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Two Perspectives On Evangelical Theology Prompted By Rob Bell’s ‘Love Wins’


Here are a couple of statements that contrast evangelical theology with ‘evangelical liberalism,’ as it is developing.
Albert Mohler’s review of ‘Love Wins’ includes this statement about the Gospel:

We have no right to determine which “story” of the Gospel we prefer or think is most compelling. We must deal with the Gospel that we received from Christ and the Apostles, the faith once for all delivered to the church. Suggesting that some other story is better or more attractive than that story is an audacity of breathtaking proportions. The church is bound to the story revealed in the Bible — and in all of the Bible … every word of it.

Brian McLaren offers a defense of Rob Bell (and a critique of Mohler) which revolves around this remarkable assertion:

Our versions (mine included) are all, then, human interpretations of the gospel of Christ and the apostles, and human interpretations of the original message are not exactly the same thing as the original message. Some are more true to the original and some less, but no articulation of the gospel today can presume to be exactly identical to the original meaning Christ and the apostles proclaimed. That doesn’t mean we can’t proclaim anything with confidence, but it demands a proper and humble confidence rather than a naive and excessive confidence.

So we have a committment to mutual belief in a truth revealed in the Scriptures with a committment to mutual seeking of truth which can be derived from Scripture.
These are not the same thing.
I affirm the first position.

3 thoughts on “Two Perspectives On Evangelical Theology Prompted By Rob Bell’s ‘Love Wins’

  1. me too.

    But, for arguments sake, wow do we know that our interpretation of “the faith once for all delivered to the church” is the right one? And that others are wrong.

    That’s the question that we (Mohler and you and me) need to be able to answer.

    • That’s not for argument’s sake though, is it?
      We’d be working from a common understanding that there is a faith once for all received, and that can arrive at it, and that anything that diverges from that faith is wrong.
      The whole Bible, and for reductionism’s sake, the New Testament were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in order to proclaim, define and document the spread of the good news of Jesus Christ. The documents themselves are adamant enough that they proclaim what is true and refute what is wrong. McLaren et al take the liberal attitude (no pejorative intended) that they are describing their experience and understanding of God in the best way they could in their time and context, and we live in time of greater understanding.
      I’ve even had a UC cleric tell me the same thing about Jesus. We now know better.
      ‘Evangelical liberalism’ finds its meaning in the ‘questions and discussions repeatedly forever discoursed upon by the church.’

  2. Pingback: More on Rob Bell « Teh's Tales, Ian's Yarns

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