Recently Rob Bell was interviewed in CT – and shared a theology to which I wholly subscribe, although I am not a theologian. One comment in the article is that Mr. Bell is reframing the gospel in North America for the last couple of hundred years, with many of his comments contained within his new book Jesus Wants to Save Christians. I might just have to buy this book.
“The story (of the Scripture) is about God’s intentions to bring about a new heaven and a new earth, and the story begins here with shalom – shalom between each other and with our Maker and with the earth. The story line is that God intends to bring about a new creation, this place, this new heaven and earth here. And that Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning, essentially, of the future; this great Resurrection has rushed into the present.
The evacuation theology that says, “figure out the ticket, say the right prayer, get the right formula, and then we’ll go somewhere else” is lethal to Jesus, who endlessly speaks of the renewal of all things.”
Evacuation! I like this A LOT.
First, Mr. Bell is echoing N.T. Wright in many of his recent books in terms of “the Kingdom being at hand”. Second, I have to confess that I have been a subtle victim of this “evacuation theology” that has turned the church into a sometimes strange fortress against, rather than for, and involved with the world.
And finally, I am touched by Mr. Bell’s use of the present tense to describe Jesus’ words – note above that it is “endlessly speaks” that is used, rather than something like “spoke”. Imagine that, a resurrected Christ, one who still speaks.