Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


The 5 E’s in Rob Be.e.e.e.e.ll

posted by xscot mcknight

The most important thing that will come of Rob Bell’s newest book, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, is that Christians will be given an approach to reading the Bible that both makes sense of the Bible and makes sense of the world in which the earliest Christians lived. I’ll sum it up with five “E”s. But I will stake a claim on this: this is Rob Bell’s best book to date.
jwtsc.jpg
If you’ve read any of Rob’s books or heard him speak, what do you think are his most importance insights and contributions?
First, Rob suggests the “first” book in the Bible — and here he is not talking about the first book in pages — is Exodus and the big idea of that book, the “Exodus,” is the Bible’s own presentation of what God is up to in this world: hearing the cry of the oppressed and liberating them through an “exodus.” He traces this theme through the whole Bible, and of course he finds important echoes in the opening of each Gospel: the way made straight for the Lord. This image from Isa 40 is the new exodus theme of Isaiah.
Second, those who are liberated, because they are fallen sinners, turn their situation into power and oppression and become once again like Egypt (another “e”). Egypt stands for bricks and power and money and oppression and turning away from God. Rob, swiping a generative idea of Walter Brueggemann’s (The Prophetic Imagination), sees the return to Egypt or the rise of Egypt in Israel in Solomon’s aggrandizing of power and money and military might. So, Egypt dwells in each of us and it is the prospect that fidelity alone can avoid.
Third, the discipline of God for Egypt is Exile: Exile is what happens when God sends his people away from the Land, away from God’s presence, away from the Temple, away from where they are destined to be.
Fourth, the solution to Exile, rooted in God’s grace, is the Eucharist — but here I’m jumping ahead a bit. It is Passover that becomes Eucharist, it is the blood on the door. This meal is the night of Jesus’ meal; it is the night of death; the way to return to Blessing is the way of death and dying with Jesus on the cross. It is the death of Jesus for us. It is a death that unites Jews and Gentiles into one new humanity; Eucharist is for others — as we die for others. Bell has a good section on the Stranger who talks to the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus, showing how significant resurrection was to the gospel message of Jesus. And resurrection leads to Pentecost where the new humanity is formed.
Finally, this message addresses Empire. Here Rob plays the politics card, and I don’t think he does this as carefully as needs to be done. But, let’s begin with America as Empire: war, money, power, and the empire whose power creates poverty elsewhere. OK, I can live with critique of America. But there’s more to Empire than America: Is not Iraq empire? Is not Saudi Arabia empire? Is not Sudan empire? Is not South Africa empire? In other words, we take the blame that is ours but ours is not the blame of the world. I read this week that Sudan has enough supplies to care for its own, but it is shipping food supplies to other countries … and we need not get into all of where the money is going. The point is this: yes, oppression deserves to be denounced, but let’s be fair — if we want to use “empire” as an ideology to be denounced, let’s denounce wherever empire oppresses.
Comparing Empire then and Empire now must be done with care. We are dealing with a pagan powerful nation — Rome — and a post-Christian nation whose constitution embodies ideals hammered out through a Christian history. Is the problem for Paul or Jesus Rome? All secular kingdoms and governments are Empire to me; now what? Some who critique the USA as Empire are expecting a Constantinian reality from the State. I don’t. I expect all governments to be Empire-ish; my hope is in the God of the gospel and in the God of the church, local and global. My hope is that the Church will embody that countercultural and counter imperial gospel.
Now, some quibbles: this book, like two others of his I’ve read, reflects Bell’s oral style and that means way too much white space for my liking. More importantly, a New Exodus reading of the Bible deserves some more bibliography and some suggestions for exploration. There’s lots out there, some of it academic — like the good stuff of Rikk Watts and Tom Wright — but there are so many texts to consider and so much good stuff on this, I think Rob should give some pointers to readers of where to follow this up.
The cover is clever, and I’ll let you figure it out.



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Jason Powell

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:56 am


Well I haven’t read the book yet, but I guess I disagree…just slightly…about your critique of Rob’s critique of American empire. As celebrity as Rob is, at heart he is a pastor of an American church. And given as much of his writings, videos, and sermons have been geared towards waking up the western/american church…it seems reasonable that he would point the imperialist finger at the empire he knows best (the one he lives in). Would it be fully prudent to go to the lengths to take a segment of a book like this and over-expand it into a too lengthy discussion on the anti-kingdom qualities of all empires? I’m not sure. It seems to me, that pastorally, he is obligated to speak to the situation he finds himself in. I’ve never considered Bell an ecumenical type. Does he position himself to speak for the global church much? If he does, I’m not aware of it. It seems to me he sticks to his game….mirror to the American church. I guess I can live with his limited scope of empire from within this context.



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paul

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:28 am


well now that you mentioned something about the cover being clever, this is going to drive me nuts until i figure out why…



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John C

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:35 am


I agree with Jason that Bell is performing a useful service in critiquing his own country and its empire. My only concern is that some of the Christian critique of empire can veer towards the anarchistic, and lose any sense of governmental power being God-ordained. Romans 13 and the book of Acts suggest that the early church wasn’t entirely negative about the Roman empire. Empires can be awful for those on the receiving end, but they can also bring roads, aqueducts, medicine, education, sanitation, irrigation, freshwater systems, public baths, public order, peace…



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Diane

posted September 17, 2008 at 5:43 am


John C,
I agree with that gov’ts, even empires, can do good things.
As for Bell, I liked SexGod, though, as some will remember, I was irritated at it’s “hipness” in terms of layout and white space and one-sentence paragraphs. But I thought the book had some good things to say, and I was glad I read it. My question on this book: Does it say anything new? It sounds as if what it says is good stuff, but also fairly standard issue. What does Bell bring to it to make it fresh (other than his celebrity status)? And where do books (I say this as a book lover) stand on the missional axis? I know many people who are always reading the latest “it” book with great and earnest enthusiasm and are fired up that “this” book will change our world (at least until the next “it” book comes out and I LOVE these people), but little seems to change. However, maybe all these books are adding up to a slow change in ideology in the evangelical world. For those who’ve read the book, a speculative question: Is Bell’s book going to change things? If so, why?



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m slater

posted September 17, 2008 at 5:57 am


I???ve not yet read ???Jesus Wants to Save Christians???, though I plan to in the near future.
Insofar as Rob Bell???s insights and contributions go, I???ve read some of his other works and heard him speak a good number of times (I live near his church in GR), and I really appreciate how he challenges Christians to rethink what it really looks like to follow Jesus. There is less of a focus on the traditional ???things to avoid??? list that this conservative area tends toward, like swearing or movies or alcohol etc, and more of a focus on caring for the poor, working to fight AIDS, resisting the cycle of societal and national violence.
I do not always agree with Bell, but a lot of times people I know who condemn him do so on very poor or distorted information. Overall I think he has faults like all fallen humans, but is an important voice in the church with a message we ought to think through seriously. The ???God is Green??? series he did for example, which has been derided as leftist tree-hugging, was actually a thickly Biblical discussion of God???s original and future plan for humanity and the world, and how care for the earth is a eminently Christian practice.



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Denovo

posted September 17, 2008 at 6:44 am


I’m with Paul: the book cover continues to baffle me.
A little help, please, Scot?



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Rick

posted September 17, 2008 at 7:09 am


focus on the white boxes



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RJS

posted September 17, 2008 at 7:32 am


On the cover, Scot’s picture is too small – go to Amazon and get the larger version (unless of course you have the book).



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Denovo

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:01 am


Ahhhh. Thanks, guys. I see it now.



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Allie

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:06 am


I “focused on the white boxes” but I still don’t get it….it’s intriguing though. Can’t wait to read it.



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Preacherman

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:08 am


Scot,
Thanks for sharing this with us all.
I know I can’t wait to get a copy.
I have question for you? Are there any books out on Emerging Youth Ministry? If so could you let youth pastors and pastors know about them? Thanks brother…Keep up the great job you do with your blog.



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Rob

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:19 am


“I ???focused on the white boxes??? but I still don???t get it”
neither do I? Looks like a floor plan or something to me.



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Daniel

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:26 am


Having not read the book I would like to know if Rob acknowledges somewhere in the book that it’s a work of eisegesis (the process of interpretation of an existing text in such a way as to introduce one’s own ideas)as opposed to exegesis (the interpretation and understanding of a text on the basis of the text itself)?



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Rob

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:29 am


Daniel #13…is the difference between those two things as clear cut as you make it out to be?



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John Frye

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:35 am


Scot,
I got sucker punched by all the “empire” stuff coming out of the emerging conversation early on. Thanks so much for your sane and balanced comments. George W Bush is no Caesar Augustus or Nero. :)
John



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Denovo

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:38 am


See here for a larger image of the book cover: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/0310275024/sr=1-1/qid=1221662167/ref=dp_image_text_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books&qid=1221662167&sr=1-1
“Focus on the white boxes,” yes, but with more of a bird’s eye view (if that makes sense).
Helpful at all?



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paul

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:51 am


when it comes to the cover, i still see a bunch of white boxes with random dots on them…and that’s about it



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Daniel

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:53 am


#14 – Those aren’t my definitions…if that helps. I should add that as one who preaches and teaches it’s extremely easy to slip from the exegetical to the eisegetical…because, doggone it…I’ve got stuff I want to say, and it’s not always clearly defined in Scripture the way I want to say it! But my personal desire is that if I’m going to eisegete something, I should stick tonursery rhymesor something.



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Rick

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:57 am


Denovo #16-
Vanna W. likes your added tip



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Denovo

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:07 am


#19
Ha! Now that was even more clever than the book cover.



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Rick in Texas

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:10 am


The white spaces are letters of the book title.



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Rob

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:18 am


#21, i see it now! Excellent exercise in what it means to “know” something huh? It takes a community to know/see! LOL



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Sean LeRoy

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:28 am


I’ll have to check the book out…but to this point much of what I’ve heard Bell say (and I presume it carries over to what he’s written) is too much “this is that” exegesis (or eisegesis). At the top of the post Scot made reference to “Exodus”…I’d say that God hearing the cry of the oppressed is AN application of the Exodus, but to reduce the Exodus to that alone is a flattening out of the text. I think we ought to ask questions before we reach that application…questions such as “What’s behind God’s hearing?” “Did God address this situation thru promise to a prior generation(s)”? Etc…
Its almost like Bells methodology goes something like this: Exodus = (or starts w/) God’s hearing the cry of the oppressed; conclusion = we have to liberate the oppressed of our day. He skips a couple of crucial steps in my estimation.



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ChrisB

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:29 am


I’m with Daniel — this sounds like a great example of eisegesis. Especially this:
what God is up to in this world: hearing the cry of the oppressed and liberating them
Seems like it skips that whole “Abraham” thing about God making a people for Himself.
I can’t understand why people are coming out with all these “new ways” to read the Bible when the old one works so well: God creating a people for Himself by redeeming the lost and making them like Christ. Too hard to put into an acronym, I guess.
New Exodus reading of the Bible deserves some more bibliography and some suggestions for exploration
I couldn’t have put it better.



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Jon

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:48 am


Basically, it seems to me that Bell is trying to adapt his Bible reading into a less-extreme version of liberation theology. In that view, I respect Bell’s efforts to find strength in the liberation theology tradition without going overboard. I listen to his podcasts fairly regularly, and have learned to tune out his constant empire discussion. Maybe God is bigger than our politics, though our politics should reflect our view of God.



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Anonymous

posted September 17, 2008 at 10:09 am


Lots-O-Links « Rob’s Blog

[...] Rob Bell’s New Book Review by Scot McKnight [...]



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Scot McKnight

posted September 17, 2008 at 10:16 am


OK, friends, I summed up a whole book in a few paragraphs. Let’s not assume my summary is comprehensive enough for anyone to insinuate what Rob thinks about something not mentioned or to suggest that Rob has left something out. It makes sense to talk about what is said and not what is not said; it makes sense to read a book before critiquing it. I’ve used 5 E’s and Rob doesn’t even do this so far as I know. They were a handle for me to put together the guts of the book.
ChrisB, FYI, exodus typology is hardly something new for reading the Bible. Isaiah, for one, “interpreted” his situation in similar categories and many think Mark and Paul developed notions of Exodus.



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Daniel

posted September 17, 2008 at 10:59 am


“OK, friends, I summed up a whole book in a few paragraphs.”
Very true. And I thought it was a good summary. Thanks for letting those of us who wouldn’t be apt to read the book a chance to learn about it.



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Ty

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:09 pm


Hey Scot and Friends,
The Off The Map Podcast just posted a preview from Rob’s new book. It’s from a talk Rob gave a few months ago in Seattle. It goes over a lot of what Scot wrote above, but also hits on a few other things. Check it out.
I heard Rob give this talk on his book back in April, and I was very surprised to hear an evangelical like Rob talk about “Empire”, I go to a Jesuit Catholic school, so you can see my bias. “Empire” ideology is part of my regiment as a theology major. Rob still is only touching the surface of an academic trend that started taking hold twenty years ago. If you want to do further research, look into Ched Myers (Mark), Wes Howard-Brook (John), and Warren Carter (Matthew).
Itunes link
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=286366987
Direct RSS
mahoneyt.libsyn.com/rss



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Scot McKnight

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:16 pm


Ty,
Thanks for this. Yes, there’s lots of empire stuff being written, but some — including Jon Barclay — have pushed back very hard.
I wonder if it will die down if Obama wins. (That’s my deconstruction.)



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Wayne Park

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:42 pm


the overlap in Liberation Theo and Exodus is because that is the key text for the LT school of thought.
Rick Watts brings great insight into Mark as New Exodus – as Christ leads disciples (and us) along “a path that they do not know” in liberation from Satan – an Aulen-ian Christus Victor idea of atonement.
Bell seems to be combining this with some social elements of L.T. and while it’s good work, it might just be L.T. lite, if u catch my drift.



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JMorrow

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:49 pm


While I see a lot of excesses in Liberation Theology, I think the “Empire” exegesis and commentary can serve the Church by giving a real critique to its collusions with political and economic powers. Those interactions, while certainly having a redemptive quality to them are not without consequences and losses that need to be named and lamented.
But I look at someone like Hauerwas, and someone like Rob Bell and I see perhaps two different responses to the same Empire phenomenon. At its best this can be good contextual theology, as has been done in the African American Church tradition (especially with reading Exodus), but of course at its worse the Empire talk can get too self obsessed and too pessimistic. I’m interested in reading the book to see how Rob handles this subject.



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discokvn

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:08 pm


so how different is bell’s book from the stuff of greg boyd’s myth of a christian nation?



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sheryl

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:09 pm


Scot – It’s interesting that you would associate Bell’s critique of Empire with a political position of Democrats (#30).
I also have not read the book, so I’m relying on Scot’s brief review. I’m glad that someone like Bell is connecting Exodus to Eucharist through Isaiah (Second Exodus; a common theme in the NT, especially Matthew and Mark). Bell???s thesis appears sound until he injects ???Empire??? by connecting the negative aspects of the Roman Empire to the USA. What?!? How did he get from Exodus to Eucharist to Empire??? First, our country has issues and problems as all countries do. However, the Church is not the State, and the State has separate duties and responsibilities that the Church does not. Yes, Bell lives here and can be a voice to this country rather than speak to other unfamiliar “Empires,” but why not encourage the Christians, who happen to live in the USA, to be the New Community that Jesus ushers in with the Second Exodus? Tell me what that looks like, rather assume I unknowingly and ignorantly went back to Egypt under the guise of Empire. Second, if Bell followed his thesis to its logical conclusion, he would end with a picture of the Church???the worldwide, borderless one in her influence, impact, and beauty. In what ways does God want the Church to be a part of the world, influencing others? Instead, he rounds out his argument with politics???a subject that is as divisive as ever. There has to be a better E in this equation . .
This brings me back to Scot raising a connection between Bell???s use of Empire to Obama (#30). In general, Democrats accuse America-not the people mind you, but our capitalist, democratic, war-mongering ways–as the problem rather than the solution. Bell’s “Empire” point is suspiciously similar to Democrat???s accusations against Republicans. Others level the same charge at theologians who write books to justify war or use Scripture to support various Republican positions. How I wish we could discuss theology for a day without the influence of politics, but clearly politics is a subtext by Bell’s use of Empire.
So the question begs itself, Is Bell’s argument theologically sound or politically motivated?



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sheryl

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:12 pm


I have a lot to say on this topic!
I too would like more bibliographic information. Bell is tackling some big theological issues and it would be helpful to see the sources that influence him. I think it would broaden the scope of his influence and provide good reading material for the readers.
The cover seems esoteric. I think they could have made a better choice.
Like Diane #4 asks, Will the book change things? With whom? Who is his intended audience? Even simple things like the cover (okay) and format (the white space and one sentences don’t bother me) appeal to a younger, gaming, Internet-user demographic. Is that his audience or does he want to reach a broader group of people?
I like a lot of what Bell does. My primary concern with him has been his lack of balance between the various historical cultures. He focuses heavily on Jewish, rabbinic culture at the expense of the others. For those who have read the book, how does he fare this time?



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Scot McKnight

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:16 pm


sheryl,
Let’s just assume that all theological articulation at this level is politically-influenced. Let’s also observe that from Moses to Malachi, from Jesus to John, each biblical author to one degree or another speaks not just to spiritual formation of individuals but to the social body, to the body politic, and then let’s ask how we do that in our world, too.
I think that is Bell’s motivation. Yes, much of this empire shaped articulation today is anti-Bush, anti-America, anti-capitalism … and, to be frank, much of it uninformed economically, politically, etc. — but I have to confess that I think we need to be thinking of the gospel as something that penetrates into the deepest corners and to the top of the highest mounts of power.
The evangelical left mirrors the evangelical right in these matters. My concern: aligning with a political party and losing the prophetic voice of a voice that emerges from and for the Church as it speaks to society of a kingdom that transcends.



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Scot McKnight

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:20 pm


In brief, Bell’s book is what I would call a “new exodus hermeneutic” for reading the Bible. It is too simple to say “liberation theology.” Well, yes, and there’s plenty of liberation at work in the Bible. The question is whether or not the Bible summons us to end injustice and to work for justice.



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sheryl

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:22 pm


Thanks Scot.
I share your concerns as well. Where Bell could be a prophetic voice for and to the Church with this book, I think he may have lost that opportunity by aligning himself with a particular party platform. That’s what I picked up from the Empire synopsis. I find that really disappointing.
Is Bell upfront in the Foreward or Introduction about his starting point and presuppositions?



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sheryl

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:24 pm


sorry about that! Could you please delete #38?



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Aaron C. Rathburn

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:49 pm


Thanks for the review!
-ACR



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Steve

posted September 17, 2008 at 7:35 pm


I just got “Jesus Wants to Save Christians” in the mail and have made it through Ch. 1. Thanks for the review (and comments). I enjoy Bell a lot. I have read “Velvet Elvis” and “Sex God” and watched his DVDs, “Everything is Spiritual” and “The Gods Aren’t Angry.” These are some of my recent favorite books and videos. I very much enjoy Bell’s fresh perspectives, poetic “conversational” writing (and speaking) style and how he incorporates a rich nderstanding of OT Judaism and other disciplines, like physiscs, into his theology. We have an “open forum” meeting with friends who are spiritual (one comes from a Catholic / New Age perspective), but not quite “in” the Body of Christ, at least from their own self-definition. One of my favoritie things about Bell is that friends like these really like him and are able to find common ground with Christians in conversations which lead us closer to Christ and one another.



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john

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:50 pm


Scot:
You forgot to mention that this book was co-written with Don Golden, who served as lead pastor for Mars Hill for the past three years and recently returned to World Relief in leading their church engagement strategy. He is a theologian in his own right and helped shape much of this book.



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Andrew Murray

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:29 pm


Don’t think this has been posted yet… a podcast w/Rob Bell talking about the new book:
http://vineyard-cc.org/podcast/2008/04/15/rob-bell-jesus-wants-to-save-christians/



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Steve

posted September 18, 2008 at 12:59 am


P.S. As regards empire…I agree that we need to look at the abuses of other empires as well. I love this country and the ideals it was founded on and practices to this day. At the same time, I can easily see how this particular empire could one day uniquely fit the description of the new Babylon in Revelation.



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Anonymous

posted September 19, 2008 at 6:05 am


Linkorama uke 38 « Guttegarderoben

[...] Rob Bell er ute med ny bok og Scot McKnight gir sin gjennomgang. [...]



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KG

posted September 19, 2008 at 7:37 am


As a response to John’s previous post: I cringe a bit when I hear the title “theologian” treated lightly. While each of us is “theologian” -I.E. we all have a conceptual framework of god (whoever or whatever it is that we consider as deity), to understand the term within the context you are using it for Golden(and even for Bell) does not sit well. If my impressions are accurate, you imply that Golden is a scholar of some type in theology. While he has many ideas of who God is and how He works in redemptive history–ranging from interesting to highly controversial–his approach to the text is primarily eisegesis–not exegesis. “Theologian” is a title that should not be passed around like cheap candy.



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Anonymous

posted September 19, 2008 at 7:38 am


Links of the Week « My World

[...] Scot McKnight on the 5 E’s in Rob Be.e.e.e.e.ll [...]



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Anonymous

posted September 19, 2008 at 7:42 am


Friday is for Friends and Family « Moving at the Speed of God

[...] In regards to my last post on “iChurch” and the mention of several books dealing with the need for “real” Christians vs. “religious” Christians, here’s Scot McKnight’s review of Rob Bell’s latest book, which carries a similar title, Jesus Wants to Save Christians… [...]



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KG

posted September 19, 2008 at 7:53 am


Minor correction on my previous post: I meant to say “While everyone is a theologian…” (the article, “a”, does make a difference)



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Sam Andress

posted September 19, 2008 at 10:34 am


KG, all theologians do eisegesis! Some just have better support for their reading into the text and how it works with their overall method.
Actually Rob Bell and Don Golden are what I would call church theologians. Both have advanced degrees in theology, both continue to read and interact with the best scholarship and both are deeply rooted, hip deep, in the work God is doing in the mud. They just realize that while they are going to read everything from John Piper to Bork and Crossan to Wright and McKnight and physicists, the average person let alone Christian does not have this capacity or time.
Part of the problem with theology and theologians is that too much of it is disengaged from the practices of the church community. That is, way too many footnotes. But Scot McKnight with his Blue Parakeet along with others like N.T. Wright are remedying this situation.



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brad

posted September 19, 2008 at 9:06 pm


#46, I would be interested to hear how you would define Theologian and to whom that distinction would be appropriate for. Golden has a solid academic background and is reading the text in light of that. He does read the text through a New Exodus hermeneutic and has extensive practical experience connecting church to mission.



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Anonymous

posted September 20, 2008 at 7:34 am


Weekly Meanderings « The Way of a Pilgrim

[...] September 20, 2008 by TheWayofaPilgrim Here’s some stuff I came across this week. 1. Scot McKnight reviews Rob Bell???s ???Jesus Wants to Save Christians???. 2. Esquire???s recent article on Bobby Jindal ??? I had to push to read the whole thing but it was interesting. 3. Why doesn???t President Bush have super powers? 4. Jon Stewart interviews Tony Blair. Part 1 Part 2 5. Analyzing political spin. 6. Parents distrust the HPV vaccine. 7. Breast milk on the menu in Switzerland 8. I found a new blog – The ???Blog??? of ???Unnecessary??? Quotation Marks 9. Warner Bros. 85th Anniversary. 10. So???the good news is Microsoft scrapped the Bill Gates/Jerry Seinfeld ads???the bad news is they replace them with this??? [...]



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Anonymous

posted September 20, 2008 at 3:04 pm


Why I see an emerging church in Burlington

[...] However, in the interests of fending off heresy, some pastors can be too rigid, and Mark might be guilty of this. (Note well: I said “might be” because I “might be” totally wrong, and I’m open to correction.) I am particularly struck by Driscoll’s quick dismissal of Rob Bell and Mars Hill Grand Rapids, especially when a few very evangelical theologians who are sensitive to the emerging movement have given at least a measure of approval to Mr. Bell. I think specifically of two faves right now, Ben Witherington and Scot McKnight; while both are critical of Bell’s stance on certain things like homosexuality, and will call him out for other theological inaccuracies, neither are willing to throw him off the bus as a Liberal, albeit an Emergent one. This harshness is in line with the way Driscoll holds up his “Emerging Reformers” stream as the only really pure/orthodox stream within the movement, although he tolerates the Emerging Evangelicals and the Emerging House Churchers (probably meaning the new monastics or intentional-community folks especially; I don’t see the old-school charismatic house-churchers as fitting within the emerging church movement). [...]



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Anonymous

posted September 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm


meanderings « emerging toward something redeeming

[...] Two books on my wish list: ? Rob Bell’s new Jesus Wants to Save Christians: a Maniefesto for the Church in Exile? (read McKnight’s review here). ? Also excited about Phillis Tickle’s upcoming The Great Emergence, on the reformation of the world, and especially Judaism/Christianity, that occurs every 500 years (and as you may guess, we are a due for another one). [...]



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Justin

posted September 20, 2008 at 6:39 pm


Rob Bell and Don Golden actually preached a four part series a couple of years ago on “the five e’s.” Except they called them; Egypt, Sinai, Jerusalem, Babylon. The next series was the “Jesus wants to save Christians.” I perosnaly enjoyed them, but got uncomortable with the modern day applications.
Scot’s review here, in my opinion, could be said for the sermon series.



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Grant

posted September 21, 2008 at 9:54 pm


Arg !! the cover is driving me mad what is it???!?!?!



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Anonymous

posted September 23, 2008 at 3:49 pm


Something old, something new – Two book suggestions. « Sets ‘n’ Service

[...] My guess is that this is going to be a big topic of discussion in the blogosphere maybe not quite as big as “The Shack” but still pretty big and worth reading. From McKnight’s review of it here, it looks like Bell readers are in for a challenge because it will be less anecdotal and more serious. It would be worth while to read Bell’s book and Driscol’s book “Vintage Jesus” or “Death by Love” side-by-side and discuss how two different mega-church postmodern pastors are seeking to engage popular culture and post-Christendom with a vision of Jesus. [...]



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Anonymous

posted September 24, 2008 at 6:42 am


From the Ashes » Blog Archive » Linkathon 9/24

[...] Scot McKnight is studying the word 'gospel', part 1 and part 2, with subsequent posts at his blog. McKnight also reviews Rob Bell's latest book, Jesus Wants to Save Christians. [...]



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Anonymous

posted September 24, 2008 at 5:25 pm


Rob Bell’s “Jesus Wants To Save Christians” « emerging toward something redeeming

[...] Scott McKnight’s review. [...]



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