Living in Littleton, Colorado I had the privilege of watching and hearing about the ministry of Hugh Halter, Matt Smay and the Adullam Community. To some in the Denver area, Hugh and his band of renegades were labeled as heretics, but their community was reaching those outside the church like no other church. Having read Hugh and Matt’s earlier books, Tangible Kingdom and And, I was excited to pick up Hugh’s newest book, Sacrilege.
I read most of the book during my monastery experience which made me feel a little sacrilege. In Sacrilege, Hugh explores how Jesus challenged the religious assumptions that people held and how these same assumptions hinder the church’s influence today. Read the rest of this entry
The cross is everywhere. Rap musicians, basketball players and celebrities sport cross necklaces and tattoos. Even Eminem wears a cross necklace. Rob Bell begins his fifth chapter titled “Dying to Live” talking about how familiarity with the cross can make us think we know what it is.
He brings us back to the original listeners of the New Testament who were steeped in the sacrificial system. To these original listeners, the idea that Jesus was the final sacrifice would have rocked their world. He then walks us through the other ways to view Christ’s death on the cross.
- Reconciliation – Christ’s death brought about peace between us and God
- Justification – Jesus’ death paid the price for our sins so we could go free
- Victory – Jesus’ death destroyed death and evil
- Redemption – Jesus’ death redeemed what was lost
I have been reading various reviews of Rob Bell’s book “Love Wins” and most of the reviews bring up valid criticisms. What frustrates me is the air of intellectual supremacy that these reviewers hold over Bell. They speak to him as though he is a high school student asking questions that aren’t supposed to be asked. They quickly jump to Bible verses that show that Bell is a universalist and in need of salvation himself. Where is the grace and love that we should be offering our fellow believers? It is far too ironic that the title of the book is “Love Wins” and Rob is not feeling any love from those inside the walls of the church.
Is there a way that we can disagree yet show each other the love and grace that Jesus calls us to? I am frustrated because many of the reviewers are pastors and those in spiritual leadership. I know it is hard but there has to be a better way. Can love win within the church? I would recommend Scot McKnight’s ongoing review of Rob’s book as a model for how we can engage in a loving way.
Someone once described heaven to me as a nonstop worship service for all eternity. I enjoy worship in certain contexts and being in the presence of God will be beyond belief, but I didn’t exactly get excited about that description of heaven. Worship to me goes beyond just singing. What is heaven like? Where is heaven and who is going to go there? In chapter two of Love Wins, Rob Bell tackles some of the preconceptions of what we think heaven will be like and gives some answers from the words of Jesus and Paul. Read the rest of this entry
I just read the first chapter of Rob Bell’s new book “Love Wins,” in which he asks some deep questions about the foundations of the Christian faith and specifically the afterlife. They are the kind of questions asked at 11 pm during a youth group retreat. Students feel open to question and discuss these issues but sometimes adults cringe in fear.
What are we afraid of?
As I read through the book I will use this blog to spur on honest, civil discussions on the questions raised in this book. We cannot run from these questions but must engage them through the lens of Scripture.
Here are the links to each chapter I reviewed: