mention.

But I will defend him against the kind of tactics that question his motives and read his heart.

93   Neil    
October 5th, 2009 at 10:36 pm

And what in God’s dear name are we supposed to believe when the main speaker at the latest Mars Hill conference posts this?

I guess I’d want to know what the point/topic of the conference was.

94   room2blog    http://room2blog.wordpress.com
October 6th, 2009 at 4:01 am

And what in God’s dear name are we supposed to believe when the main speaker at the latest Mars Hill conference posts this?
http://peterrollins.net/blog/?p=587

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/AskPastorJohn/ByTopic/1/4084

95   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 6th, 2009 at 9:02 am

Again, I don’t see what the issue is with that Peter Rollins post. I could understand if the only thing someone read was the title, but when you read the rest of the piece, all he’s saying is that he hopes he one day lives as if we really believe in God in a real way, not just in our heads. To me his main point is in this paragraph:

For example, when I argue that ‘on the Cross the God of religion dies’, I am not saying that some Supreme being literally ceased to exist 2000 years ago. Rather I am pointing out that the body of works known as the New Testament opens up a new and liberating way of understanding the signifier ‘God’ (in Christ a new signification is opened up). Here is one way of rendering it,

Do you believe in God (chain of signifiers)
————————————
Is your entire being caught up in a commitment to transforming the world in love (signified)

Here ‘belief’ takes on the idea of a wholehearted commitment and ‘God’ becomes connected with the idea of generosity, love and grace. The ideas that God should be described as love and that belief in God is intimately connected to how we treat our neighbor are, of course, deeply heretical and one must be wary of even suggesting them. They are incendiary ideas that are unlikely to find a home in any institution where Christian belief is disfigured into gnosticism (where belief is about accepting certain knowledge claims).

It seems to me that most of his writing focuses on this theme. Namely, that faith without works is dead. Perhaps if we find that offensive it because we have bought into the Western idea that we can believe something in our heads without doing anything to back it up. An untested belief isn’t a belief at all.

96   M.G.    
October 6th, 2009 at 9:26 am

RE: 96

That seems like a pretty charitable reading of Rollins. Perhaps too charitable.

It seems like for Rollins, (limited to this passage, I can’t opine any further) faith is just a matter of semantics, literally. Those are murky waters to enter.

97   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 6th, 2009 at 9:43 am

Well, perhaps I’m just too charitable of a guy. :-)

Seriously, though, I feel like I must be missing something obvious, because I don’t see anything like Rollins saying that faith is just a matter of semantics, at least in his blog posts. I do see that he wraps everything up in a package of philosophy-speak, but once you get beyond that, he doesn’t seem to be saying anything too out there.

To me he seems simply to be challenging the notion that the only proof of faith is saying we have it. I don’t really have a dog in the fight, but I’m giving my honest opinion.

I read this little piece by Leonard Sweet this morning where he was talking about the Reformation notion of “here I stand” and how it is really a declaration of a past event. Once you stand somewhere, it implies a stoppage, a ceasing of going anywhere. Really, Christians should be taking part in a movement of “there we go”, and we should be known for who we stand with and where we are headed rather than what we stand for.

98   Neil    
October 6th, 2009 at 9:48 am

Most of what Rollins has written (that I have read, of course) is way beyond me. Like a lot of theologians and philosophers, he sees things in a depth that most do not. Sometimes that is good, sometimes that just seems murky.

The blog in particular raises some good points – assuming I understand them. And that is good.

On the other hand, this is not what I would want from my pulpit on a regular basis.

That is why, before I say he should not have been asked to speak at a conference, before I try and make something of it… I would need to know what the topic/theme of the conference was… what was the point… and what did he actually say at the conference.

99   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 6th, 2009 at 10:07 am

M.G. That represents a genuine level of honesty. It also reminds us that our subjective perseptions, all of us, sometimes color our assessments based upon who we are reading.

A thought: What if we read something like that and the author was listed as a philosophical agnostic who we did not know? Would that change anyone’s assessment of what was said?

There have been a number of posts here that quote someone and asked who said that only to reveal a surprising author. I get the “show and live the works of Jesus” thing, I really do. And I fall painfully short in any category you wish to address. However I still contend it isn’t either/or – there must be some unmistakable redemptive truth interwoven in our theology.

Orthodoxy + orthopraxy = The gospel with power.

100   corey    
October 6th, 2009 at 10:10 am

Neil,
The conference was called Poets, Prophets, Preachers and was about rethinking how sermons function in churches. Rollins was there because at Ikon (his faith community) the ’sermon’ is actually an interactive experience not simply a lecture.

Corey

101   corey    
October 6th, 2009 at 10:11 am

Here’s the link:
http://www.robbell.com/poets-prophets-preachers/

102   Neil    
October 6th, 2009 at 10:48 am

However I still contend it isn’t either/or – there must be some unmistakable redemptive truth interwoven in our theology.

Orthodoxy + orthopraxy = The gospel with power.

I agree. This was what I had in mind while commenting #99.

103   Neil    
October 6th, 2009 at 10:51 am

Corey,

Thanks. On the one hand, I can see Rollins contributing a challenge to those who are stuck in a modernist mindset that assumes “preach the word” means theater style seating and lecture style preaching. And while there is a place for this, it certainly is not the only way.

On the other hand… given Rollins’ philosophical bent, I could easily envision him going off on some kind of esoteric tangent that makes sense only to him and the few others with minds that deep.

104   corey    
October 6th, 2009 at 10:59 am

Neil,
That’s absolutely true. Interestingly, in his first book, the first half is theory (the philosophical underpinnings of the way he thinks) and the second half is practical (10 or so sample Ikon services with explanations for why they do each element of the gathering). So I think he understands that not everyone is as versed philosophically as he is and attempts to bridge the gap. How well he is able to do that is certainly up for debate.

corey

105   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 6th, 2009 at 11:03 am

On the other hand… given Rollins’ philosophical bent, I could easily envision him going off on some kind of esoteric tangent that makes sense only to him and the few others with minds that deep.

Yeah, and my answer to that would be “so what”?

I guess my point would be that the failure to communicate clearly does not make someone a heretic in any shape or form (and I’m not saying you are saying it does, Neil). If it did, then I’ve heard a great many heretics in my life.

I assume that there must be some audience who is interested in what Rollins has to say and connects with him on some level, or he would never have gotten a publisher to print more than one book, and he wouldn’t have been invited to more than one conference. The fact that he doesn’t connect with you personally or that you have trouble understanding him doesn’t really play into anything when it comes to his relationship with Christ.

There are many Christian authors and speakers who are popular, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why. For example, I have never understood why Max Lucado is as popular as he is. To me, his books are the literary equivalent of elevator music. They contain words, but don’t say anything. Now, I certainly don’t think he is heretical because of this. I just can’t relate to his thought process. I had a roommate in college, however, who thought the man was brilliant.

106   Neil    
October 6th, 2009 at 11:10 am

Phil,

I too assume that Rollins must be connecting with people on some level… and I am still undecided on whether I think that is good or not.

As far as Lucado is concerned – he is very devotional and does serve as an example of the other extreme.

I don’t know what book it was from, but at one point he wrote, speaking of Mary having Jesus as around the house as a child he asked; “I wonder if she ever stood back and thought ‘That is God sitting there eating my soup’?” – brilliant!

107   Bo Diaz    
October 6th, 2009 at 11:17 am

M.G. That represents a genuine level of honesty.

Translated to English this means “I agree with you”, and is not an assessment of either honesty or genuineness.

108   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 6th, 2009 at 11:30 am

#108 – Brilliant! You can proceed to the next level of Frueism. :cool:

109   Bo Diaz    
October 6th, 2009 at 11:39 am

With all this talk of levels I have to assume that’s some version of scientology. Should I get my credit card?

110   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 6th, 2009 at 11:42 am

Doctrinal dianetics!

111   nc    
October 6th, 2009 at 4:23 pm

1. The Gospel IS that God hasn’t given up on the world. God so loved a system of rebellion and brokenness that God sent The Son to it to heal it, not condemn it and consign it to the trash heap of judgement.

2. The Gospel IS that a giant resurrection rescue is underway. As Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection, all those in Christ will be raised!

3. The Gospel IS that we are restoring everything on this earth–As a way of cooperating with and proclaiming to all what GOD ALONE WILL FULLY ACCOMPLISH TO GOD’S GREAT GLORY!!!

4. The Gospel IS God wanting to put it all back together. THAT’S CALLED REDEMPTION! see #1-3

5a. The Gospel IS you. For God has reconciled us to God’s self and has given us a ministry of reconciliation. God has entrusted the Gospel to us and has made us the riches of God’s grace.
Our redeemed lives bear witness to the Gospel and what God is doing.

5b. The resurrection IS all around you. Everytime we exercise the Holy Spirit gifted power to choose to not sin, to love our neighbor, to do the good works predestined for us to enact.

6. This IS the historical Gospel. without the later innovation of separating out so strictly forensic articulations of justification from God’s healing sanctification. Welcome to a holistic understanding of salvation in all it’s parts and implications.

112   Neil    
October 6th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Doctrinal dianetics!

or

Doctrinetics.

113   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 6th, 2009 at 5:26 pm

“all those in Christ will be raised!”

How does one get “in Christ”?

114   Michael    
October 6th, 2009 at 6:55 pm

Use a shoe horn? My ego is really big…

115   Neil    
October 6th, 2009 at 7:13 pm
Every Christian’s primary calling is to evangelize the lost. – Pastorboy

Oh really? Care to back this up biblically? Since you no longer respond to me I won’t hold my proverbial breath…

When Jesus was asked what the most important command was he responded with “Love the Lord…” and secondly “Love your neighbor…”

The first is primarily an issue of worship and obedience – no evangelism involved.

The second… when asked who is my neighbor Jesus told a parable about someone meeting the needs of a total stranger – no evangelism involved.

The final words of Jesus were a commission to make disciple the nations (in the Greek the verb is “disciple” not “make.”

Now, evangelism is but one step in making disciples. It may be the first step. But it is only one step.

Therefore, the pastor who preaches to believers is fulfilling the commission as much as someone who stands on a beach with a mega-phone.

Got it!?

We are commanded to do the work of an evangelist. I agree.

But, the call of the Christian to little more that relaying the facts of the Gospel is a modernist invention that is being, and should be rejected.

Rinse.
Repeat.

116   nc    
October 6th, 2009 at 8:07 pm

#114:

by being born from above.

117   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 6th, 2009 at 8:16 pm

#117 – I am lost. How can I be born from above?

118   nc    
October 6th, 2009 at 8:45 pm

#118:

by faith in the mercy and grace of God who has destroyed sin and death through the birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection and continued intercession of Jesus Christ, the God-Human.

119   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 6th, 2009 at 10:01 pm

#119 – OK, OK, I’m saved!

120   nc    
October 7th, 2009 at 1:52 pm

you’re funny rick.

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