Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ben Witherington vs. Rob Bell

Check it out in this TIME Magazine article.

I agree with Witherington, sometimes Rob Bell just goes a little too far.

Not that I think Rob Bell is horrible; a lot of his stuff is good, and his church does some awesome things.

Here are more cool articles about Rob:
TIME Magazine
Christianity Today Magazine


Chad Gloetzner said...

I do not know much about Ben Witherington, but I know a little about Rob Bell. It seems like there has been a lot of controversy surrounding Rob Bell, and there are friends of mine that think is heretic.

Just recently I let a person borrow a Nooma video and it turned into a HUGE issue. At that time all I new about Rob Bell was what I had seen in a few Nooma videos. To my surprise many people in the church are completely anti-Rob Bell. Why do you think that is?

Carrie Marie said...

I don't think Rob Bell is a heretic. If people call him that, then they are just way out of line.
Ben Witherington has done waaay more studying than Rob Bell, and that's why I side with him (but there are some things I don't side with the whole Reformed debate). Anyway, don't wanna get off on a tangent.
Rob Bell just takes things too far most of the time. Like the whole thing (in the article) about why Jesus wrote in the sand about the adulteress woman, most of my professors tell us not to even preach that passage of scripture because they don't think it was in the original manuscripts. Your bible might say that in the footnote, and my professors say that the only reason the new translations keep it in there is because we don't want to be standing with someone with a KJV or Catholic edition, who has that verse in there, and then we don't...but as far as believing that that story was in the original Greek manuscripts, they say no. So then Rob Bell takes that story, which most likely wasn't even IN the original manuscripts, and then goes waaay too far in explaining why Jesus did that.
So that's the first issue.
Secondly, what Bell does, is that he takes ideas from Intertestamental and Jewish literature...lets say something like (modern day analogy)...drinking a diet coke. So lets say there are 15 sources that say Jesus drank coke, and 2 sources that say that Jesus drank diet coke. So, Witherington is usually the one to say, hey look, Jesus drank Coke, what does this mean for us? And Bell will take the 2 sources that say diet coke, and proclaim that everyone should be drinking diet coke!
Does that make sense?

But with that said, some of his stuff is good. All of his stuff about how Jesus treated women compared to the Jewish laws of the day seems pretty legit...and even though he preaches that passage in John, doesn't make him a heretic, he can just say that he puts his trust in the later manuscripts that were found...and that's fine, still not a heretic. But I just think that we should be careful about which NOOMA videos we show to the teens. Like the one about God's name...Bell says, "What if God's name was breath?...etc." I was like, "what the heck?! We know what God's names are, He explicitly tells us in the OT, and takes it very seriously." But some of the other ones are good.
Anyway, those are just some initial thoughts.