In her intro thread, Gem posted a link to another and much better Bell interview, in which they actually let Bell explain himself, instead of trying to push their own agenda (like Bashir did in his interview).
My thoughts as I listen to the interview:
Notice that when he says, “That’s a great question!” He doesn’t answer it, but skirts the question.
My favorite Bell quote in this video: “A church ought to be a place where you are free to struggle with your deepest longings and questions! Wrestling with these questions is not a threat to faith, but a sign that your faith is alive, your heart in engaged!”
In answering the question “If this isn’t literally true then the whole sweater starts to unravel.”, Bell says:
"I think a lot of people, in the modern world, their fundamental understanding of faith is a very black and white, what Jesus gives you is certainty and if you doubt how that was handed to you or what you were taught then everything might crumble. And I see it as a much more dynamic, vibrant, vital pursuit and discovery. For many people the fundamental metaphor they were given is theology is a destination. You get the beliefs right and you arive. But what you see in the scriptures is a metaphor of journey. You are on a journey. You are learning. You are growing. And the scenery is changing. So you have to revisit the things you were handed or previously held perspectives because you are growing and experiencing new things. And that’s ok. That means you’re alive and is to be celebrated as opposed to being a threat. "
I share Bell’s desire to encourage people to study, to wrestle with these issues for themselves. And I share his desire to not make this a point of division, but to recognize the breadth in the greater body of Christ, and to embrace one another as we journey together, though we understand scripture differently.
I take a different approach in that I like to share what I believe, why I believe it, and also note that I recognize I could be wrong; but even more so, I recognize others as brothers and sisters in Christ and will give them their due respect based upon that relationship regardless of whether we understand scripture the same or not. Bell seems to be reticent to say, “Based on my studies, I believe…” Is this positive or negative, I don’t know. That’s not what God has inspired me to do.
It’s funny, I have a friend who criticizes me for being so open with my beliefs because He thinks such only drives wedges in relationships. I believe that openess helps relationships and that the problems that divide us are more attitudinal like pride, fear, and self-righteousness!
Anyhow, overall I thought it was a pretty good interview; and it would seem to encourage non-believers to investigate the Christian faith. So, A+ from that perspective.
Same here. His vagueness almost hurts my head but he does have alot of essentially good things he’s pushing about making Christianity more open for discussion about things.
I agree. Much better interview. What a difference it makes when the interviewers are actually interested in hearing what the man thinks. I also liked the unravelling sweater question and the way Rob addressed questions related to other pastors’ hostility towards him.