Saturday, April 16, 2011

#Love #Wins

Today, April 16, 2011

I literally just finished Rob Bell's new book Love Wins.  My thoughts?  Well... I thoroughly enjoyed it.  This work offers light to a perspective that I feel all Christians can at least open an ear to.  I know it's done one thing, and that is make me want to go through the New Testament again - specifically the Gospel.  I just can't get over how refreshing it is to read something like that.  I mean, granted, I was on my guard a bit because of all I've heard.  "Rob Bell is a Universalist," "Rob Bell is way off," "Rob Bell took one step too far over the edge this time."  All those things sound exactly like America's religious culture not even 200 years ago.  People in Christianity, well... not even just people but prominent leaders, the Billy Graham's, Martin Luther's, John Wesley's, etc, were radically passionate about pursuing God.  This set them apart.  This made them - as DC Talk likes to say - "Jesus Freaks."  On that same note, a lot of men and women like those mentioned were rejected by many, or at least what they were preaching.  Random fact related to this topic ( I guess it's not random), but did you know that the idea of premillennialism (the idea that man is currently living in the time before Christ's second coming and that all Christians will be taken to heaven in the rapture before the tribulation - if you aren't sure what I'm talking about just look up premillennialism on wikipedia) didn't become widely recognized as orthodox until at least the 1800's?  I know that I had no clue until the other day in my American Religious History class - which by the way is my favorite class in college EVER!  Also I forget the name of the belief that premillennialism stemmed from and I will post it as soon as I talk to Dr. Webb on Monday. 

The only reason I bring that up is to show that such a strong belief - at least held in evangelical circles - was concreted within the last 100-150 years.  That is not that long in the context of Christianity.  Christ died almost 2000 years ago.  That means that this belief has been considered orthodox by some Christian groups for not even 10% of the time since Christ's death.  I don't know about you but that is quite peculiar.  Anyways back to Rob Bell.  The reason I brought all this up is that there have been people like him, with views conflicting orthodox belief, for centuries.  It's what has made theology more refined.  I believe that a lot can be applied to any Christians life from Love Wins. For instance the idea that the kingdom of heaven is here... NOW!!! What do I mean by that? Well, we as Christians have an opportunity to serve others around us, make the world a better place, think about others and this world more than ourselves.  If we live like the Kingdom of Heaven is here now, we will work to improve this world and treat suffering with love and care.  Give food to the starving.  Shelter the homeless, etc.  I'm not saying to sell everything you own and go be Shane Claiborne (again if you don't know him, look him up, he's huge on this stuff), but if we just make the effort to look around, observe what around us needs our love, and see to serving that need, this world will start to really look more like the Kingdom.  On the other hand, what Bell says in his book, if we live like we are just waiting for the next world or just working towards ensuring our ticket to heaven is valid, we will miss out on what Christ wants us to accomplish while we still have breath.

At the end of the day I would rate Bell's book an 8/10.  It could have had more substance, but it was a good quick read.  Very insightful and extremely relevant to contemporary Christian culture.  I would recommend it to any Christian.  My only advice would be to not just take everything he says for truth.  Because, the only truth, comes from God.

Hope this post was helpful, God Bless


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