Chapter 6 in Love Wins is titled, “There are rocks everywhere.” The focus of the chapter is how Christ is found in random passages in the Old Testament—everywhere, really—and how Christ is working and wooing people to God in all sorts of contexts we don’t expect. Jesus works in ways that we don’t expect. Times when miracles occur and we don’t necessarily believe them.
It’s funny to me that we Christ followers will believe in crazy miracles in the Bible like water turning into choice wine (John 2) or The Resurrection but then largely dismiss claims of miracles today. That’s a controversy in and of itself that I don’t care to get into; but it’s still fun to point out that irony.
Robbie makes lots of good cases for Jesus being the Way for peeps to enter Heaven whether they know Jesus or not (citing John 14:6). However, it seems that when Pastor John quotes Rabbi Jesus in John 14:7, he means to say that you have to know Jesus to know to know God, too. In other words, Jesus is the only way to get to God. (Here’s where I think Bell might say something like, “that just means that Jesus is eventually how all will get to know God and enter through the Gate of Jesus to do that.” Which kind of makes me wonder if that violates people’s free will. And free will is as a major component of Rob’s worldview. Probably more of the fuel that anti-Bell folks use for their fire.)
Here’s a great quote from page 155 that epitomizes Bell’s stance: “What Jesus does declare is that he, and he alone, is saving everybody.”
This is something that I think would still make persons of other faiths upset and come across as “we’re right and you’re wrong.” And, to be realistic, isn’t this what almost all faith systems believe? That “I, as a Hindu or Buddhist or Methodist or whatever believe that I’m right and you be wrong, hommie”? Yes, there are some faiths that believe how our eternity shakes out is ultimately the same—i.e. pantheists who maintain we are all a part of God/Ultimate Reality (Buddhism & Hinduism). Yes, other faiths maintain that we are different from God but still all get to “Heaven” regardless if they follow Jesus (postmodern, “spiritual” people). But all religions cannot equally be true because they claim that Truth or Ultimate Reality is different. People need to stop watering down what each religion says. Let them speak on their own, yo!
I don’t think this line of thought regarding who’s right and who’s wrong discounts that the LORD is working in and among other faiths. Meaning, all truth is God’s truth—whether 2+2=4 or love is the ultimate virtue—and God is continually drawing people to Christ if they know it or not. I believe that the Spirit is speaking to Muslims, money worshippers, and atheists all over the world. They just aren’t able or willing to recognize it.
I do dig it when Bell says that our Jesus is a Jesus that will not be owned by any one denomination. He cannot, will not be tamed by any organized human spiritually focused movement. I feel like we would melt in fear were we to fully realize how we have attempted to offer a tame, wimpy version of Jesus to the world.