Thursday, July 12, 2012

attempts to complicate

Despite the fact that I know that it's big time of controversy was a few years ago, I've recently started reading Rob Bell's "Love Wins", mostly because I found it at a library so didn't have to pay anything for it. Truth be told, I've only read the first few pages of it, but those pages have told me quite enough about what he's trying to do.

Let me try to explain...

In the game of Go, there is a certain principle. In Go, the aim is to arrange stones in such a way as to control points of territory, and the player with the most territory wins the game (to make it fair, the player with the white stones is given some extra points, to make things interesting, but the general idea is still the same). Although capturing an opponent's stones and making sure your own are secure does play into it, the main thing is territory.

Now, as a game progresses, territorial frameworks will develop. Players will arrange their stones rather like fenceposts, marking off certain areas that they exercise a degree of control over. It may not be perfect control, it may be better to think of it as potential territory until it has been completely secured, but it is enough for the time to claim the a player has X points of territory under control. After a while, both players can determine which may have more potential territory, and which has less.

The principle I mentioned before is this, that the player with the great amount of territory will want to play in a quiet and secure way, because if all goes quiet that player will win, while the one who is behind will want to complicate things, attack and exploit weaknesses in the opponent's frameworks, and so make up lost ground, cause the opponent to make mistakes, and gain territory for himself or herself.

What Rob Bell does in "Love Wins" is to try to confuse and complicate things. In those first few pages, he attempts to pile question on top of questions, exploit real of imagined faults in his opponent's teachings, claim even that the questions that cause the confusion are what are important.
He is, in fact, acknowledging

that he is


from behind,

in the


position, that, really

all he can

do is to raise a ruckus

and hopefully cause people

to question

and not worry about an


Oh, and he does weird things with paragraphs, like that. Not sure why. I guess it's suppose to be cool, or something.

In fact, coming right down to it, it seems like Bell's confusion tactics pretty much sum up the whole postmodern and emergent way of thinking and arguing as a whole.
Why else would they be so much against answers, except that they know that the answers would not be what they want them to be? Of course, it's a trick on their part, because they very much like the answers they themselves create. The only time they are all into the exercise of confusing people with questions is when they don't like the answers.

And so, because the Bible teaches quite a bit about Hell, and because Jesus Himself tells us about the reality of Hell, and because Rob Bell doesn't like the idea of Hell, Bell spends the first few pages of the Book trying to confuse us, even to the point of implicating God if He should dare to have some place like Hell where He would dare to send unbelievers to.

And hasn't complicating things been one of the Devil's big tactics? Instead of one transcendant and imminent God, why, give people pantheons of gods, gods in every tree and every creek, gods in the sky and gods under the earth, gods who are nice and even more that are vindictive and nasty, gods that are far away and gods that are causing your neighbor to acts really strange. Instead of believe in one true God who has revealed Himself to us, why, give people all kinds of religions, ones that are about the here and now and others that are about the next life (even if that next life is in the here and now again), ones that are calm and others that are chaotic, ones that focus inward and others that focus outwards. Heck, even ones that have no god at all, or rather that make man or chance (for what else is evolution but the enthroning of chance in the place of a god) the object of adoration and worship.

Bell claims at one point that orthodox Christianity is on the side of people like himself, which is like saying the orthodox Christianity is on the side of the heretics. I give him credit for brazenness, but that's about it.

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