Why Emergers Won’t Quit on Bell

This blog is from Tall Skinny Kiwi about the relational nature of younger generations and their willingness to stick with Rob Bell.  You can read it here: Rob Bell and the new generation.

Of interest to me was this quote:

Rob Bell will not become irrelevant simply because his book was a lemon and his theology found wanting. He is loved by many people and they will be committed to see him mature and move forward. Young people are a relational bunch: they stick to their friends and they believe people can change, especially when those people are open to conversation. They are NOT consumers who shop around for the most-correct theologian they can find in the yellow pages and then commmit to follow them and their groupies until someone points to a better show. I think the critics of Rob Bell will suffer more than Rob Bell. Many were too quick to wash their hands of him and host inquisitions for his book.

TallSkinnyKiwi recognizes that Bell’s theology is being found to be incomplete, yet this does not mean that a whole generation of young leaders are going to give up on them.  Instead, they are going to leave the leaders who quit on Bell and criticized him publicly before the book was even released.

For new generations, people are more important than dogmas.  Change is always possible and even welcomed.  This is what it really means to live in a way where acting right is more important than being right.  Younger generations would rather stick with a friend than shop for the theologian who is going to best represent them.  Young people would rather stick with a group, than shop for a group with a better hang out.  They’d rather stick with a community of believers (on mission) than bail for flashier programs.

That’s why, at the end of the day, I am not angry or scared at the ideas and theologies in Love Wins, I’m instead disappointed in the holes in the ideas.  Like others, I’ll stick with Bell and see where it takes us.  I don’t have to agree with all the doctrinal points to chose authors to appreciate – but I do have to appreciate their contribution – both to the kingdom of God, and (of course, thus,) to the world.

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2 thoughts on “Why Emergers Won’t Quit on Bell

  1. Kudos to those who stick together and look for the best in their friends. It’s easy, too, to appreciate Bell’s willingness to examine the springs that make the trampoline bounce.

    Kudos, too, to those with the wisdom & courage to pull back on the reigns when the examination leads one’s theories to go beyond general acceptance.

    We all grow when we can openly discuss these ideas and not automatically throw out new ideas nor discount thinking and convictions that have proven to encourage and build faith through the aeons.

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  2. I admit right out the gate that I have never understood the fandom that Rob Bell has generated. In my opinion, he has just taken his rebellion against his fundamentalist upbringing in a novel direction.

    But this question is not necessarily about one dude with a new book that stirs the pot, he is just the backdrop: at what point of heterodoxy do you give warning to said persons writings? At what point does it go from giving a warning to saying do not read? I am not advocating burning books, but when does a shepherd warn the sheep about staying away from pastures that wolves tend to tread and when do you outright sound the alarm that a wolf is the field right now?

    I know blog wars have been started with more trivial questions than this, and I am not looking to start a rhetorical death match, just looking for what your view is>

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