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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rob Bell and Greg Isles

There is a member of our church who hands me a book every so often. I really appreciate it. I like to read (when I have time), and I appreciate a chance to keep up with at least part of what is being put out there in the world.

The two books "Love Wins" and "The Footprints of God" by Rob Bell and Greg Isles respectively, were difficult reads for me. Not because they took a long time. They were page turners for sure. But they gave me a sour feeling inside. I found myself trying to be sure that I had time to read my bible and not let these authors feed me my last thought of the day before I went to sleep.
The logic that Rob Bell uses to explain away hell was bone chilling. There was one page in which he listed all of the verses in which Jesus mentions hell, and then he proceeded to say "that's it." But the verses were convicting! Even through his lens, which he was trying with all of his might to use to force us to refocus on something else, Jesus' words pierced through and seemed to override whatever mumbo jumbo he was trying to say.
His language is manipulative. For instance, he says that hell is only mentioned 12 times in the new testament. Why does he use the word "only"? Why is 12 such a small number? Jacob had 12 sons.. There are 12 tribes of Israel...
Not all of his points were bad, but what he was trying to say about the afterlife didn't seem to have enough backbone. I returned the book, so I can't give many more specific quotes. What I have just shared is what has lasted in my memory.

Greg Isles' book is a sci-fi thriller, with phylosophy intertwined in it. At first, I couldn't see exactly where he was going religiously, which was a good thing. By the time I did realize what point he was trying to get across, I was too involved in the action part of the story to be willing to stop reading.
To me, this was the first time that I dove into the brain of someone who buys into science as his god. I was dumbfounded at the logic--or in my opinion, lack thereof. I think that his main point was that "consciousness" was our God. The irony is that he seems to acknowledge the existence of God, but believes that God had nothing to do with the big bang theory. He believes that He was just as confused about it as we are when the world came into existence! He also acknowledged that he could not explain the origin of it. There were several portions of the story that revealed what I believe to be reflections of the author's struggles in his own spirit. I think that it bothers him that no one knows for sure where Jesus was buried. I think he struggles tremendously with the whole "bad things happen to good people" issue. However, I thought that the co-heroine handled that pretty well by pointing out the good that did come out of a particularly bad situation, and also by stating that if it weren't for God's goodness, how much worse could the situation have gotten? Still, I confess that the suffering that some people endure is sometimes a hurdle to my own faith as well.
Having said all of this, it is one thousand times more difficult to believe what this guy believes than the bible. When you come down to it, you have to give up trying to figure it out. At some point, you have to let go and have faith. Cling to God with all of your heart. He is all we've got.

Coming soon... my thoughts on homeschooling versus public schools. Haha. Joke.
Well, maybe not.
No really.
I guess you'll just have to wait and see!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this. I love hearing your thoughts. Miss you!



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