Thursday, June 16, 2011

Love Wins; Jesus Loses

In Rob Bell's bestseller "Love Wins"; Jesus loses.
It is a shallow invitation to the unchurched
To receive God's forgiveness
Without paying any price in return.

To draw readers into his web,
Bell uses the familiar "straw man" device
Wherein disreputable theological concepts are
Posted as targets for annihilation.

In his universe, there is no saintly afterlife
Generally referred to as heaven, and
Hell is simply a bad patch we all experience
Here on earth, due to inappropriate behavior.

According to Bell, we will obtain a happy
Life today if we simply surrender to
"God's story" for us, although he is
A little vague as to what that might be.

We should be able to find God everywhere
In everything, if we just look around us.
Strike a rock, and God magically appears, as
When he gave water to the wandering Israelites.

Jesus does not come off as very important
To the story except as a channel to God
For all persons, regardless of whether or not
They have ever heard of Him.

Yes, Jesus died on the cross, writes Bell.
That is an example to us as we suffer
Our pain for things we have done wrong,
And can be resurrected like he was.

Forget about judgment.
We will never be judged by our misdeeds.
Instead we have ample time to repent them,
Both now, and after death.

In other words, you can't lose.
God will always love you
No matter what you do.
Eventually, we will all be reconciled with Him.

This exegesis may strike you as being
About as substantial as a box of marshmallows.
Consumption of same may be satisfyingly sweet,
But you're left with nothing but a cloying aftertaste.

"Love Wins" is another attempt to lure
Folks into Christianity by making it sound
As easy and painless as it can be.
What happens after they arrive in church?

Willow Creek, the Illinois megachurch
Found in a survey of its members, that
Those who stayed were profoundly unsatisfied
With their knowledge of the faith.

This, then, requires what we call Christian Education.
Where we explore the depth of our faith
With all its contradictions and ambiguities,
And thus come closer and closer to the real God.

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