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My Response to Rob Bell on Soul Sunday with Oprah (Part 2)

Here’s what I heard Bell say:  “Things are headed somewhere — and that somewhere is good.”

Oprah asked him directly, “Are we ultimately headed to somewhere that is good?”  He then refers to the Ted Conference at which only 2% of the attendeesFirefoxScreenSnapz565 professed to be religious.  Bell was struck by the fact that the speaker got a standing ovation when he said that “The moral arc of the universe is long but bends towards justice.”  Bell seems to make the point that there is within us all an intuitive impulse that life has a point — It is the sense that there’s a reason to keep going.

KeynoteScreenSnapz111My thoughts on this video:

“Things are headed somewhere — and that somewhere is good.”  Oprah specifically asks Bell, “Are we ultimately headed to somewhere that is good?  Do you believe that?” 

Bell didn’t directly answer her question.  He referred to a recent Ted Conference, that only 2% of the attendees at the Ted Conference were religious.  But the speaker made the point that “The moral arc of the universe is long but bends towards justice.” 

Bell uses that line to say that we all have an intuitive impulse that life has a point — It is the sense that there’s a reason to keep going.

MY QUESTIONS TO ROB:  But what is that “point,” Rob?  Is it self-defined?  Are there many possible answers to Oprah’s question?  What about the claim of Jesus that He and He alone is “the way, the truth, and the life,” and that “no one comes to the Father except through Him”?  What about His promise of an abundant life to all who believe in Him?

Is Oprah fine in her spirituality, Rob?  I can appreciate wanting to identify with another person’s quest for meaning and for something deeper, but where do we share the sometimes incredibly offensive truth of the gospel?   Off-camera, Rob, do you share the gospel with Oprah?

 

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2014 in ROB BELL

 

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Response to Rob Bell on Soul Sunday with Oprah (Part 1)

Here’s the short video of Bell on Oprah’s “Soul Sunday.”

I asked for your thoughts.  Here are a few of mine.  I have been highly FirefoxScreenSnapz564critical of Bell since his book Love Wins came out a couple of years ago.  I believe his “spirituality” has veered far away from biblical Christianity and try to prove my case in my booklet Farewell, Rob Bell.

Here are a couple of notes I took on the questions Oprah asked Rob and the answers he gave:

Oprah:  The difference between religion and spirituality?  Bell: “Religion is people don’t want to go to hell; spirituality is people who’ve been to hell already.”
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Oprah:  What’s one lesson that’s been the hardest for you to learn?  Bell:  “That’s there’s nothing to prove!  All we have to do is enjoy.”

Oprah:  What do you think happens when we die?  Bell:  “There’s a ton of [greeting] all these people.  Meeting my grandpa [is more exciting to me] than meeting God.”

Oprah:  What do you know for sure?  Bell:  “That you can say yes to this moment & experience a joy that can’t be put into words.”

FinderScreenSnapz046Oprah:  The world needs _____  Bell:  “All of us to wake up.”

Bell:  “I believe that we’re going to be fine.”

Oprah:  God is ________  Bell: “Love.  Stick to that one.”

Oprah:  My favorite thing to do on Sunday morning ________  Bell: “Going surfing with his 13 year old.”

KeynoteScreenSnapz111My thoughts on this short video:  I’m sure I don’t understand the arrangement between Rob Bell and Oprah for her Sunday morning show.  It appears that short interviews with him will be a semi-regular feature, sound bites which fit into Oprah’s approach to spirituality.

Part of me wants to be grateful that someone professing to be a follower of Jesus is actually having a regular audience with the billionaire woman who has impacted the spiritual perspective of millions of people.  A greater part of me grieves that he seems to be fitting in nicely with her New Age advocacy of “the All,” clearly rejecting the exclusive Good News of the Christian gospel.

The interview segments provide no opportunity for Bell to elaborate on what he means by “we’re going to be fine,” for example.  I believe Bell’s universalism (that all will eventually be saved) may well stand behind his comment, but I don’t know.   One could argue that Bell has “sold out” the gospel, refusing to speak clearly of Jesus to the one influential woman who needs to bow to the Lordship of Christ. (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2014 in spirituality

 

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