Thursday, March 17, 2011

Even more HELL!

If you're a Christian in North America or in any way associated with Christians in North America these days, chances are fairly decent you've heard of Rob Bell's new book on hell, and why he thinks the way the narrative of hell gets preached by North American Christians is dumb-dumb-stupidhead.

While I'd love to roll up my sleeves and start soapboxing on this, I feel that (given my particular situation) it is something I had better leave to my betters. So I'm just going to triple dog dare you to head over and read Fred the Slacktivist's latest post on the topic. Then read his other posts on it: thoughtfully, quietly, and with a fearless, open mind. Heck, while you're at it, why don't you go read Dr. Richard Beck's series on universalism? Then come back here, and leave me a comment explaining why you still think Rob Bell is off his rocker.

Because as suspicious as I am of rockstar Christians, I find it hard to dislike Rob Bell and I would love to hear your (cogent, humble, quiet) arguments against him. There's nothing I would like more than to be able to continue on from a theological standpoint based on FEAR of hell. I've spent a lot of my life in fear, and I'm not really willing to let that go.

I gotta admit, though... it's getting harder.

5 comments:

  1. Hi, I am from Australia.

    Please find an essay which gives a unique Illuminated Understanding of the non-sectarian Universalism taught and demonstrated by Jesus while he was alive.

    http://www.beezone.com/up/secretsofkingdomoggod.html

    On Love, or emotional-sexual Understanding

    http://www.dabase.org/2armP1.htm#ch1

    An Illuminated (REAL) Understanding of death via:

    http://www.adidam.org/death_and_dying/index.html

    http://www.dabase.org/dualsens.htm

    On Right Life altogether.

    http://www.adidam.org/teaching/aletheon/truth-life.aspx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, John. I'll check all that out.

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  3. I've always thought that living your life out of the fear of hell was misguided and selfish. Personally, I believe in living your life out of the fear of God (and in this instance, I mean awe at the power of God).

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  4. It seems to me that we are called by Jesus to love others, and help others learn to love. It shouldn't matter if the person is labeled a Christian or has some other possibly fancier label. Regardless of who a person is, or where they are at in life, we should be trying to edge them and the other people in our life a little closer to Jesus. The idea that we need to figure out right now who God will decide gets in to heaven and who won't seems a bit ridiculous, our behavior shouldn't depend on this. Actually I would say it is worse than ridiculous, it is divisive. It is not our job. Probably not anything we should even be concerned with. In the end, our ideas on the matter are irrelevant. It's probably safe to say, no one is voted in to heaven. If I had a blog, this is what I'd write on the matter.

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  5. Thanks, Doug.

    Long before I ever had first doubts about the particular soteriological slant I was raised in, I began to say that I felt that salvation was none of my business, and to start to reject simplistic categorization. For instance, if you were to ask me if a person was a Christian (and evangelicals ask that question ALL the time), I'd squint my eyes a bit and say, "Just a second, let me go x-ray their heart."

    I don't think it matters all that much what a person says they believe, as how they love.

    Most evangelicals would agree with that, but only as a method of winnowing out all the Real, True Christians (themselves) from all those Others, like: liberals, Catholics, non-Baptists, et cetera.

    Me, I take a somewhat broader view, shut my mouth, and try to love.

    ReplyDelete

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