I don’t usually have any sort of theme to these links, but this week I’ve had precious little time to read much—except that I’ve been kind of curious about the whole Rob Bell/universalism brouhaha surrounding his latest book, Love Wins.
Rob Bell isn’t really my type; I don’t have the patience for the artistry (so they call it) of the NOOMA videos he’s produced, and I’d rather sink my teeth into something forthright rather than postmodern (and something written rather than videotaped, for that matter). My pastors back home are no aficionados of his works, and I respect their reasons for it. But I know some big fans of his, and some of these fans are people I respect too.
So I’ve read a few links about it:
How I first heard about this controversy: from a staff member at my college. This staff member has written several posts about the whole deal in the last few days, and is definitely taking a side, as you can see. (FWIW whenever this guy speaks in chapel, he may as well be Rob Bell. He has the glasses, the clothes, the slow style, and the word choice for it.)
Then somebody read the book and disagreed with it. Tim Challies, that is. He also linked to an article called “How to have a good argument with Rob Bell,” in which the author urged Christians to respond in love, not vitriol.
Then somebody else, over at Christianity Today, noticed how odd it was that social technology and blogging on the Internet had changed the face of theological debates, taking the Rob Bell case as an example.
Finally, RELEVANT magazine published a general overview of the various permutations and related doctrines of universalism.
I haven’t yet decided if I’ll read this book. Something in me rebels at getting caught up in the latest Christian hoopla. For all I know, this controversy will be a forgotten blip on Christian radar in just a year. But I do intend to investigate some of the doctrinal issues at some point—those are of more importance.