While I'm by no means a social media fanatic, I am on Twitter and enjoy it. I tend to follow people who tweet biblical truths or links to thoughtful articles or blog posts. For example, I follow Pastor John Piper on Twitter. Piper's tweets are typically convicting scriptural statements, or statements about the glory of God.
Last week, however, I saw a Piper tweet that simply said, "Farewell Rob Bell." I wondered if something lethal had happen to Pastor Rob Bell. Then I figured Piper and Bell had been having a twitter conversation of which I caught the end. Later I learned it was in reference to Bell's new book Love Wins.
Piper tweeted this, reportedly, based on Justin Taylor's blog post Rob Bell: A Universalist?
Rob Bell’s forthcoming book is raising questions about universalism, exclusivism, the love of God, and heaven and hell. Few people have actually read the whole book at this point. Most reactions are being based on the back cover copy, marketing descriptions, maybe a sample chapter, and a promotional video for the book. If you're unaware of the brou-ha ha that has unfolded in the last week - and you care to know - this article from Christianity Today outlines it.
Every day more voices lend their opinions on the growing controversy—most recently Brian McLaren, Albert Mohler, Tom Batterson, Scot McKnight, and Mark Galli of Christianity Today. Even the prominent mainstream media outlet The New York Times has taken notice.
I have not read the book and, therefore, will make no declarations about what it says, means, or indicates about Rob Bell. I will say this has served to reinforce my already burgeoning desire to examine and understand theology for myself -- so that I can rightly discern right from wrong in a marketplace clanging 24/7 with assertions, rebuttals and opinions.
When controversy comes to church I think it's a call for you and I to seek and fit together the scriptural testimony of God’s character. In this case, what did Jesus say about God’s wrath and hell? Why did Jesus go to the Cross? Why will I, as a believer in Christ, not experience hell? And what does the Bible tell me happens to those who refuse to believe? Can you articulate the Bible's answers to these questions?
Also, this particular controversy makes me ponder: What would Jesus tweet? :)