A few days ago, I was having lunch with a couple friends, and eventually the conversation turned to discussing the book.
No, not the Bible, but Rob Bell’s Love Wins. One of them asked if I could remember a book that caused this much controversy in American churches in recent history. And I couldn’t. There are books that I wished had caused this kind of stir, but for a host of reasons they didn’t.
I finished reading it a couple days ago, so I’ve had some time to reflect on what Bell has written and how to respond. And I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not going to. Respond that is. At least not here.
The book itself if ok. Not terrible. Not great. He really isn’t saying anything that hasn’t been said before. And yet, I think what is making this book the phenomenon that it has become isn’t simply some genius marketing (although, it hasn’t hurt it either). Nor is because it is the greatest book that has ever been written to address weighty issues like these. No, the difference maker is who has written it. As best I can tell, this is the first time a high-profile evangelical Christian leader has broken ranks (so to speak) with the party line in such a public manner. I’m sure plenty of others have done so in a hundred different ways. But not like this.
I do think the issues, questions, and ideas raised in the book deserve some serious discussion, but I’m not convinced that this blog is the place to do it.
So I won’t be writing anything about it, which is strange for me because that’s lots of what I do around here. Write about books. I may come back around to it eventually, but for now, what I would love more than anything is to have Mr. Bell call me up so that we can talk about it.
But since that is probably not happening anytime soon, maybe just you and I can talk. But not here. Only in person.
Really, I’d love to talk to any and all of you about it. I think people need a safe place where they aren’t going to be judged for trying to figure it out. In fact, I’m planning on getting together with a few friends for the express purpose of discussing the issues Pastor Rob raises. So you’re invited too.
I’m not kidding.
How about next Thursday (4/14)? 5pm-7pm. At The Prost.
That way, we can discuss theology like they used to in the olden days… over a pint (or two), a basket of chicken wings, and some jalapeno poppers. Or whatever the equivalent of wings and poppers would have been for Luther/Calvin/Lewis.
Eat a little. Drink a little. Talk a little. All for the glory of God.
And Brother Rob, should you happen to come across this in time, you are more than welcome to join us. Like I said, I have some questions of my own.