So coming back from vacation has been a little surreal.
People are talking about all sorts of things as common knowledge that I didn't even know happened:
hailstorms and dirty rain.
accidents and people in the hospital.
and, oh yeah, this Rob Bell controversy.
So I spent a couple hours yesterday trying to sort through what was going on.
Apparently Rob Bell released a promotional video for his new book Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. (Which doesn't come out for another couple of weeks or so.) And based on the almost three minutes of mostly rhetorical questions a lot (and I do mean a LOT) of people have had some pretty strong reactions. The concern lies at what Bell's stance is on salvation and hell. Many are accusing Bell of being a universalist - that is to say he believes everyone gets to go to heaven (which is not what the Scripture teaches!) However, the book isn't out yet. All we have are a few provacative questions and quotes.
Probably the most helpful and objective information I was able to find is a series of posts reviewing an actual prerelease copy of the book. Even with that I still think the verdict remains out until we can actually see what the book has to say.
But what it did spark with me and my household yesterday was this thought:
Is it okay to ask questions?
Much of what I was able to glean from the video, numerous posts and the excerpts from the book review is that Bell is asking a lot of questions about what salvation is and what the Scriptures really say. Most of the questions I've seen from the book so far are questions I've probably thought at one time.
That doesn't mean I reject the basic foundational truths of the Bible or the Christian faith. It has just been a part of my journey to understand God and His Word.
So tell me your thoughts. Is it okay to ask questions? Are there some questions that we shouldn't ask? Where is the best venue to ask these questions? What are the questions you are wrestling with right now?
Look forward to hearing from you. It's good to be back!
(P.S. 3/9/2011 - A friend of mine just posted a link to this post from another blogger who has an actual review copy of the book. Seems to clarify a lot of the issues and even has some thoughts on some of my above questions.)
10 hours ago