Came across this from Russell Moore’s Twitter page this morning. It is a commentary on a new work by Rob Bell. Many youth ministers are familiar with his NOOMA videos, and his impact on the evangelical subculture has been well noted. Bell is however associated with the “emergent church” movement. I have no problems with differing methodologies, and even different ways about doing church to meet the needs of a post-modern, post-Christian culture. However, the point at which I break (and many others have as well) with them is over a fundamental shift on doctrinal issues.
Many of the historic orthodox positions of the church are up for debate or even exclusion by many in the Emergent movement. I believe a fundamental issue for Christians is the nature of Truth, that it is both Objective and Revealed, and that Truth comes from the person and nature of God Himself. The debate over Truth is considered in the Emergent movement, and so are other views such as substitutionary atonement, men/women and their roles in the church, morality and the definition of sin, and even the character of God. The traditional view of God as Father/Son/Spirit has in many circles been replaced by Creator/Redeemer/Sustainer, in essence losing the gender language.
I submit this link and encourage you to come to grips with the issue at stake. The rise of the feminine God movement is here, and we must have an answer for those who would seek to undermine what has been taught throughout the centuries. We must be able to explain that the Fatherhood of God is part of His goodness, and that while God is Spirit and has no physical form, He has chosen to reveal Himself to us in the masculine, and we are not to redefine how He has revealed Himself. God is all good, and He is both the warrior king and compassionate parent. But to say that He embodies “she” is a reduction of God’s own revealed nature to us.
Disagree if you will, but I will challenge you to follow out what a shift in the perception of God means for the church, evangelism, and the nature of theology itself.
Suffice it to say, I never had planned to use anything Bell put out in my own ministry, and I never will. Theological error can never be used when it is “relevant.” In that regard, I stand as a dinosaur on Jude 3. People like Mark Driscoll, my friend Rob Turner, and others who stand on theological conviction but seek to reach the culture are men I greatly admire in this time of confusion.