This review was posted at Tim Challie’s blog and is so well spoken that I wanted to repost it here. Go check out his blog for lots of other great reviews like this.
Questions matter. They can help you to grow deeper in your knowledge of the truth and your love for God—especially when you’re dealing with the harder doctrines of the Christian faith. But questions can also be used to obscure the truth. They can be used to lead away just as easily as they can be used to lead toward. Ask Eve.
Enter Rob Bell, a man who has spent much of the last seven years asking questions in his sometimes thought-provoking and often frustrating fashion. And when he’s done asking, no matter what answers he puts forward, it seems we’re only left with more questions. This trend continues in his new book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, where Bell poses what might be his most controversial question yet:
Does a loving God really send people to hell for all eternity?
Dan Kimball writes about the importance of words in our churches (like “worship” and “church”). Are the meanings of these words accurately known by those sitting on the pews or in the chairs? While I might cringe at some of his comments – like rethinking calling someone “pastor”, he makes strong points. Do non-“pastors” with the spiritual gift of pastor/shepherd feel under-qualified when someone with that gift in their title is getting paid to do it? Yes, I do believe in qualified leaders, but I believe qualification proceeds getting a job, and not everyone who’s qualified will be on staff. I’m not advocating changing things, but I do think we should think through things theologically before doing them – I think this is also Kimball’s main point in the article. Historically we have done things many different ways for both good and bad reasons. We should take that into account. Primarily, however, we should seek methods and such in Scripture – sola scriptura, if you will.
As most of the recet posts, I originally posted this on my old blog. This seemed a particularly appropriate time to re-post it here, considering Pastor Jimmy’s recent video blog post about Journey’s sacrificial giving to bost Uganda and Honduras.
Ok. This is a question that’s been in the back of my mind for a while, but there have been recent additions to it. First, there is the concern of churches spending much money on themselves and their member’s comfort than on spreading the good news of salvation to the nations. Should a churches’ missions budget be just a measley 10% all the time? One might argue that stuff is more expensive here in America than in third world countries. Might there at least be a reason to think of our use of money on ourselves vs. reaching the lost?
My second query may be more related to conventional vs. emerging churches (terms borrowed from Doc Reid, my evangelism professor in seminary). Conventional churches build buildings and spend much money on stained glass windows, steeples, organs, pretty wooden pews, ornate decorations, and the like. Emerging churches often use warehouse space and spend money on sound systems, lights, video, hazers, and the like.
They also critique each other on their use money and lack of worshipful surroundings. The conventional church (the high church tradition) uses their surroundings of ornate decorations to create a certain atmosphere of worship. The emerging church (or seeker-sensitive model) does the exact same thing (in the goal of the atmosphere), but through louder and more relevant music, video screens, etc. They both spend money on things that create a more worshipful atmosphere for their demographic. Seems logical to me.