And Rob Bell is a cracked pot, too. And so is Billy Graham. John Piper. My Mom. All of us have beliefs that we are wrong about that we hold on to with a white-knuckled passion. Me, too. The availablity of coffee Haagen Daas and mom’s hot fudge in heaven, for example. It only stands to reason that this blessed dessert pairing will make it to the heavenly feast table, but in my quiet moments alone… I can’t be sure.
So I have some problems with Rob Bell (lead Pastor of Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, MI) and I think some of his theology is dangerous. But I haven’t yet had a chance to do a Matthew 18 with Rob and call him out on those things one-on-one. So my concerns need to stay with me for now. Suffice it to say, I believe he’s on the Jesus Team, AND he kinda freaks me out. I see the kind of influence he has as a leader. And I just don’t agree with him – on many fronts.
But he has also been my pastor and teacher (via podcast). Listening to him teach about the Good Samaritan impacted me deeply. I believe God has used Rob as a truth-communicator, and His Word pierced me. Rob has fueled my fire for “social justice,” even though I’d rather just call it “loving hurting people.” So he may be a heretic. And he may be a genius. And he may be wrong. But he’s just a cracked pot. It’s the treasure He carries that makes him my brother, too.
To all my good friends who think I’m somehow flirting with disaster – entertaining dangerous alliances with flimsy (or heretical) doctrines, I love you guys. You stalwart defenders of truth and the inerrancy of Scripture – I need you and the church gains strength from your conviction. But please consider Matthew 18 when and if you are compelled to level your righteous shotgun at Rob Bell. Or Bill Hybels. Or Andy Stanley. Or the pastor up the street. Or at me. Go to the source. The interwebs blog comment sections are full of the Church’s philosophical subdivisions firing salvos at other subdivisions – with righteous indignation and a belief that God is only on one side. People! We’re all cracked pots. Invest your energy in exalting Jesus – willingly crucified and risen again for you!
Right before Jesus went to the cross, He prayed passionately in the garden for His believers. “Father, please help my kids see that the Baptists (or Lutherans… or Epitholupians… pick your flavor) are the only ones who are gonna make it to the party…” Nope. “…that they will all be ONE, as You and I are ONE… so the world will know You sent me.” (see John 17)
WHAT?!? You mean, if all of us cracked pots unite around Jesus Christ, the world will believe?! I’m in! I heart you Rob Bell! (…even if you ARE kinda a heretic.)
And with that, I don my bulls-eye tee-shirt and prepare for the oncoming deluge. Fire away. (But I warn you… I am a Lutheran drummer, so I’ve had some practice wearing this get-up.)
“i heart rob bell, and i think he’s a heretic” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.