There is a lot of talk lately about this new Rob Bell book. Now I have not read it and AM not giving my opinion on the matter until I do. But I would like to articulate on his ideology for a moment. Rob Bell is a man with questions, he never seems to give straight answers on anything, its always very ambiguous leading to misinterpretation and confusion. However, questioning is a valid practice, actually I wholeheartedly believe that it would do a lot of good for Christians to question their theology and ideology of this so called god that they believe in. It is not unlikely that they have some misconstrued picture of god in their hearts and their minds and their praxis is more like paganism, worshiping some idol or image of god, than the real thing. I would rather be an atheist in my theism, than a Christian who has all the pieces put together. But the truth is, we do not know all the answers, we are not sure exactly how the earth came to be in the beginning. We don’t comprehend predestination, or pre-milleniallism, or even the transformation of the holy spirit intertwined with our salvation and justification. We have ideas, we have scriptural passages but we don’t really have all the answers do we? We think we do, Jesus is the way, but God’s word is a meta-narrative and Jesus does not substitute for a every answer. ( I am not rejecting Jesus)
“God dwells above and beyond all names. God is rather approached as the ineffable source that is received but never conceived. God is thus not approached as an object, but rather encountered as an absolute subject who transforms our relationship with all objects.” ( Peter Rollins 109 The Orhtodox Heretic)
Every description of God falls short, in this way we can affirm that we are atheists in our theism, because we refuse to let any concept of God take Gods place. For he says himself in Isaiah 55:8-9 “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
What we all could do as Christians is question our understanding of God and maybe we would finally experience him, something we might not have thought possible. “Once we understand this, we can stop arguing about God …and dedicate ourselves to being the manaifestations of God.” (Rollins 110).
As for Rob Bell, well if he is a heretic so be it, at least he is not afraid to dive into the reality of the unknown, that which God really is. And if Rob is a heretic we should not destroy him with words, but “brothers is someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual would restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)