Well it would seem that Ron Dawson, who I spoke about yesterday, is still confused about some things. He has made another lengthy response to yesterdays post (it's in the comments section). As a professing Christian, Ron still doesn't think that itsy bitsy issue of Rob Bell being a universalist is worth splitting hairs over. Ron, I will remind you again that Paul clearly said:
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9)
Furthermore he stated:
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Romans 16:17)
Now Ron, please explain how universalism fails to qualify as another gospel?
In Rob Bell's own words:
So this reality, this forgiveness, this reconciliation, is true for everybody. Paul insisted that when Jesus died on the cross he was reconciling ‘all things, in heaven and on earth, to God. This reality then isn’t something we make true about ourselves by doing something. It is already true. Our choice is to live in this new reality or cling to a reality of our own making. (Velvet Elvis p146, emphasis mine)
If everybody is already reconciled to God why were we given the ministry of reconciliation? There are so many things you are confused about. You said that Rob Bell doesn't focus on repentance. Dude - he never talks about it . . . except for when he completely redefines the meaning to something about celebration. Find that meaning of repentance for me Ron? You yourself said that repentance is necessary in order to be saved. You also said that thousands of people are coming to Christ through Rob's teaching. Yet Rob never calls people to repentance. You continually refute yourself. This is just straight orthodoxy Ron. Jesus Himself warned in Luke 13 that "unless you repent you will perish". Sounds a little too much like a Bullhorn guy doesn't it? Paul made it clear that verbal communication of the Gospel message is God's means for bringing people to Christ:
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" (Romans 10:14-15)
Where does Paul say that "you are the gospel" or "how shall they see unless you live in the way of Jesus". No - it is verbal, how shall they hear! Yes, we should be salt and light in this evil world as an outward sign of the Spirit's inner work but don't confuse that with preaching the Gospel. This is all a very big deal which is why I am taking the time to try and reason with you about this. I am concerned for you Ron - really! I need to be provocative and jarring to your senses because they have been dulled to the point where you think Rob Bell and I preach the same gospel in different ways. Please wake up!
You also claim that Rob Bell's Bullhorn video is not a caricature. C'mon Ron! He's hired an actor to portray an open-air preacher in a very pathetic light. Yes, there are bad open air preachers out there, but I've never met an open air guy like this (and I've met a lot).
You're telling me that is not a caricature. A nerdy guy making gospel tracts during his work time? If you watch the whole video you see this guy is forgetful, doesn't talk to people around him, and is quite repulsive to everyone in his path. Notice also that all of Rob's criticisms are accusations of the open air preacher saying things that are true including calling people to repentance. You'll also hear that his whole basis for rejecting the validity of open air preaching is pragmatism ie nobody was listening. Pragmatism is not a grounds for rejecting open air preaching (think about Noah 120 years of preaching and noone repented), and even if pragmatism was a legitimate grounds, I can tell you countless stories of drawing hundreds of people to hear the gospel who would never enter a church building. I have seen the subjects of sin, righteousness, and judgment hold the undivided attention of sailors out for a night on the town.
And then Rob caps it all off by saying that he wants to talk to the bullhorn guys - well he doesn't. None of the bullhorn guys can seem to get in touch with him. So he cariciatures them, mocks them for preaching the truth, markets the video, won't respond to the questions of the people he ridicules, and makes money out of the whole thing, all the while making life harder for the those faithful laborers out there preaching in the public square.
It might be lengthy but I think this TV interview with two bullhorn guys will respond to all of Ron's objections and typcasting regarding open air preaching. Ron, please watch this through before writing another comment . . .
Ron, you said you are not a theologian. That is not true. Everyone is a theologian - the question is whether they're a good one or a bad one.
Go On To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1
A La Carte (March 5)
59 minutes ago