First for the positive, Rob has amazing speaking ability. Listening to his delivery really caused me to evaluate how exactly I deliver my messages. He is articulate and passionate about his message. Thanks Rob; that was quite challenging.
Now for the negative. Rob preached from Mark 2, where Jesus and his disciples are accused of breaking the sabbath law by plucking wheat. Jesus reminds the pharisees that David and his companions ate the shewbread when they were hungry on the sabbath. The whole message is based on Rob’s comparison between the disicples and the mighty men of David. He says,
“Be careful if you follow Jesus because Jesus has terribly high view of humanity. Jesus believes that people are capable of greatness.”
He cites John 14:12 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
Rather than concluding that, with divine empowerment, men can accomplish all that God wills, Rob goes on to say, “God has tremendous faith in people.”
This last statement greatly troubles me. If it doesn’t trouble you, then you believe in a pretty weak god. The fact is, God does not excercise faith.
What is faith?
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Wait, I thought God was the object of our faith? The one in whom we were to trust, not vica versa. Wait doesn’t God see all things, the end from the beginning, but yet he has faith | conviction in things not yet seen?
All throughout the gospels, Jesus demands faith of those who follow him (Matthew 17:20; Mark 11:22, etc.); he never once tells them that he has faith in them.
Further, without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). God demands our faith; he doesn’t manifest it towards us.
What kind of man-centered theology is Bell preaching?
A god who has faith is a created being, not the God of the Bible.
Again, it is clear from this podcast that Rob Bell is actively attempting to redefine the gospel to something other than forgiveness and freedom from sin. To Bell, the gospel to the oppressed is all about freeing them from political, social, and physical oppression – whether it be building libraries or establishing a way for people to walk their neighborhoods in security.
Rob says, “The church is mission.” He then goes on to discuss the water crisis, calling on his church to be involved.
I agree with Rob; the church has an obligation to help with the water crisis. Men all over the world are drinking water, day in and day out, water that can never satisfy their thirst. This is the true crisis! Jesus offers living water, that when a man drinks, he will never thirst (John 4).
The water I’m speaking of is a clear metaphor for salvation. Since the ascension of our Savior, the mission of the church is to preach the gospel and make disicples, not to provide clean drinking water for the world (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15).
try to see it clearly_