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Rob Bell vs. Conservative Evangelicalism :: More Video Wars

In case you missed it, Rob Bell came out with a book last year that sparked immediate controversy before it ever even hit the shelves. How? Through this trailer video. It ruffled the feathers of what may be the largest stream of Christianity in America: conservative evangelicalism. Here is the original video:

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Now part of what makes Bell’s videos so attractive to a postmodern age is his ability to communicate with probing questions and provocative stories instead of a traditional preachy format. Jefferson Bethke, the same guy that recently attained instant fame through his video “Jesus vs. Religion” made a response video to Rob Bell’s trailer expressing this conservative evangelical critique quite well. Here is that video:

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Most people don’t have time to read lengthy written critiques of controversial perspectives, so the best they will ever get is an entertaining view of what I have labeled the “video wars.”  Here is a better way: listen to two conservative Christians confronting Bell in a respectful but insistent way, to clarify his views on Unbelievable.  Although clearly the interviewers appear to be antagonistic, and often interrupt Bell and dominate the discussion, this is a great dialogue.  I was shocked when I realized that Bell’s response to Warnock on biblical texts left Warnock admitting his own ignorance of the biblical languages, whereas Bell had apparently studied the biblical texts more critically than Warnock.

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3 Comments

  1. Pastor Matt says:

    Hey Bradley,

    Thanks for the post brother. Here is a Lutheran response to Rob Bell’s video that I posted awhile back:

    Rob Bell Making Evil Good and Good Evil
    http://www.pastormattrichard.com/2011/02/theology-of-rob-bell-making-evil-good.html

    PM

  2. Jason Ramage says:

    Just taking a look around the theophilogue today. Muslim response is interesting… thanks for sharing.

  3. mrerrare says:

    Hello friend. Remember me? The uber poster? Thanks for deleting my old post. I told you I’d boil down my words some, so here’s an excerpt from my uberblog on my own page (which admittedly, weakly and entirely hinges on Sola Gratia Sola Fide). Here’s a quote: “it is little wonder two camps (at least two) can’t agree on Love Wins. They have totally different points of departure for their arguments and hence draw totally different conclusions. It’s like they are speaking different languages while believing they are speaking the same one. They are using the same words, but using them differently, etc., etc., etc.

    Before I say more, let me say that in some ways, this is ok and in other ways it is really really not ok. It’s not ok that theological debate distract us from our missiological calling. It not Ok when every discussion of Matthew 25 recently seems to be about heaven/hell stuff at the expense of “the least of these, my brethren” who we are called to love. So while we argue doctrine, and they hungry stay hungry, the sick and the prisoner remain alone, the stranger stays outside, and the naked remain unclothed, it is clear that we’ve fixated on only one part of Matthew 25. That is not ok. While we neglect the least of these but love to affirm the “depart from me ye cursed ones” do we not fear the irony that our love of debate is keeping us from the least of these and thereby making us “goats”? Whatever hell is, why do we not fear neglecting the least of these…..when we can get around to them tomorrow, right? or the next day? Today we’ve got to “resolve” big doctrinal issues first, right? And this hell thing is a biggie. We’ll get around to loving Jesus in the least of these once we can prove to everyone what happens to us if we don’t love him as such. Is this not madness?!!!!!

    So endless debate (and sadly, it will be endless) is not ok. It gets us off mission. It keeps us off mission. However, while the endless amount of words wasted in this debate (my own, as well) may be tragic, there is a sense in which the dissonance within the church is ok. I don’t mean the division. I don’t mean the name calling and the castigation that flows both ways. I mean that lack of all the answers. It’s ok to not have all the answers. It’s not ok to get off mission, forget John 3:16, the Great Commission, and the least of these of Matthew 25. It is ok, I believe to disagree on things. It would be nice if we could disagree without being….so distasteful….and disgraceful…and such poor stewards of time in respect to the least of these.” That’s the main point, really. If you peep my blog, and have insight on how to think through this with other than Lutheran lenses, I’d value that. Also, I’ll link you a faceless youtube Vid that kind of sums up my thoughts. Appreciate your work. Peace brother. And thanks again, for the do-over.:) lol

    …and yeah, I’m kinda a music fan more than a philosopher or theologian:) hehe

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