Monday, May 04, 2009

How would you describe The Gospel on Twitter?

Here's Rob Bell's effort, as reported in Christianity Today:

I would say that history is headed somewhere. The thousands of little ways in which you are tempted to believe that hope might actually be a legitimate response to the insanity of the world actually can be trusted. And the Christian story is that a tomb is empty, and a movement has actually begun that has been present in a sense all along in creation. And all those times when your cynicism was at odds with an impulse within you that said that this little thing might be about something bigger—those tiny little slivers may in fact be connected to something really, really big.


dave bish said...

I've got more problem with the question than the answer. The main issue with the answer is that it's way over the Twitter limit of 140 characters!

I grant there is more to say, but it's not a disastrous conversation starter that draws you in to want to hear more...

Unless we start playing Shibboleth I find the critique he's getting for this to be just a little bit mean-spirited...

Tom said...

Yawn.... It's when Christians are like this that it makes me......prefer the company of non-Christians.

I couldn't agree with your critique more Big Daddy Bish.

Lovelessness is so much easier to see from a point of independence - same as pride.

FloydTheBarber said...

Sure, but would that start a conversation? Or would a warm, friendly guy telling you, that, basically things are going to be ok in the end put repentance etc to the back of your mind?

He was asked to explain the Gospel...and he just didn't! A dude many people see as a figurehead/example in a publication many people see as a frontline conservative/evangelical resource.

Thats not ok is it?

Sure Gilbert's preaching to the choir, and probably comes across a bit proud, but i still think he's got a point!

Anonymous said...


I'm not the biggest fan of Bell, but you need to read a different kind of newspaper.

Theological accuracy is a Godly beautiful thing, but.... It can be an idol too.

It's worth noticing that Jesus would be burned at the stake for under this kind of logic. Because Jesus doesn't mention repentance in every conversation he has. He does in most of them, but not all. When he is asked to summarise the whole story in Matt 22, he doesn't mention it. So, the logic condemns Jesus - isn't that enough to make you reject it?

As someone who was very sceptical about Christian faith, I can say that I would much rather talk to Bell, and that I would have understood him clearly at points to talk about repentance, than someone who didn't connect to me as a person. I looked at Christians, saw the way that they talked and thought and picked the ones who I thought valued other people properly.

The idea that the gospel is a magic message (which might well be idea that lies behind much of this) which manipulates people, is totally unbiblical and puts no real trust in God's sovereignty. It says, "Just give them the gospel, tell them about the cross. The Holy Spirit does the rest." I'd like to see a reference for that.

Conservative theology, and the focus on the bible that it gives is beautiful and wonderful, but its danger, due to our fallen nature, is a judgementalism. I see that here Ed.

What is the betting that this guy has railed against Bell before, for the same sort of thing, and that this is just another opportunity to do the same old thing. What does that tell us? Quite a lot.

There is too much to do, both in and outside the church to be like this to each other. I would encourage you to move away from the influence of this guy (the guy critiquing Bell).

FloydTheBarber said...

Aye Mr Anon, perhaps you're right.

The thing is, i really think i'd like Rob Bell if how he comes across in books and on Nooma is anything to do by. We'd have a coffee, talk about our families, i could bore him with my questions about the more obscure elements of the NFL (how exactly does free agency work Rob?) He's a nice guy, if he could stand me being 10-15 minutes late, we'd have a good time.

And sure, Gilbert comes across as a hard nosed conservative who'd probably call out a non Christian for wanting to read the NLT instead of the ESV.

But thats where the danger lies isn't it? Rob Bell is so attractive. His message is so warmly received by young people who think that all this talk of sin and repentance belongs to their parents generation or those folks below the Mason Dixon line. I don't think he's 'evil' or 'heretical', i just think he's done something old and deadly and dressed it up as something new and breathlessly exciting.

I guess my point is that CT is still read and respected, and it should be their responsibility to help people think about what the Gospel is... Rightly or wrongly, thats what Greg Gilbert ended up doing.