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Author Topic:   Love Wins - Rob Bell
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 16 of 30 (612810)
04-19-2011 12:25 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Aware Wolf
04-18-2011 3:42 PM


Aware Wolf writes:

Wouldn't the folks who are "overly" interested in themselves be even more likely to choose paradise over torment for themselves?

Who knows what is in the heart of people. Maybe there are those who would find eternity in a selfless existence to be torment.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Aware Wolf, posted 04-18-2011 3:42 PM Aware Wolf has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Aware Wolf, posted 04-19-2011 8:10 AM GDR has responded

    
Aware Wolf
Member
Posts: 154
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 02-13-2009


Message 17 of 30 (612838)
04-19-2011 8:10 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by GDR
04-19-2011 12:25 AM


Well, OK. I don't want to drag the thread off topic. It just seems like it's an implied truism in the Christian worldview that Heaven is hugely, objectively preferrable to Hell.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by GDR, posted 04-19-2011 12:25 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by GDR, posted 04-19-2011 10:56 AM Aware Wolf has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9268
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 18 of 30 (612839)
04-19-2011 8:15 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by GDR
03-14-2011 11:55 AM


Gods punishment is optional. Because of God.
Justin Taylor of the Gospel Coalition, a network of traditionalist scholars and pastors, says Bell's views are "dangerous and contrary to the word of God. ... If Bell doesn't believe in eternal punishment, then he doesn't think sin is an offense against a holy God."

We may well offend by tarnishing the perfect world that God demands...but it does not follow that we must be punished.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by GDR, posted 03-14-2011 11:55 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by GDR, posted 04-19-2011 11:14 AM Phat has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 19 of 30 (612845)
04-19-2011 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Aware Wolf
04-19-2011 8:10 AM


Aware Wolf writes:

Well, OK. I don't want to drag the thread off topic. It just seems like it's an implied truism in the Christian worldview that Heaven is hugely, objectively preferrable to Hell.

It seems to me that for a huge majority of us life in a world whose main feature is everyone for themselves would be intolerable. It would be hell.

Edited by GDR, : Corrected wording


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Aware Wolf, posted 04-19-2011 8:10 AM Aware Wolf has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Aware Wolf, posted 04-19-2011 11:52 AM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 20 of 30 (612847)
04-19-2011 11:14 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Phat
04-19-2011 8:15 AM


Re: Gods punishment is optional. Because of God.
Phat writes:

We may well offend by tarnishing the perfect world that God demands...but it does not follow that we must be punished.

It is my contention that I worship a loving and just God. If God were to be an entity that punished for eternity those that didn't get their theology right then stop the bus and let me off. Who wants to worship a God like that? Frankly that would make heaven sound more like hell as it has turned Jesus' teaching around and make it all about me. It's no wonder that so many people leave the Christian faith when it is twisted into something that would have more in common with the Pharisees, (it's all about sanctimoniously keeping the laws), than it has with the teachings of Jesus.

I don't have all the answers but I have no doubt that the loving just God that I worship will in the end treat everyone justly.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Phat, posted 04-19-2011 8:15 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Phat, posted 04-24-2011 1:29 PM GDR has responded

    
Aware Wolf
Member
Posts: 154
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 02-13-2009


Message 21 of 30 (612849)
04-19-2011 11:52 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by GDR
04-19-2011 10:56 AM


I think our short conversation here isn't getting off the ground because we aren't talking about the same thing. I'm assuming the "traditional" definitions of Heaven and Hell where, even if we don't have the details, Heaven is wonderful and glorious and Hell is a place of suffering, not because of who might be there but because of the natures of Heaven and Hell themselves. If you aren't also assuming the same thing, then it's a pointless exchange and we may as well wrap it up.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by GDR, posted 04-19-2011 10:56 AM GDR has responded

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 Message 22 by GDR, posted 04-19-2011 1:58 PM Aware Wolf has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 22 of 30 (612854)
04-19-2011 1:58 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Aware Wolf
04-19-2011 11:52 AM


Aware Wolf writes:

I think our short conversation here isn't getting off the ground because we aren't talking about the same thing. I'm assuming the "traditional" definitions of Heaven and Hell where, even if we don't have the details, Heaven is wonderful and glorious and Hell is a place of suffering, not because of who might be there but because of the natures of Heaven and Hell themselves. If you aren't also assuming the same thing, then it's a pointless exchange and we may as well wrap it up.

Frankly the Bible tells us a great deal more about our lives now than it does about heaven and hell in our future. A great deal of what is in the Bible uses Jewish apocalyptic writing which when interpreted in some literal sense loses the intent of the author. The point is that Jesus' teaching was for the lives that we lead in this existence, and if we do that with kindness and justice the next life will take care of itself. The Bible in my view tells us very little about the next life but does make it clear that there is one.

However as to your post, I do believe that Heaven is wonderful and glorious and that Hell is a place of suffering. Compare the two. If Heaven is an existence where unselfish love is the norm, then just imagine what a wonderful existence that would be. Contrast that with a world where selfish love, where everyone is looking out for number one, is the norm and think what a hellish existence that would be.

I suggest that life in Hell would just gradually continue more and more to dehumanize us until life as we know it would become virtually unrecognizable.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
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 Message 21 by Aware Wolf, posted 04-19-2011 11:52 AM Aware Wolf has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 2851
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 23 of 30 (612952)
04-20-2011 12:41 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by GDR
04-19-2011 12:21 AM


Re: Lots of questions, just curious
GDR writes:

I think that faith is crucial. The question is faith in what and for what reason. If we are talking about where we spend eternity then it is a matter of having faith in the Christís message of love, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, justice etc. I donít see anywhere in the scriptures that those attributes will only be found amongst those that call themselves Christian.

I agree... kinda.

I think that if we are going to follow the Message of Love (love, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, justice etc...), than we are forced to "have faith."
I don't think there's an objective, absolute way to show that these things are "better" than evil things. In this sense, I think we must have faith that these things are "good" and live our lives in that fashion.

...there is the slightly reality-based fact that if we go about being evil, we're likely to be punished or even killed by our community. This would be a non-faith reason (self-preservation) to carry the Message of Love (or, at least act in that manner), but I think the faith-based reason to carry the message is a much more honorable reason than one based upon selfish reasoning.

Of course, the faith I'm talking about here is not religious or Jesus Christ related in anyway, it's using the simpler definition along the lines of "believing in something for which there is no evidence."

Having said that I also believe that Christian faith is crucial. I believe that when an individual comes to believe in Jesus Christ and all that goes with that, then something changes. First off, when I say believe, I am not talking about just intellectual assent, but more importantly belief meaning that we trust in what Jesus taught and in what Jesus did for us on the cross. I contend that when someone makes that decision with both mind, and more importantly heart, that there is a change in that personís life that is assisted by the Holy Spirit of God.

I understand. I don't really have an arguement against this, just an alternative view:

My view is that the "faith" is crucial. Back to what I was talking about above, it's the belief in doing good things for the sake of simply being good that's crucial, rather than doing good things for selfish reasons. This difference may not show in our actions, but it is a mindset that is extremely different from one based on self-preservation.

You contend that when Christian Faith is accepted, there is a change in a person's life that is assisted by the Holy Spirit of God.
I contend that when Love Faith is accepted (non-religious, as I have proposed above), there is a change in a person's life that is perpetuated by this unselfish mindset.
In both situations, I would say that the person would be following the Message of Love.
I would also say that the unselfish mindset I am talking about is what you're calling the Holy Spirit of God.

But, this is getting into personal preference and away from what Rob Bell is discussing.
As far as our thoughts about Rob Bell go... I too agree that he's on the right path, but I think he has a longer distance to go as I do not see any importance in the Christian portion of Christian Faith (or, say, the Muslim portion of Muslim Faith). I think it's the Faith part that is important, and simple... just faith that good is good and that we should strive to increase good in our lives and those around us.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by GDR, posted 04-19-2011 12:21 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by GDR, posted 04-20-2011 3:16 PM Stile has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 24 of 30 (612964)
04-20-2011 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Stile
04-20-2011 12:41 PM


Re: Lots of questions, just curious
Stile writes:

I think that if we are going to follow the Message of Love (love, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, justice etc...), than we are forced to "have faith."
I don't think there's an objective, absolute way to show that these things are "better" than evil things. In this sense, I think we must have faith that these things are "good" and live our lives in that fashion.

...there is the slightly reality-based fact that if we go about being evil, we're likely to be punished or even killed by our community. This would be a non-faith reason (self-preservation) to carry the Message of Love (or, at least act in that manner), but I think the faith-based reason to carry the message is a much more honorable reason than one based upon selfish reasoning.

Of course, the faith I'm talking about here is not religious or Jesus Christ related in anyway, it's using the simpler definition along the lines of "believing in something for which there is no evidence."

The only nuance I would add is that one doesn't have to be religiously affiliated to live a life characterized by unselfish love, but it would be my contention that it is only possible because the choice is only there in the first place because of God. Obviously that is a faith issue as well.

Stile writes:

My view is that the "faith" is crucial. Back to what I was talking about above, it's the belief in doing good things for the sake of simply being good that's crucial, rather than doing good things for selfish reasons. This difference may not show in our actions, but it is a mindset that is extremely different from one based on self-preservation.

That is my view as well except that if the change of mindset is real then a change in actions is bound to follow.

Stile writes:

You contend that when Christian Faith is accepted, there is a change in a person's life that is assisted by the Holy Spirit of God.
I contend that when Love Faith is accepted (non-religious, as I have proposed above), there is a change in a person's life that is perpetuated by this unselfish mindset.
In both situations, I would say that the person would be following the Message of Love.
I would also say that the unselfish mindset I am talking about is what you're calling the Holy Spirit of God.

How this all works is one of the first questions I'd like to ask God so I am only offering what I believe to be the case. (By the way, in the next life I'm definitely going to all the lectures. )

I think that we have to be open to wanting our lives changed and through that we are open to God's spirit to work in us and through us. If we do it as Christians I suppose the answer should be obvious, but for non-Christians I just don't know. I do know that God loves all of his creation regardless of religious beliefs so I'm inclined to think that the Holy Spirit is involved for everyone who desires a life of unselfish love. As I say, I'll get back to you in the next life with a definite answer.

Stile writes:

But, this is getting into personal preference and away from what Rob Bell is discussing.
As far as our thoughts about Rob Bell go... I too agree that he's on the right path, but I think he has a longer distance to go as I do not see any importance in the Christian portion of Christian Faith (or, say, the Muslim portion of Muslim Faith). I think it's the Faith part that is important, and simple... just faith that good is good and that we should strive to increase good in our lives and those around us.

Actually I think we have stayed on topic as these are the things the book deals with.

As to the importance of the Christian faith I see it this way. Is the story in the Christian Gospel true? Was Jesus Christ bodily resurrected? If it is true, then the Christian portion is crucial. If it is not true then there is no more reason to listen to what he has to say than any other man preaching a message of love and peace. It would make him the equivalent of Mahatma Gandhi.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Stile, posted 04-20-2011 12:41 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Stile, posted 04-20-2011 3:58 PM GDR has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 2851
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 25 of 30 (612967)
04-20-2011 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by GDR
04-20-2011 3:16 PM


Re: Lots of questions, just curious
GDR writes:

As to the importance of the Christian faith I see it this way. Is the story in the Christian Gospel true? Was Jesus Christ bodily resurrected? If it is true, then the Christian portion is crucial. If it is not true then there is no more reason to listen to what he has to say than any other man preaching a message of love and peace. It would make him the equivalent of Mahatma Gandhi.

I would completely agree. If the Christian Gospel is true, then I would fully admit that the Christian portion is crucial to Faith.
The same with Hindu beliefs, if their core historic claims (do they have a Gospel?) are true, then I would say the Hindu portion would be crucial to Faith.
I just happen to lean a bit closer towards the "not true" side.

But, like you said, maybe we'll find out when we die. And save me a seat in those lectures, they sound interesting


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by GDR, posted 04-20-2011 3:16 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by GDR, posted 04-21-2011 2:26 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 26 of 30 (613085)
04-21-2011 2:26 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Stile
04-20-2011 3:58 PM


Re: Lots of questions, just curious
Stile writes:

I would completely agree. If the Christian Gospel is true, then I would fully admit that the Christian portion is crucial to Faith.
The same with Hindu beliefs, if their core historic claims (do they have a Gospel?) are true, then I would say the Hindu portion would be crucial to Faith.
I just happen to lean a bit closer towards the "not true" side.

We would agree that the heart formed choices that we make in this world matter but the big question is why do they matter.

I'll just quote from the near the end of Rob Bellís book.

quote:
Jesus reminds us in a number of ways that it is vitally important we take our choices here and now as seriously as we possibly can because they matter more than we can begin to imagine.

Wahtever you have been told about the end -
the end of your life
the end of time
the end of the world -
Jesus passionately urges us to live like the end is here
now
today.

Love is what God is,
Love is why Jesus came,
and love is why he continues to come,
year after year to person after person.


The Jews at the time of Jesus primarily believed that the point of being chosen by God was that it meant that they would be vindicated in this life and be allowed to rule establish a kingdom that would powerfully rule over their neighbouring pagan neighbours.

Jesus said that it isn't what the kingdom model looks like.

It seems to me that there are parts of the church today that have essentially the same message. I think there are those who believe that by believing the right stuff, by joining the right church they will be part of a kingdom that is vindicated in the sight of their neighbours, only now that belief has been put off to the next life.

I and I would say that to a large degree the point of writing this book was to point out that once again a big chunk of the church has their kingdom message wrong. (This does make plain why there is opposition to it.)

After the resurrection the message of the apostles was that Jesus was, and is, King and that Caesar isn't. So if Jesus reigns we should look at that model. Jesus was a servant King. He was prepared to reign by doing the lowliest of jobs. He washed the discipleís feet.

So yes, if the Christian Gospel is true, if Jesus was resurrected then it is crucial. That being the case I suggest that it is all important to do all that we can to know the truth about Jesus, because if it is correct then we have our world model all wrong and we should do something about it.

How many leaders in our world do we see that actually have a servantís heart. You and I are going to have to vote on a new government in about 11 days. Christianity calls us to humbly love kindness and do justice. Are those the qualities that we look for in our leaders? Iím inclined to think that most of us vote based on something quite different and that Jesus, if He were running, wouldn't get too far.

I think that Bell makes out a good case and ďLove Winsí is a worthwhile read.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Stile, posted 04-20-2011 3:58 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 9268
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 27 of 30 (613284)
04-24-2011 1:29 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by GDR
04-19-2011 11:14 AM


Re: Gods punishment is optional. Because of God.
GDR writes:

Phat writes:

We may well offend by tarnishing the perfect world that God demands...but it does not follow that we must be punished.

It is my contention that I worship a loving and just God. If God were to be an entity that punished for eternity those that didn't get their theology right then stop the bus and let me off. Who wants to worship a God like that? Frankly that would make heaven sound more like hell as it has turned Jesus' teaching around and make it all about me. It's no wonder that so many people leave the Christian faith when it is twisted into something that would have more in common with the Pharisees, (it's all about sanctimoniously keeping the laws), than it has with the teachings of Jesus.

I don't have all the answers but I have no doubt that the loving just God that I worship will in the end treat everyone justly.

Thats the thing, though. Lets take this step by step logically.

GIVEN:

That the God we worship is not made in our image (imagination).

That God is only remotely knowable through what He gives us to perceive, and even this cannot be proven.

That God is not required to have a unique relationship(communion) with us, though we believe it to be possible.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by GDR, posted 04-19-2011 11:14 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by GDR, posted 04-25-2011 2:22 AM Phat has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 28 of 30 (613409)
04-25-2011 2:22 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Phat
04-24-2011 1:29 PM


Re: Gods punishment is optional. Because of God.
Phat writes:

Thats the thing, though. Lets take this step by step logically.

GIVEN:

That the God we worship is not made in our image (imagination).

I agree.

Phat writes:

That God is only remotely knowable through what He gives us to perceive, and even this cannot be proven.

I go along with that it can't be proven but I disagree with the rest. If, as I believe, the gospel stories are essentially accurate then we can know quite a bit about the character of God through Jesus Christ. I also contend that we can learn something of God through His creation. I also believe that over the years there have been people inspired with wisdom who have been able to record that wisdom so that we can receive it.

We don't know God in the way that we know our spouse. We don't even know Him like we know someone like President Obama or anyone else famous that we have never met but I read a lot about. However, as Bell points out, we do know His primary feature is His unconditional love for us and for all of His creation.

Again though, that is dependent on the truth of the gospels and it does boil down to faith in the end, but I'm very comfortable that it is a more than reasonable faith.

Phat writes:

That God is not required to have a unique relationship(communion) with us, though we believe it to be possible.

I'm not sure what you mean by unique relationship, or to be honest, the point you are making.

Hope you had a Happy Easter.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Phat, posted 04-24-2011 1:29 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Phat, posted 04-25-2011 8:18 AM GDR has responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 9268
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 29 of 30 (613425)
04-25-2011 8:18 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by GDR
04-25-2011 2:22 AM


Re: Gods punishment is optional. Because of God.
GDR writes:

If, as I believe, the gospel stories are essentially accurate then we can know quite a bit about the character of God through Jesus Christ. I also contend that we can learn something of God through His creation. I also believe that over the years there have been people inspired with wisdom who have been able to record that wisdom so that we can receive it.

But this limits us to the traditional interpretation of the Bible. What if we were expected to use common sense instead?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by GDR, posted 04-25-2011 2:22 AM GDR has responded

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GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 30 of 30 (613433)
04-25-2011 10:13 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by Phat
04-25-2011 8:18 AM


Re: Gods punishment is optional. Because of God.
Phat writes:

But this limits us to the traditional interpretation of the Bible.

What is the traditional interpretation of the Bible?

I believe that we are to use our God given common sense when it comes to interpreting and understanding the Bible.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Phat, posted 04-25-2011 8:18 AM Phat has not yet responded

    
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