Love Wins (3) – Questions, questions, questions

So to the next chapter.

Questions are powerful things. And Rob Bell is the master of them.  With a question you can cynically demolish a position without appearing to take sides, or genuinely respond to the problems and stumbling blocks many people face.

Sometimes it seems that Bell is describing positions which people think Christians hold.  Repeating the misunderstandings about the Christian faith which genuine seekers after truth have, because that’s what they’ve been taught, or what someone has told them Christians believe or the Bible says.

So by picking different parts of the Bible, Rob Bell comes up with verses which seem to say that becoming a Christian happens in so many different ways it’s no wonder we are confused. I can see how people could on the face of it become confused from a casual reading on bits of the Bible. So how can we know for sure? Let’s hope later in the book he explains that. After all, that’s pretty important isn’t it? That determines both our life now and our eternal future doesn’t it?

Or does it?

Do people who are not followers of Jesus spend an eternity in Hell? Is having a personal relationship with God something which the Bible even talks about? What happens if the missionary that was supposed to be coming to tell you how to become a Christian gets a flat tyre? How can God send some people (many people) to Hell, and still be a God of love?

I just really hope he answers some of these questions, but I worry that he won’t.



Consider the termite…

There was a very interesting interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning with Sir David Attenborough, who is presenting a new TV series, Darwin and the Tree of Life. 

Q: But you are though known to be an atheist…

Attenborough: I hope I am known to be an agnostic…

Q: You have talked a little bit about your beliefs… One wonders..everything that you do, the kind of stuff you look at fills us all with awe. Do you ever think…I wonder could there be some divine force that designed this system of natural selection?

Attenborough: No I don’t think there’s a Divine force that designs a system. But I sometimes think about myself looking at the inside of a termite hill and seeing a million termites all toiling away, all doing different jobs: the workers repairing the wall, the soldiers setting their armed guard, and others looking after the nursery and so on, all busy working away. And I know perfectly well that they can’t see me because they are blind. They simply don’t have the sense organs to realise that that’s where they are. And I sometimes think, maybe we’re a bit like that. We don’t have the perceptions, except very very dimly, that there may be something beyond there, bigger there, that we can’t conceive of. 

I think Paul would have agreed:

In their case  the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4