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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Poor" Rob Bell, Hell, and "universalism"

The title of this post is beyond ironic...Rob Bell is no more in need of a defense of an idea like God's love "wins," than God needs me to help with traffic...and universalism is a made up heresy that weak-faith Christians developed years ago to make things easier on themselves...and hell? Well, I do believe in hell I guess--it's just that I am not sure anyone is there, except maybe the Caretaker.

I find Christians that have faith only because they fear hell to be a bit weak...
I find Christians who believe and construct "either/ors" in order to stay believing to be weak..
I find Christians who can't handle--even as only an intellectual construct--the idea that God might love everything God creates to be silly...

So, for me, Rob Bell can go on believing God's love wins out in the end, even if it's not perfect from our end...make another Nooma series brother!
I fully tolerate the idea and possibility that I might be wrong, and God might have a special "place" in hell for me...I am not going to stop believing in God's undying love for the stuff God makes just because I might wind up in hell...cowardice is the worst sin in my mind...
The way I understand some Chrsitians and their need to have a place like hell for those who are not believers: I think those Christians have a healthy doctrine of sin and a non-existent doctrine of creation...(which is a big problem because the Christian story starts with creation, not sin...they are in essence going against the very narrative of Christianity by believing in sin before creation.)

Ponder instead this Lent the love of a God on a cross...a God whose outstretched arms embrace the very people crucifying him...stretching to embrace a world that antagonizes him...a world which "hates" him (at least according to John)...Isn't this why we believe in God? We believe because we want to measure up to the high standard of humanity to which God made us...we believe because we want to enjoy and steward a world God made of beauty, truth, and justice...we believe not so others can be ignored or degraded, but rather in our belief be strengethened, encouraged, and even believe themselves...sin is out there friends...but so is love...and which one do you want to win?

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.


gail said...

I'm not a real scholar. . .but I'm wondering if there can be love without God, and if God isn't present everyplace love is found. I mean the kind of love that cares for the sick, feeds the stranger, puts someone else's needs first. I'll be reading Rob Bell's book.

Scott Frederickson said...

I always remember what a teacher of mine told me once: "God is love" is in the Bible, "Love is god," was from the 60's? LOL
Thanks for reading.

JC said...

Yep - the problem is (in my mind) that we as fallible human creations of God who is Love, want so desperately to determine who is heaven bound or not. We want to be God and we're not. But it (Sin) doesn't stop us from labling "them" and "us." "Us"'s are certainly going to heaven and "them"'s not.
Mr. Bell makes an interesting argument, one worth talking about.

Diane said...

Hey Scott, I really enjoy reading your blog, but I gotta admit, you lost me on the third paragraph.

Umm... say wha?