>I’ve noticed something about people who are influenced by postmodernism. Take for example, Rob Bell’s interview on MSNBC when he was grilled by Martin Bashir after his book, Love Wins, was released. Postmodernists love to question everything and deconstruct and ask. (Now, there is nothing wrong with asking questions.) But, the issue at hand is when postmodernist/emergent Christians face inquiry they are unable to provide a straight answer when there is already clarity…and when the matter at hand is Truth (yes, capital “T”).
A brief excerpt of the transcript of the Bashir-Bell exchange from here (italics/changes mine):
Bashir: Okay. this book you’ve written has been stirring controversy because the implication is, as you put it god’s love will eventually melt hearts, that’s what you say in the book. are you a universalist who believes that everyone can go to heaven regardless of how they respond to christ on earth.
Bell: I would say are you a universalist I would say no. that’s a perspective within the christian stream. there’s been within the christian tradition a number of people who have said given enough time, god will win everybody over. but one of the things in the book I’m clear on and want people to see is that this tradition has all of these different opinions, everybody will be won over, some will continue to resist god’s love, and that christians have disagreed about this speculation.
Bashir: I get that. so is it irrelevant and is it immaterial about how one responds to christ in this life in terms of determining one’s eternal destiny? is that immaterial?
Bell: I think it’s extraordinarily important. I think it’s extraordinarily important.
Bashir: In your book you said god wins regardless in the end.
Bell: Love wins for me, as a way of understanding that god is love, and love demands freedom.
Bashir: You are asking for it both ways. that doesn’t make sense. I’m asking you, is it irrelevant, as to how you respond to christ in your life now, to determine your eternal destiny, that is irrelevant? is it immaterial?
Bell: It is terribly relevant and terribly important. how exactly it works out and how it works out in the future, when you die we are in the realm of speculation. and my experience has been a lot of christians built whole dogmas about what happens when you die and we have to be very careful we don’t build whole doctrines and dogmas on what is speculation.
Bashir: I’m not talking about what happens when you die. I’m asking you how you respond here and now. the question I’m asking you what you seem to be saying in the book, god will love, will melt everyone’s heart eventually, some even post port em in death. you’re the one making speculation about the afterlife. what I’m asking is, is it irrelevant and immaterial how you respond to christ now to determine your eternal destiny, relevant or irrelevant? does it have a bearing or does it have no bearing?
Bell: I think it has tremendous bearing. also at same time raises all sorts of questions and that is why the discussion is so lively and vibrant, namely what about people who haven’t heard about jesus? what about the woman I talked to a couple of weeks ago who was abused by her pastor? so for her, jesus is tied up in all sorts of things and I assume that god’s grace gives people space to work those sort of issues out.
Bell here fails to give an answer, leaving it to “raising all sorts of questions” and “realm of speculation.” Bottom line is, I’d be more discouraged if all a pastor can give me as his answer to a question is more questions on the very same subjects that Martin raised. Granted, pastors can and should empathize with our God-created nature to ask God, but we also know that God has provided Truth as revealed in the Word. But if it’s all a philosophical exercise, then there is no hope for any.