Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#57-Not Rob Bell

(No Rob Bell does not have devil horn's in real life)

Every evil movement needs a face to be memorable. The Nazi's had Hitler, the Soviet's had Stalin, the Mongolians had Ghengis Khan, The Disney Channel had Hannah Montana, The VMA's has Kanye West, post-modernism has ellen DeGeneres, evolution has dinosaurs, and evil hyenas who hide out in elephant graveyards have Scar from the Lion King. I hope you get the point...

Well in recent years there has been a devil lurking amongst our midst waiting for the opportunity to invade every aspect of our denomination...This devil is the emergent church. We don't really know what it is, nor have we read many of their books, but we know they exist, they are in our denomination, and for all we know they could be in our house....but as pointed out earlier in this blog:

For a movement to be memorable, it needs a face....and the face of the emergent church is ROB BELL! The man who claims to stand for Christ, but in reality probably stands for nothing at all. The author of Velvet Elvis and Sex God, Rob Bell is a force our denomination cannot ignore.

Here's the weird thing, we talk about him and his mysterious movement a lot, but yet we probably know little about him. I have one source who says that Rob is brought up in many conversations at his bible college but yet none of the people who discuss him at length have read a single book by him.

And then the worst is when we sit down and happen to watch one of his NOOMA videos, which are scarily good...Really good actually....like chances are that if you are a youth pastor and watch one and can afford the NOOMA videos you'll want to show them to your youth group good....

Oh I forgot to mention that Rob Bell literally rejected any notion of him being emergent in his last book, and seemed to despise such a connection...but that would kind of ruin the point of having a face to a movement. So we'll stick to him as the bad guy.

Christian Sufjan Song for Sufjan Week (see post #53):

"For the Widows in Paradise, for the Fatherless in Ypsilanti" (the best of the best in my mind)-


  1. I enjoyed Velvet Elvis. He made some really good points. I don't agree with the way he . . . sort of manipulates some concepts, but the book made me think.

    We need to get to the point where we can disagree with something without wholly denouncing it. Even things you utterly disagree with should make you think. And to me, being reflective is much better than being reactionary . . .

  2. When it comes to things of God, if it challenges your spirit and the people of God in a negative way being reactionary is going to be alot better than being unsaved. Better to be safe than sorry.

  3. Better to be safe than sorry, indeed.

    I've been in many situations where my faith was challenged--classes I've taken, books I've read, people I've interacted with--your spirit and the people of God are bound to be challenged because we live in this place called the world.

    But those strong in their faith will only see it strengthened when challenged. Those insecure in their faith will react reflexively to justify themselves to themselves (what I define as reactionary) or lose their faith altogether.

    I don't mind being challenged. Even negatively. Because each time I am, I have to reassess why I believe what I do. And each time I do, I am the better for it.

  4. I do not need to reevaluate what I believe as I am secure in my standpoint. Instead, when challenged, my first reaction is to fight against it from a Biblical standpoint. I have been questioned on many issues, and just because I am questioned does not mean I am going to change my beliefs or even reconsider, rethink, etc, it means I am going use my knowledge and understanding to explain my actions. I disagree, people who are insecure are going to back down in what they believe when challenged, not "react reflexively". Trust me, I have seen compromisers, and they are not reacting in any way except to hum and haw.

  5. WHAT IF you're wrong?
    WHAT IF the challenge is God trying to correct you?

    What exactly is a compromiser? Is it someone who follows what they believe the Bible says or someone who follows the crowd so that they won't be looked down upon?

    Lastly - the song reminds me of the "I'd Do Anything" song from the musical Oliver!

  6. I believe Rachel is right when she says, "Trust me, I have seen compromisers, and they are not reacting in any way except to hum and haw."

    From my personal experience, I would define a compromiser as one who follows the crowd of opinions of the people surrounding them, whether they happen to be Apostolic or not.

    Ministers that I personally know who've fallen away doctrinally, at some point in their journey to heresy, began to care more about the opinions of non-Apostolic ministers than those of their pastors/bishops/teachers in the Apostolic movement.

    Reasons varied, but all of them would've said that they were trying to follow scripture instead of men (even though their new opinions came from men, just a different group of them).

    This is the inherent problem with systematic theology - men can be wrong in interpreting scripture. We must understand the Bible through prayer and guidance by the Holy Ghost.

    So, to come full circle - you asked if a compromiser was 'someone who follows what they believe the Bible says' or 'someone who follows the crowd so that they won't be looked down upon?' The answer to both questions is yes.

  7. JDR,

    For what it's worth, we have the exact same initials.

    But i guess i would be considered one of the compromisers if that is your definition. Here's what happened to me: I read Romans. The Spirit led me and taught me throughout that entire book. It was nothing like what I had been taught by apostolics. Christianity in Romans is completely different. But i knew it was scripture. So naturally, I found a whole bunch of theologians who kinda seem like they read the bible the same way i do to further mold what exactly the Spirit was telling me and to be able to relate and fully understand. So a lot of non-apostolic writers are my favorite authors, but only because they validated what i already know to be true.

    Good point though (i do think many of the "liberal" apostolics" are conformed more by the Christian books they read in barnes & nobles than they are by the Word itself though. but then the question is....what if what we are reading is simply people teaching us what truth is in further detail? So then in that case, our fall into heresy is not unwarranted...


  8. Some non-apostolics are some of my favorites, too (Lewis, Chesterton, Kreeft).

    Interesting personal story. Have you blogged about what you learned in Romans?

  9. JDR1,

    Are you me in the future?

    Lewis, Chesterton are two of my three all time favorites. The same summer I read romans was the same time I read Mere Christianity. Lewis has been kind of like my teacher for me (because there are only a few apostolic teachers I can really trust in their wisdom). I have never heard of Kreeft though, so that is what makes me think you are from the future (this message being the thing that prompts me to fall in love with Kreeft).

    As for my personal story and romans, i have never really shared it publicly (outside those who know me). I wrote basically an entire book on it a year and half ago, but it just sits on my computer. if i were to put it on a blog, i would have to figure out how to break it down into a readable format. essentially it is kind of a criticism of our misunderstanding of salvation in my mind as apostolics (but in a good way). Romans 8 being the heart of it.

  10. lol No, I'm not future Joel. I am the other Joel (Revalee) in section one (didn't realize we had the same initials). I'm intrigued - Lewis was a major influence for us both.

  11. Wonderful. Now the question is, are our middle names the same? Mine is David.

    Lastly, i am excited to have a nice lewisian conversation with you next time i see you sir!

  12. Mine is also David. Look forward to talking Lewis.

  13. Is this where I should refrain from telling people I've been to Mars Hill Church (when Rob Bell was still popular) and heard him in person.... and liked it? :-P
    Gosh why am I commenting on these old blog posts??

    1. Comment all you want. We can still see them ;)