Quotes excerpted from Wikipedia:
In his writings, Rob Bell [Mars Hill, Grand Rapid, MI] affirms truth regardless of the source, saying "I affirm the truth anywhere in any religious system, in any worldview. If it's true, it belongs to God." However, he acknowledges Scripture as the authoritative source of truth in the Mars Hill Bible Church statement of narrative theology.
Bell says, "This is not just the same old message with new methods. We're rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life. Legal metaphors for faith don't deliver a way of life. We grew up in churches where people knew the nine verses why we don't speak in tongues, but had never experienced the overwhelming presence of God." Bell's comments about Christianity as an "Eastern" religion come from his association with Ray Vander Laan who compares and contrasts Greek ("Western") thinking with Hebrew ("Eastern") thinking.
In a Chicago Sun Times article entitled The Next Billy Graham?, Bell says of his critics:
"When people say that the authority of Scripture or the centrality of Jesus is in question, actually it's their social, economic and political system that has been built in the name of Jesus that's being threatened," Bell says. "Generally lurking below some of the more venomous, vitriolic criticism is somebody who's created a facade that's not working...But I love everybody and you're next!" he says, giggling. "That's how I respond to criticism."
Isn't it these social, economic, and political systems that have troubled us? Is it that truth, mercy, justice, and God-given wisdom have been squelched, ignored, buried, stuffed in the name of supporting these I-beams of the infra-structure of ministry and our church community?
When did God need spin, image management, and political correctness to build his kingdom? He is the rock we stand on.
I don't think that Rob Bell has it all right. I don't think Bill Hybels or Rick Warren or Ed Young have it all right. But, sometimes little people like us recognize truth--it's that very large neon blinking sign that God has placed in our road--over there just to the right of the bushel we want to hide under!
I'm not advocating becoming the voice crying out in the wilderness--but when God gives you or me a glimmer of a truth, let's share it. He has allowed our hearts to be troubled so that we continue to seek his truth and if we look we can find a little bit more of it each day.
Today IS the first day of the rest of your life! God is not through with us yet!
You know, it feels really good to have a growth spurt, yet we shrink back from change and the unknown. How else can we grow? It is not always painful. Sometimes you just have to shout. "Whe-e-e-e-e-e!"