mjkimpan  —  August 8, 2012 — 18 Comments

most of the bible is a history told by people living in lands occupied by conquering superpowers. it is a book written from the underside of power. it’s an oppression narrative. the majority of the Bible was written by a minority people living under the rule and reign of massive, mighty empires, from the egyptian empire to the babylonian empire to the persian empire to the assyrian empire to the roman empire.

this can make the bible a very difficult book to understand if you are reading it as a citizen of the the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. without careful study and reflection, and humility, it may even be possible to miss central themes of the scriptures.
–rob bell

context and usage determine meaning.  is it possible that perhaps the way we approach the sacred scriptures needs to be reinterpreted?  if so, in what ways?  if not, why not?










read a few more great quotes from rob bell here, via scot mcknight.

and for those of you who may be a little uncomfortable with me quoting rob bell,
please read this.

  • ryan copeland

    Some interesting quotes here. this one is my favorite.
    “Often times when I meet atheists and we talk about the god they don’t believe in, we quickly discover that I don’t believe in that god, either.”

    I guess I like it because I have a (facebook) friend who grew up in the church and now claims to be an atheist. Everything he complains about or argues about God is what he learned growing up but is not biblical at all! Needless to say, we have some very interesting conversations. It’s hard to get someone to erase all that they’ve been taught and look at the bible in a new way. It was hard for me when I came face to face with it, but to the glory of God, He opened my eyes to the truth. We must remember when talking with friends or strangers, our job is not to convince them we’re right, or to open they’re eyes, but to speak the truth in love and let God work in their hearts.
    At some point in history the mission went from sharing the love of Christ with everyone to let’s get out there and win souls! as if WE can save people. Then some clever marketing student who also was in seminary thought “why don’t we scare people into believing in Jesus!” thus began the Hell marketing campaign. At least that’s how I picture it happening 🙂
    My point in all this is just to say, the church has subtly adopted and intermarried pagan doctrines into our theology and it’s hard to expose those without being branded as a “wacko” or “heretic”. I think Rob Bell is starting to see some of this, and although there is a lot I disagree with him on, I think he’s on the right track. What do you think MIke?

    • that’s really well said, my friend. in fact, when you speak of the ‘hell marketing campaign’ i am reminded of johann tetzel, pope leo’s master salesman (whom we can thank, in large part, for st. peter’s basilica).
      the evangelical church has adopted quite a few strange beliefs along the way, not found in scripture or church tradition indeed (dispensationalism, anyone?).
      i don’t agree with everything that rob bell says, either (in fact, i’m having a tough time thinking of anyone that i agree with on every point all the time – i sometimes even disagree with myself!); but as you said, ‘i think he’s on the right track.’
      God wins. and God is love. so, love wins.

      see what i did there?

  • Tom M

    We all have our predispostions when it comes to the Bible. We lie if we argue otherwise. Perhaps this is where the real problem lies when the topic is politics, sex, war or a thousand other issues of interest. Question I have for Mr. Bell would be “So what? Does this perspective color your understanding of the gospel or the Great Commission?” Jus wondering.

    • tweet at him with the link and ask. 😉

      alan chambers has asked me to organize a coffee get together between him, myself and rob – but i can’t seem to get ahold of him.
      maybe you’ll have better luck!

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