First of all if the title of this post offends you I am sorry, it just sounded too good and would have been a great injustice not to use it. Again though if it does offend you so be it, all I can do is offer a humble apology and hope that my point at hand is understood.
Enlightenment manifests in the most unlikely ways, shapes, and forms. Recently the buzz around the Christian Culture has been Rob Bell and his book “Love Wins”. Believers and unbelievers alike have been a mixed bag of opinion regarding liking/disliking Bell. Controversy is a familiar bed fellow accompanying Bell and with his latest composition it has drastically multiplied. I wanted to do a post talking about the talking about Rob Bell trend.
Having only read bits and pieces of his book I found it difficult to maintain my interest in what he had to say. Unlike most people it was not his theology or ideas that threw me off at first, but simply his ability as an author. That got me thinking. If my biggest problem was the way in which the book was written and not the book itself what is the significance of that?
Putting this out there you can take it however you want to take it, but Rob Bell is not sound, and that is putting it nicely. Anyone who has any basic biblical understanding can see that. It is a sad day when you do not even have to think to observe terrible theology. Each year thousands of sound and unsound books alike are published, yet few gain the attention that this one has. Something has caused people to single this out, and my hope was to gain some insight as to why that is. Strongly I believe in the responsibility of making people aware, especially in Christianity, but with “Love Wins” it is no longer awareness but more like telling people the sun is hot. If we rose this much noise over the books that were worth reading as we do the ones that are not, there would be a lot more solid material in circulation amongst believers.
A friend of mine is an avid fan of Rob Bell. Out of all the people I know he is one of the most well rounded men I have ever met. Talking to him his opinion of this book was more or less the same problem as mine in regards to the style of writing. Of course we had side beefs, beefs that were so blatantly obvious they were hardly worth the time it took to point out.
Because of the controversy this book has sold more times over than what it would have without it. It is not about the book, or the author, or anything like that, but about bringing someone down who should have never been held up to begin with. It is like turning Frankenstein’s monster into a monster then calling him one. People, ideas, books, movies, etc are only as big as what you make them and boy have we made this into a whopper.
This then leads us to another dilemma. How amazing is it that Christians can come together in gargantuan numbers over trivial things like this, but remain divided in the things that matter? Almost every sect, doctrinal belief, denomination and so on has come together in their opposition to “Love Wins”, yet when pertaining to ministry and impacting the world they stand separately. Am I the only one who sees the problem here? I remember when the Passion of the Christ came into theaters. Never has a movie been so merchandised and talked about amongst believers as what this one was. Millions upon millions rolled in from this franchise. None of the proceeds went towards the church or missions, yet standing together Christianity made it a hit. What is wrong with us? More often than not we are more willing to make certain books, movies, music or media known than we are Christ. Does anyone else find this just the slightest bit unsettling?
I am one to talk. In the past I have been as bad as the best of them, but the more I live the more I begin to realize what truly matters. If we invested the time, energy, and money that we do into petty things in eternity, there would be a lot more people with a lot less problems. Like I said, I get that certain things we need to be aware of but when awareness becomes stating the obvious, I think people have gotten the picture. What it all returns back to is merely priorities. I am certain this book has challenged people to study things for their selves and see where they stand on certain topics, but the hype should have never gotten out of control in the way it has. We are human, we love to hate, but we are also in Christ, and while our flesh tells us to hate He tells us to love. If you want love to win stop bickering about this book and live, learn, know and make known Christ in your life as well as the lives of others. That is how love wins, not bashing a book, writer, or idea that anyone with any sense can see, bashes itself, but living in the love that is Christ. It is things like this that drives us away from the course. It almost makes one wonder how much Satan uses our responses to situations like this to distract us from the goal of knowing and making know Him. Let’s think, grasp, understand, love and change. Who is with me?