But, wouldn't you know it, Rob would have done a much better job if he'd done obeisance to Baxter Kruger.
The first very good aspect of Bell’s book is that he asks excellent questions. “What happens to a 15 year-old atheist who dies in a car wreck?” “Can someone dogmatically say that Gandhi is in hell?” “Did Jesus come to save us from God?” He is asking all the right questions: the questions the world is asking – both implicitly and explicitly – of modern, American evangelical theology.
The second very good aspect of Bell’s book is that he offers excellent, Bible-based answers to these questions. The book is filled with quotes from the Scriptures and he interprets these verses correctly, in a Christ-centered way.
The net result is a very good book. A book that raises profound questions that most Christians in America need to think about and a book that points its readers to answers rooted in the Biblical witness of who God is.
Jonathan has put together an interesting list of 'grates.' I mean, Torrance and Kruger "are some of the greats of Christian History"? Really? Who'd have thunked it!
Conspicuously absent are some of the greats of Christian History: Irenaeus of Lyon, Athanasius of Alexandria, Gregory of Nyssa, Karl Barth, T.F. Torrance, and Baxter Kruger just to name a few.
Stepp may also have explained why he has caught the rare Kruger Babbling Disease.
Maybe I’m wrong, but my own experience – and my experience reading theologians like Barth and Torrance – tells me that when you have drunk deeply from the well of the Fathers (or from the water buckets of those who have, like Kruger) you can no longer just talk about “God and Jesus” as Bell does. Something changes inside you. Your mind is baptized into the Triune Life in such a way that it dyes the very color of your thinking. You no longer think, as Bell does, about what God is like and what Jesus said about God. You think of the glorious riches of the Father poured out on humanity through the flesh and blood of his Son Jesus Christ and enjoyed by all in the love of the Holy Spirit.
|What was Barth smoking?|
Across at the Surprising God blog, pretty much an official mouthpiece for GCI, Ted Johnson gives his imprimatur to the Stepp article, concluding his piece; "And as Rob Bell helpfully notes, love wins!"
It deeply disturbs me to be - apart from the goofy trinitarian schmaltz - on more or less the same page as Ted and Jonathan, but I doubt it'll happen again any time soon.