Rob Bell has a broad range as a teacher. His teaching ranges from misleading to illogical to stupid to hypocritical to heretical. Rob Bell recently made some comments in his latest book "God wants to Save Christians" concerning the war in Iraq. It s just a joke that he gets away with his blatant hypocrisy. There is a phony high ground of humility many emergents (including Bell) take where they claim that certainty is overrated and that it is arrogant to say we know truth or more importantly Scripture's explicit meaning. Here's this doozy of a quote from Brian McLaren (who is kind of like Rob Bell's Yoda):
If I seem to show too little respect for your opinions or thought, be assured I have equal doubts about my own, and I don’t mind if you think I am wrong. I’m sure I am wrong about many things, although I’m not sure exactly which things I’m wrong about. I’m even sure I’m wrong about what I think I’m right about in at least some cases. So wherever you think I’m wrong, you could be right.(Generous Orthodoxy)
This celebration of doubt and confusion is a common emergent theme. The only thing they are certain about is that fundamentalists are wrong - they are very certain about that! Here's my question - is it arrogant to believe that God is kind enough to make His plan of salvation knowable to a man as simple as myself?
Rob Bell and his wife Kristen had this to say about the authority of Scripture when speaking to Christianity Today in November 2004:
The Bells started questioning their assumptions about the Bible itself—"discovering the Bible as a human product," as Rob puts it, rather than the product of divine fiat. "The Bible is still in the center for us," Rob says, "but it's a different kind of center. We want to embrace mystery, rather than conquer it."
"I grew up thinking that we've figured out the Bible," Kristen says, "that we knew what it means. Now I have no idea what most of it means. And yet I feel like life is big again—like life used to be black and white, and now it's in color."
Clear as mud and heretical to boot. Now watch Rob Bell make the leap from heresy to hypocrisy as he "embraces the mystery" of the war in Iraq.
"We are fighting a war right now for oil. American soldiers and Iraqi civilians are getting killed today because they have a resource that (we) are addicted to. You know you are part of an empire when, in order to get a resource that literally fuels your empire, you will use violence... but when the American way becomes addicted to this comfort, and this comfort is dependent on a particular natural resource which we cannot provide enough of, we literally wage war to support our comfort and addiction.... It is hard for people to comprehend that our hands have blood on them, especially when some of the political rhetoric is "They're Evil, we're good" - that is absolutely destructive."
How does Rob Bell know this? Did Rick Warren give him a backstage pass to the Council on Foreign Relations? Or is he just speaking with authority on a subject he clearly knows very little about. As little as I know here is a little history
1991: Iraq invades Kuwait in an attempt to overtake them, this includes attacking Israel.
90's: Iraq refuses to cooperate with UN
1999: Iraq rejects UN Resolution
2000: Again rejects weapons inspection
2002: Again rejects weapons inspection
2002: US President George W. Bush addresses a special session of the UN, calls for multilateral action against Iraq. Iraq responds by announcing it will allow inspections unconditionally, but quickly retracts the offer, making it conditional on no new US resolutions.
2003: Hans Blix reports large amounts of illegal weapons unaccounted for, inspection not satisfied
2003: Arab Summit calls on Iraq to disarm, refuses. (http://www.mideastweb.org/iraqtimeline.htm)
Hmmmm so it's all about oil. I suggest Rob Bell take a break from his study of Rabbinical history and spend some time studying recent history.
Church goer - please don't buy into this emergent nonsense. God gave us a Bible that we can trust and know how to be reconciled to Him. Spend more time studying that and use it to cut through the fog of confusion that people like Rob Bell sprout.
Go On To Part 7
Go Back To Part 5
Go Back To Part 1