Here at VFT we're pleased to announce that we'll be beginning a series on the Basics of the Reformed Faith, written by one of our visiting faculty members, Dr. Kim Riddlebarger! This will be a series that will cover the basic subjects of Reformed theology.
The Bible opens with a remarkable statement in Genesis 1:1– “In the Beginning, God . . .”
This simple assertion is packed with meaning. Some of the most fundamental truths of the Christian faith are found in this short declaration, and it is important to give them due consideration.
Are all of God’s attributes subservient to his love? And does God’s love demand the salvation of everyone? If you answer yes to both, then you’re inclined to agree with everything else in Rob Bell’s Love Wins. I say this because traditional views of God, salvation, heaven and hell are not really challenged through argument but are dismissed through a series of rhetorical questions that caricature conclusions that most Christians have historically maintained on the basis of looking at the relevant passages.
Stepping down from the pulpit, the author bends over backwards to join the gallery of those who have been burned by the church. “Lots of people” with questions are just told “‘We don’t discuss those things here.’” What follows are lots of questions—actually rhetorical questions: implied answers disguised as questions. In fact, it’s more like cross-examination (“Where were you on the night of October 33rd?”) than wondering out loud. Good questioning leads you to evaluate the options. In this book, though, I get the impression that the questions—many of them caricatures—are more of a quick-and-easy way of dismissing rival views.
Implied already in the “questions” are the following answers the pre-determine Bell’s assertions. At the heart are the following assumptions: