After catching the last half of the “Love Wins” interview on livestream, I feel it necessary to give this shout out to Rob Bell. I have learned so many things from him! They are, in no particular order:
1. The Church needs systematic theology. So badly. This involves the careful and routine study of all the passages that deal with a topic in order to form as clear an interpretation of those passages and that topic as is possible. This also means that we ACTUALLY READ OUR BIBLES AND STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT HOW “BORING” IT IS.
2. The Church needs teachers. Desperately. Teachers who are willing to really dig into Scripture and allow Scripture to determine their worldview and theology, instead of coming at Scripture with the goal of using it to prove what they already think. Teachers who are engaged in the lifelong pursuit of theology, who love rigorous study, who don’t mind debate and questioning – but who are, ultimately, grounded in the realization that God is God and they are not. This means that we DON’T HAVE TO LIKE EVERYTHING that the Bible says.
3. Postmodernism + Christianity = chaos. Nonsense. Do some research on postmodernism and you’ll see it.
4. Your body language says a lot. Very loudly.
5. If you get asked a question, answer it! If you don’t know, then say you don’t know. Don’t do the ridiculous dance of being vague and never actually addressing anything. That’s pointless.
6. Love does win. Absolutely. But…
7. …justice wins. Freedom of choice also wins. You either accept Christ as Lord or you don’t. That doesn’t make God unloving or “one thing this minute and one thing the next.” It makes you responsible.
8. Theologians and teachers need cooler glasses and hipster clothes to be taken seriously.
9. People need to be taught to think for themselves instead of swallowing the latest fad.
10. Discussion is good. Some people are lamenting the fired up state that Christianity (particularly American Christianity) finds itself in over the book. I think it’s great. Means people are engaging with the ideas.
11. Striving to be “cool” and “relevant” isn’t so good. You can end up pandering to the crowd that way.
12. The Church needs to call a spade a spade. If something stands outside the pale of orthodoxy, and, trust me, that spectrum is very wide-ranging and full of diverging stances, then it needs to be called false.