First, for the critical part.
Does anyone see this in the virgin-birth story (Luke 1)?
Be very careful when you open yourself up to the ongoing creation of the universe — when you open yourself up to God’s Word — be very careful. Because the fundamental way the Scripture begins is God is revealed as a creator and when you create, you always run a risk. If you create a piece of art, it may not turn out as you want it, people may not like it. If you start a business it may go belly up and you may file bankruptcy. If you have kids, they may not all turn out shiny, happy Christians. When you create, when you step into the divine work of creating, you always run a risk. And Mary is up for being a part of what the creator is doing, which always means there may be a flip side. there may be a down side, cuz if you create there is risk.”
Rob is right. When I try my hand at creating, there is a huge risk. Even further, failure is certain. However, in this situation, humans are not the one’s “creating.”
I don’t think I’m being unfairly critical of Bell here, but (1) what was “created” in Mary was of the Holy Ghost, not really of her doing at all (she had found favor with God and was most certainly a willing participant — don’t get me wrong). Therefore, since this miraculous work was in sovereign hands, risk in the actual “creative act” is therefore eliminated. Now, there may have been subsequent risks for Mary (such as seeing the people of Nazareth try to murder her Son, which Rob mentioned later), but we should remember that she was in the all-knowing and all-powerful hands of God’s will. Speaking of God’s will, Rob says,
Sometimes people talk about God’s will. “I’d rather be in nowhere if God’s will is the safest place.” What God are you talking about? God’s will is a ferociously dangerous place, because you never know where its going to take you. To create is to risk and so Mary says, “I’m up for it.”
(2)Christians agree that Jesus was in no way created (those who believe that Jesus was created are cult members and not Christians). A created Jesus has no place in orthodox Christology; Bible believers don’t believe that.
Now, does Bell actually believe that Jesus was created? No, I really don’t think that he believes that — but this is a big problem with the teachings of Bell — when it comes to theological terms, he does not speak with precise clarity. Instead, he tries to “re-invent the wheel” — to redefine many of the terms of historical, Christian orthodoxy.
The bottom line is that in a day and age where doctrine is not highly valued and even scoffed at, we need Christian spokesmen who will articulate the truths of the Scriptures in careful terms, not with foreign and foggy descriptions .
Now for a part I liked.
While commenting on Luke 2:51b | but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart | he says,
But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. This little verse added there — his mother treasured all these things in her heart. Now when you read that word “treasured” in the english, it has a bit of a creative memories feel to it. ahh — this kid — crop til you drop — this kid — ah then we went to Jerusalem, it was the Spring of 0 (laughter). It has kind of a nastalgic, oh she’s, oh this kid, oh this one plays soccer, and this one discusses with the wise men, deep issues of the Torah. So there’s kinda this feel. But the word treasured is a fascinating word. It sometimes can refer to like a prison gaurd (insert greek word tereo). It means to gaurd or to watch, to keep carefully. It’s not so much like “aw” but like a “woa.” This kid, there’s something going on with this kid. And she gaurded this – she took these experiences and almost like held them close to her, like I don’t quite know what to do with this.
I liked that point; whatever English translation he was using actually lead the contemporary audience away from the bibilical meaning — so he adjusted. A sidenote: I couldn’t find that particular Greek word in any of the Greek texts on my computer. I did find a very similar word though — διετήρει. But that’s just geek stuff.
For another point I didn’t like:
He ended the message by showing a music video by Bruce Springsteen, entitled “Jesus Was an Only Son.” An apologetic-sounding voice interrupted the podcast for copyright reasons; I was told to look into viewing a VH-1 production. Wow, no thanks!
Anyway, here’s the lyrics of the song mentioned above. Jesus was God’s only Son. True. Was He Mary’s only Son? Hmm, let’s think that one through.