In case you didn’t know this about me, I avoid confrontation. Likely to the point of it being an unhealthy character trait, seriously, if I’m faced with it head on, I generally shut down and get what has been dubbed ‘the dumb as dirt’ look on my face, while I glaze over, check out, and go to my happy place :). Even situations normal people would dub as non-confrontational, if there is a disagreement, with even the slightest increase in octave, I’m out… Not healthy.
This is one of the reasons I love blogging… I get to avoid the dreaded debate as noted in my previous blog, and say my piece without threat of retaliation. Am I a coward… Yes. I know this because I Googled the definition, hoping I could say no, I was just scared… but the definition pegged me dead on: A person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things. Bummer, guess I get to try and work on that one… so if we get in an argument in the near future, please be nice to me, and know that if I’m actually still engaged in the argument I’m pretty much terrified of you at that moment… so be nice.
Anyway, back to the point of this particular Blog… Since reading “Love Wins”, and posting my initial Blog on it (my last one), I’ve had multiple discussions on it with others of the opposing view point, and heard/read additional commentaries/articles where people continue to slam both the book and Rob Bell. I don’t retract my original statement, that different view points are healthy. I stand by it, as its given way to insights I had not entertained while reading the book, and I appreciate the people that have been able to point different things out for me. However, I remain firm in my claim it was great book, and Rob is a great Christian for having written it.
Now I just need to find me some of that courage, so I can defend my claims more eloquently in the moment. For now, you can read them 🙂
With so many lost, disillusioned, cynical people, desperately needing something to grab a hold of, why are we so quick to try and sink the life preserver Rob Bell has tossed them? I’m not saying he’s the ship that will take them home, but I do know he’s making an effort to reach people, is that not what we are all called to do? What if by reading this book, someone so spurred before by the FAILED efforts of a zealot, rethinks their decision on writing the whole God thing off?
Many are familiar with the statement “God alone knows the heart of man”, so why are so many convinced they know Rob’s intent behind publishing that book was to proclaim there is NO Hell? What if his purpose was to create holy controversy? He says in the book there is a Hell, but he puts all sorts of ambiguity around it to make the reader question their preconceived notions. Is that not holy controversy… getting someone to seek, so that they might find? Putting it in God’s hands, and having faith that he will lead the reader on the journey they are meant to follow. He’s getting worldwide press on this, he’s made the cover of Time Magazine, I’ve heard him discussed on talk shows, radio shows, and he’s practically viral on the internet… I fail to see how this isn’t a good thing, overall, for God’s kingdom. It’s blowing the door WIDE open for those with strong faith to reach out to those who might be struggling and help them navigate their way through the waters back to “THE SHIP” (aka Jesus) (sorry, it set itself up too perfectly to bring my life preserver analogy home 😉 Yet, to me, it seems those that ‘know’ the most about their faith, are missing their chance to ‘act out IN Faith’.
What if, instead of attacking the validity of the book, which will obviously cause those that read it to question themselves and potentially keep them from asking the most important question they might ever ask, we accept it, and wait in faith? As Bell asked in the beginning of his book, “is it what we say”… No, its what we believe, and its not about what Rob says either, the book was written, and God knows why, so let’s get on board with it, and put it to the best use possible.