There has been an inordinate amount of craziness around Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins.
Everyone I know seems to have weighed in on this topic.
Everyone is watching.
Is this really about Rob Bell and his thoughts on hell and theology?
I think it’s a lot deeper than that.
Over the past couple of years we have seen a growing hostility between conservative and more legalistic traditions of Christianity here in the USA and the progressive traditions who focus more on loving and serving others. This doesn’t break cleanly across denominational lines either.
Your witnessing something big right now.
Your witnessing a new split in Protestant Evangelicalism.
The most vocal and conservative evangelicals have become increasingly wary of—and even rejected—younger evangelical leaders over the past several years as being too liberal or not reformed enough. Young leaders who, for the past several years, have clung to the title of ‘evangelical’ (simply because that is who we are) are growing increasingly uncomfortable with being associated with much of the conservative leadership.
The unwillingness to be associated with one another runs both ways.
While this undercurrent has been happening for some time now…
We are reaching a tipping point.
You’ll see two sides soon with a fairly slim middle.
On one side you’ll have the reformed conservatives—entrenching and ‘expelling’ folks.
On the other side you will see the progressive evangelicals—migrating toward work with mainline churches.
This thing is going to split wide open.
I’m not saying it is a good or bad thing…but I can tell you it’s coming. It doesn’t have all the vocabulary put to it yet—but it is coming. It has been a bit under the radar for much of the Christian world—but it will spill out into the streets to become a fullblown separation.
We have all felt tremors of this thing coming for a couple years now.
Rob Bell’s book will play a huge part in triggering this split.
This is not just about theology.
It’s about control of the story of Jesus.
It’s about the entire framing of God and the gospel.
It’s going to be something we mentally mark.
It going to start something big.
It may not be nailing 95 theses on a door…
But it could mark a major shift in how evangelical Christianity represents itself from this point forward. It could shift the way people think of evangelicalism—putting young progressive faces more in the main stream.
This may be the future of evangelicalism and we may all be witnessing the tipping point.
It’s all just my opinion—and I’m not endorsing anything— but I think some huge shifts are about to happen to the US evangelical community.
Hang on—we’re in for a bumpy ride.
Let’s hope we can all act like Jesus through the process.
Do you think a split is coming? If so, will it be helpful or hurtful for the church?