The sad thing is that Rob Bell is just repeating another form of the same separatists fundamentalism that turned him off to his spiritual predecessors.
Bell’s efforts to appear compassionately inclusive are cover-ups for his separatist arrogance toward those who dare to see things differently from him.
His condescending comment about the church’s best argument being a quotation of 2000-year-old letters is an example of his brand of fundamentalism. It’s an underhanded way of slamming people who actually believe in the enduring validity of Scripture. They are nothing more than Neanderthal idiots who are out of touch with reality.
Of course, the freedom Bell and his wife have to say such things is largely based on a 200-year-old document.
How should we receive the words Bell’s wife read from his book?
“Marriage, gay and straight, is a gift to the world because the world needs more not less. Love, fidelity, commitment, devotion and sacrifice.”
Is this an authoritative word for us? On what do they base this moral and social conclusion? If this is just their opinion, they need to make a case for why it is binding on others. Do they respectfully endorse the freedom of others to disagree with them?
If they base this on portions of the Bible, will they help us pick-and-choose the parts of the Bible we should continue to follow despite the 2000 year issue?
This strikes me (forgive the expression) as a bit of sucking up to what is perceived to be a majority viewpoint. But the majority of people in America do not endorse gay marriage as good for society. Bell has naively fallen for a media effort to make gullible people think that it’s a majority viewpoint.
Worse yet, after arriving at what he thinks to be the cultural shift, he offer himself as a compassionate (in touch) leader of change.
So very sad.
Bell’s brand of fundamentalism is far more divisive than he pretends with his strained efforts to be compassionately inclusive. We don’t need any more of this kind of condescending, exclusive attitude in the culture or the Church.
Consider a better way to resolve the gay marriage debate here.
See also: Tolerance as a strategy, not a virtue