Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Foxes Book of Emergents With Hurt Feelings - Rob Bell (Part 2)

I have received many accusations concerning my Rob Bell expose video for not attempting to dialogue personally with Rob Bell, even though these people never dialogued with me to find out whether their accusation was true or not. To satisfy their curiosity I am now posting the letter (e-mail) I sent to the fellowship he pastors - Mars Hill Bible Church. This was my attempt to try and get a response to the many bizarre, cryptic, and disturbing things that have been uttered by Rob Bell in recent years.

This was never a Matthew 18 discipline issue anyway and did not require an attempt to contact Rob Bell personally (as difficult as that is). Rob Bell's false teachings are publicly marketed and demand a public response, Scripture mandates it (Romans 16:17), and Rob Bell even invites it on the back cover of his book Velvet Elvis. It is Rob Bell who should have consulted with credible theologians before publishing his book, committed open air preachers before slandering them in "Bullhorn Guy", and the biblical text before making a hash of the Gospel whenever he preaches.

Nonetheless I wrote to Mars Hill church (Grand Rapids) in the hope of getting some clear answers. Their website requested I read their "narrative theology" before writing as it would possibly answer my questions. Well the "narrative theology" did not answer any of my questions it just raised a whole lot more. What follows is the letter I wrote.

To whom it may concern
I have read through your theology page but many questions remain unresolved. I would be so grateful if you could clearly answer the following 10 questions:

1. Could you explain what Mars Hill (MH) teaches concerning how an individual can be "born again" as Jesus spoke about in the John 3:3?

2. If a person is"born again" or "saved" - what are they saved from?

3. Is there a such thing as eternal conscious punishment (ie Hell or the Lake of Fire) - and if so who will end up there?

4. Do you hold to the doctrine of the Trinity - and if so how do you describe it?

5. How do you define sin (it only seemed to be described in the sense of social responsibility on your theology page)?

6. What happens to people who aren't Christians when they die, what is their eternal destiny? For example what would happen to a devout muslim, devout buddhist etc

7. Is it necessary to repent of sin in order for an individual to recieve salvation -and if so how would you define this repentance?

8. Do you believe that the Cross of Jesus Christ was about or mainly about God pouring out His wrath on His Son as a penal subsitutionary payment for human sin?

9. How would you teach people in your congregation to witness or proclaim the Christian message and what are the essential elements of this message?

10. Would you agree or disagree with the following statement - The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.

I very much appreciate you taking the time to read this mail and consider these questions.

Yours sincerely
Cameron Buettel

They did respond and I'll post it on thursday - be prepared for disappointment.

Go On To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1


Erica said...

I am sorry you have such strong feelings about my pastor and church and was disappointed by their response to you.
You should come visit sometime. Sometimes that is the only way to know the truth in the midst of so much hate, gossip, and malicious slandering that goes on.
Our services are at 9:00 and 11:00 I would love to take the time and show you around if you come. Let me know how I can help

Mark Sohmer said...

You're making us wait until TOMORROW for their answers??? So cruel!!!

The Bottom Line with Cameron Buettel said...

Thank you Erica for your kind tone. It is a nice change from the many judgmental comments I have received on youtube.

My criticism here is not based on gossip or slander. It is based on the teaching of Rob Bell.

I have never made personal comments regarding Rob Bell's character or intentions, I have biblically critiqued his teaching. And in the light of Scripture it is found wanting. Major theological issues include a denial of the Divine inspiration of Scripture, redefining the Gospel to something other than penal atonement, a denial of hell as a place of eternal punishment, a failure to preach biblical repentance, and a wrong view of man's depravity to name but a few. I am concerned Erica and Scripture gives a mandate to speak up about it. Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

Please consider this. I am willing to back up my claims - I would not say it if I didn't know it was true. I thoroughly recommend Mark Sohmer's review of Velvet Elvis found on my website (onceuponacross dot com , scroll down and click on the "area 51" icon and scroll down for the link.

Thank you for your comment

Erica said...

I know sometimes in reading comments we can mis-read tone. I am glad you did not do that. It is my intent to always show Gods love in all I do even though I often fail that.
I have read Velvet Elvis. I am starting to think that we all read books much like we read the bible. Most of the things you say and your friend says I think "where did he get that?" I walk away with a different interpretation and draw different conclusions. I think you will see this in my response to your latest post. I believe much like Rob says we do this with the bible. We walk away with our own interpretation on what it meant.
My husband and I believe with all our hearts that God told us one to day to move to Grand Rapids so we could be apart of Mars Hill. My husband and I have been Christians for well over twenty five years. My husband is former pastor, who is working on a masters degree right now. God brought us here and has done amazing things in our lives. In fact I just told my husband that I commented on your blog. He asked me "Why do you care so much?" I thought about it for a moment and I told him because Mars Hill is my family and just like I would defend my husband or my children I will defend my family the church. They are great people and my life is changed because God brought us here and every day we see His provision in our lives. Jesus changes lives.