Reflections on faith and science and, more broadly, contemporary culture
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Bell and Lewis
Bell, being provocative
Something struck me today as I was lounging by the pool after a four-hour bike ride. (I mention the bike ride because the fatigue may have affected my clarity of thought.) In Love Wins, Rob Bell builds his apologetic (if that's what he's doing) as follows: "Hey, world, look at how silly and judgmental the church can be. You don't need to believe that." C.S. Lewis in contrast worked a different apologetic: "Hey, world, your views don't make nearly as much as sense as Christianity. You'd be wise to abandon disbelief."
Lewis, speaking wisely
All of this as a result of a series of questions at Wednesday night class on Love Wins: "What's the difference between C. S. Lewis's and Rob Bell's take on heaven and hell?" Answer: in some ways not much. At least when Bell's at his best, he's leaning on Lewis. "Then why is Bell called a heretic and Lewis not?" Answer: Lewis is wiser and generally better at what he does. But even more, if Lewis was out to offend anyone, it was atheists. He didn't want to inflame divisions about Christian believers. Bell seems to be content with provoking overly conservative Christians. And that will definitely get you the "heresy" label.