Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Diabolical Questions

When Rob Bell's promo video for Love Wins [which can be seen HERE] first came out, some defended Bell by saying, "Well, he's just asking questions."

(And this was typical of the Emergent Church Movement: to ask many leading questions.)

First and foremost: Christians should have remembered that the first words of the Tempter to humanity were delivered in the form of a question (Gen 3:1).

Dr. Jim Hamilton of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary also helped to expose the fallacy of thinking that questions are inherently neutral through the following monologue, written in the style of C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters. [The remainder of this post is quoted from Dr. Hamilton's blog; the original post can be seen HERE.]

In Defense of Rob Bell

A Guest Post by Bill Z. Bull

Are there not serious problems with this site, the views of its author, and is not the very title of this blog most offensive? What kind of person would take the perspectives articulated here? Is this my task, however, or should I not proceed to the burden of this post, the defense of one who has done so much good for our cause? Shall I, Bill Z. Bull, not take up the defense of Rob Bell?

You thought God told Adam not to eat of that tree? You thought he said that in the day he ate of it, dying he would die? Even if the collector of the foreskins did create this world (Really? He did? We have confirmation of this? Somebody knows this? Without a doubt?), would that give him the right to take it upon himself to make restrictions on what people could do? Even if he were so presumptuous, who is to say that he would ever follow through on his word? After all, did Adam die that day? What will you say, that we are to take Adam’s eventual death as proof that the one who claims omnipotence will do as he says? Would you consider that just? What does that mean, that this self-appointed judge is to be trusted?

Is there not a better way? Can we not imagine an arrangement we would prefer? Can we not invent a system that would be more palatable to people as sophisticated as ourselves? Would we not prefer to be led by one more like ourselves?

Should there not be a category for a ruler who, even if he said he was going to punish the opposition, would never actually do so? Would we have to conclude that such a magistrate were unworthy of trust? Could we not simply turn it into an interpretive issue? Would we not prefer one who would conduct the affairs of the universe more in the way that we ourselves would? Would we ourselves not alter the state of affairs in order to cast ourselves, for instance, in a better light? Would we not change the terms to our own advantage when necessary? Would not a ruler with such powers be preferable to one who would first presume to make rules and then be so impetuous as to enforce them?

Do I, Bill Z. Bull, not serve just the master I am describing?

Has not, in fact, the majority of the world’s population chosen to rule with us in our empire rather than serve the one who failed even to protect his own son? Does our majority not show that our cause will triumph? Shall we not prevail? More have chosen our way of thinking, does this not serve as proof that our views (however we may nuance them when the need arises, however they may “contradict” one another, and however “incoherent” they may appear on analysis) are in fact “true”? What, after all, is truth?

Shall I not come to the question that will vindicate Rob Bell once and for all?

Who defines love?

Shall we allow the one who claimed to create these predictable spheres, the one who failed to protect his own son, the one who claims to “keep his word” about punishing transgressors and then forgives those who “repent” (is that just?), shall we allow him to define this most important word, love? Would he not claim that if there were no justice mercy and love would have no meaning? Would he not explain that if he did not uphold his standards against those who refused to repent, he would be unworthy of trust, unrighteous himself, and unworthy of worship? Would he not claim some lame bromide about not despising broken spirits and contrite hearts?

Are we to believe that it would be unloving for justice to be abolished? Would we not prefer a world without justice? Are we to believe that it would be unloving for this so-called God to prove himself as unreliable as those who first took the bold step of crossing his so-called boundaries?

Has not Mr. Bell started down the right track with his questions? Has he not horns like a lamb, and yet has he not begun to speak like a dragon? Does there not appear to be the heart of a wolf under those clothes of a sheep? Have we not cause to take much pride in the steps he has begun to take?

Be honest, reader, do you not prefer the alternative vision cast here for you to the one articulated by the author of this site?

Do we not have sufficient evidence against this site’s author? Has not the author of this site claimed that hell glorifies God? How? Who would make such a claim? Has not the author of this site claimed that only those who trust in the executed criminal will be saved? What about those who never hear the gospel? Has this contemptible author not gone so far as to argue that the self-aggrandized one who claims even to sustain my own existence—me, Bill Z. Bull—glorifies himself most particularly in his displays of justice that would highlight, I spit the foul word: mercy?

Shall I not rest my case in favor of Rob Bell against all those who would hold the views espoused at a site such as this?

Do I not invite you to continue this conversation with me at www.billzbull.com? Or could you not email me at billzbull@lordoftheflies.com?

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