on the Rob Bell contretemps

I will confess, I’m unlikely to read Rob Bell’s new book that came out today. For all the sound and fury surrounding it over the past few weeks, I doubt that over the long term it will signify much of anything beyond a record of some temporary agitation about how the  emerging church should seek to engage the 21st century West. (I recognize that Rob Bell does not identify as part of the emerging church movement, but it’s largely that segment that tracks his thought.)

That said, I will look forward to this.

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One Response to on the Rob Bell contretemps

  1. Karl says:

    I wonder.

    Rob Bell is, to some degree, at the vanguard of those who are challenging some of the old norms, particularly related to doctrine. (Scriptures; salvation; Trinity; and, of course, the nature of the afterlife.) I have seen a few reviews, some of which are quite perceptive. Good review: http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/love-wins-a-review-of-rob-bells-new-book. One of the more balanced I have seen.

    I think it may be right to suggest that Bell represents a relatively liberal branch of the old emerging church coalition. In fact, I sense Bell is beginning to separate himself from some of the others who are in this broad coalition.

    Some (and I count myself in here) think that the “Emerging” language is kind of losing steam. It functioned like a critique (from the some momentum as the “postmodern” nomeclature); however, that momentum has been pretty well identified, defined, and its value may have either made itself felt (and will be absorbed within a variety of venues), or it will fail to hold up its own weight. Simply: it tends to focus more on questions than on discovering and constructing.

    Bell prompts all kinds of questions, but his answers will tend to dissatisfy, and (in my view) he is beginning (or continuing) to distinguish him from the more classical evangelical versions of “emerging” – broadly a group of people who are trying to engage the post-modern world with a message that is more relevant than it often is found in most churches. This book seems to confirm that one. I have it in electronic form, and am only just started; but the style is both refreshing in his writing and problematic.

    As to it blowing by? Who knows. I wonder.

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