Archive for March, 2012

Eugene Peterson and Love Wins

Eugene Peterson respected author of The Message
wrote an endorsement for the book Love Wins
that reads,

“It isn’t easy to develop a biblical imagination that takes in the comprehensive and eternal work of Christ…Rob Bell goes a long way in helping us acquire just such an imagination — without a trace of the soft sentimentality and without compromising an inch of evangelical conviction.”

Eugene Peterson Love Wins Rob Bell Endorsement

Eugene Peterson

Timothy Dalrymple got the chance to interview Peterson asking him why he gave an endorsement for Rob Bell’s book “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived”:

What are your thoughts regarding Rob Bell’s book and the controversy it ignited?  What inspired you to endorse the book?

Rob Bell and anyone else who is baptized is my brother or my sister.  We have different ways of looking at things, but we are all a part of the kingdom of God.  And I don’t think that brothers and sisters in the kingdom of God should fight.  I think that’s bad family manners.

I don’t agree with everything Rob Bell says.  But I think they’re worth saying.  I think he puts a voice into the whole evangelical world which, if people will listen to it, will put you on your guard against judging people too quickly, making rapid dogmatic judgments on people.  I don’t like it when people use hell and the wrath of God as weaponry against one another.

I knew that people would jump on me for writing the endorsement.  I wrote the endorsement because I would like people to listen to him.  He may not be right.  But he’s doing something worth doing.  There’s so much polarization in the evangelical church that it’s a true scandal.  We’ve got to learn how to talk to each other and listen to each other in a civil way.

Do evangelicals need to reexamine our doctrines of hell and damnation?

Yes, I guess I do think they ought to reexamine.  They ought to be a good bit more biblical, not taking things out of context.

But the people who are against Rob Bell are not going to reexamine anything.  They have a litmus test for who is a Christian and who is not.  But that’s not what it means to live in community.

Luther said that we should read the entire Bible in terms of what drives toward Christ.  Everything has to be interpreted through Christ.  Well, if you do that, you’re going to end up with this religion of grace and forgiveness.  The only people Jesus threatens are the Pharisees.  But everybody else gets pretty generous treatment.  There’s very little Christ, very little Jesus, in these people who are fighting Rob Bell.

 

A Text Without A Context Is A Pretext For A Prooftext


I was just listening to a talk by Greg Boyd where he was saying, “A text without a context is a pretext for a prooftext” . I don’t know if it is orignal to Boyd, but it was a punchy and well placed statement within what are usually really encouraging sermons by Boyd. He was talking about the importance of exegeting the scriptures within their original and occasional contexts.  Greg was talking about how so many verses and sentences from the bible are often quoted with total disregard for the meaning and context from which they come from.  It really is a good message. Listen to it over at Woodland Hills’ website.

It reminded me of the great blog post I was reading this week over at Jesus Creed.  Scot Mcknight was registering his disappointment along with Ed Stetzer about the mismanaged journalism concerning a recent interview of Rick Warren . It reminds me of what happened on the blogosphere when Rob’s Love Wins hadn’t been released yet.   It turns out it was a simply “a text without a context” that became “a pretext for a prooftext”.

Hermes, Hermeneutics, Exegesis

Hermes is considered the inventor of language and speech