Being Cornered Into Talking About UR?


Okay, maybe not literally, but if people are talking about the hopelessness of hell all around you, how can you not say anything?

This is what I feel like it’ll be like coming this Thursday at community group when we discuss Driscoll’s sermon about the rich man and Lazarus. I really don’t know what’s gonna come outta me there. :wink: :laughing:

Anyway, I already had a weird reaction to something I said this last week when we were discussing the law being fulfilled by Jesus. A newer Christian was asking what that statement meant and after others had their go I explained how He said that the highest law is that of loving God with all our beings and loving our neighbor as ourselves, and since Jesus was love, he fulfilled that.

There was an awkward silence where I felt that somehow I was the odd man out, and then someone next to me spoke up (she’s one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met, which felt ironic) and said that she disagreed. That Jesus was the ultimate holy example and how we can’t fulfill the law and were never meant to and He substituted Himself, etc.

It made me really sad. How can anyone disagree with the ultimate simplicity of God = Love, end of story? :neutral_face:

Oh well. :confused:


Where does the difference lie between the two of you, I don’t get it?


Also, I can only imagine the consequences about sharing my feelings on the matter. I’m pretty sure they’d be even worse than I can conceive. Mars Hill [ed note: Mark Driscoll’s, not Rob Bell’s] is pretty counter-cultural but they’re also super doctrinally entrenched, to the point of almost being scary sometimes (at least given certain doctrines).

I want to continue being a part of this community. I suppose I should just ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom before all this.


Well actually, that’s what I wanted to ask her later, at least if she talked to me about it at all. Of course, I disagree about the substitutionary atonement (which is a big theme in doctrine there, including in some of the songs I find difficult to sing), but I think it was mostly others who chimed in on that, though I’m pretty sure that’s what she was getting at herself.

But the substitutionary atonement can still jive with God’s love being the fulfillment of the law, and I think I agree with it in a certain sense. So you’re right, I’m not sure how we disagreed technically, but I think she disagreed with me in spirit even if it wasn’t explicitly spelled out. I think perhaps she meant that love isn’t the overall attribute of God and is balanced out by holiness, instead of them both being the same thing. I still shudder that people think that way.


So you are in Driscoll’s group? have you met him?


Justin, I have experienced exactly what you are talking about with the girl that felt uncomfortable about Jesus’ fulling the law with love. It’s not that you disagree with her that He is also holy, but, I think as a result of their system ( I think penal substitution?), they are are uncomfortable with love being the main point or focus, as if it detracts from the purpose of Jesus. It really is weird.

One of my former pastors on FB was talking about holding up a straight stick as the best means of showing someone theirs is crooked. I asked if that straight stick shouldn’t be love and if this is why Jesus was killed and we will be too. He seemed very reluctant to agree with my answer.

I also can relate to you in that there are so many times I want to say something about UR. Every little thing leads to the bigger hope of who God is and what he will accomplish. I have to hold back because I know I can overwhelm people. I’m sure there are times though when I should speak up. I sure hope it goes well for you. I think you should be wise about what you share.


Roofus, no. There are like ten different campuses or something, and growing. I did thank him for his sermon several years ago when I went up for communion (when there were way fewer campuses, maybe one or two others than that one).

I promised Frank Viola I’d send a book of his to Driscoll. Hopefully I’ll be able to fulfill that request soon.

Yeah. Like that.

Yeah, totally.

But actually, Amy (my girlfriend) said she doesn’t feel like going to community group and I agreed. I think it would be a bit distressing for me.


Yes, I know what you mean, PSA is tricky. I’m also sympathetic about your situation at Mars Hill (my church has many things in common and one of our pastors worked with Driscoll on some stuff last year). I pray God guides you and works through you there.


Thanks Alex. I appreciate the commonality, too, especially since we approach UR in much the same way - we want people to really embrace this message! That’s my heart, too. God’s glory flooding the earth is a special desire of mine.


Usually when people say that Jesus lived a perfect life, they mean he perfectly kept the Jewish laws. The Law couldn’t save because no one was able to keep it perfectly (so they say) but Jesus broke none of the laws-- he was the one and only “perfect Jew” – which qualified him to be the Lamb without blemish for the final offering.

That way of thinking doesn’t quite fit with the idea that all that law can be contained in “Love God and love your neighbor.”

Very interesting,


One of the things I always found interesting about the rich man and Lazarus, long before I believed in UR, was that the rich man was showing compassion for others whilst in torment. It seemed to imply to me that the situation was not a ‘steady state’, there was an incongruency or ‘tension’ in the account that would have to be addressed at some time.


I know you are not defending that interpretation Sonia, it is just another of the false bricks in the wall of the bad news gospel. But we can easily demonstrate from scripture that Jesus was more than happy to break the Jewish Laws and did so on many occasions - especially the Laws to do with purity, sabbath etc - basically anything that got in the way of his mission was his to break.


I don’t see how it doesn’t fit- is there something about the Jewish laws that you find incompatible with love? Didn’t Jesus accept such laws?


A woman of discernment!

SG, I’m sorry but I feel nauseous about such a lovely young couple (in your photo) sitting under Driscoll’s teaching. His doctrines about women and marriage are deadly poison. Unless he wakes up, I predict serious marital problems in his future.


Yeah, that was something I was reading in your post in the other thread. I just saw a video the other day where his wife was sitting there chiming in, in full agreement with the role of the man and woman.

Believe me, that’s not how our relationship works! Amy does want me to lead (which freaks me out sometimes, to be honest! :astonished:) and there is scripture about man being the head of the woman, etc, but I view it in a complementary sense, equal with differing roles. I certainly don’t want to “rule over” her. Maybe Paul only meant that that’s how it works in a fallen world, who knows.


Incidentally, I added a quick editor note to one of Justin’s earlier posts in this thread, clarifying for new readers that he’s talking about Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill church, not Rob Bell’s.

Also, the system seems to have accidentally duplicated Roofus’ question about if Justin goes to MD’s church, so I deleted the duplicates. (I left notes explaining what happened, but thought I should mention it here, too.)


I’ve noticed that there are times when I just can’t help myself. :ugeek:


I would absolutely LOVE to be cornered into talking about UR! :laughing: I have to quietly tip-toe around it so much, so as not to cause undue friction at Sunday School and similar groups.

But my emotional stake at being in the group isn’t as high either. It would be very different if my little niece asked me about it. Because if I tell her what I believe, I know her parents will shut me out of access to her. And rightly so, so far as they can see. I don’t resent that; they should definitely do what they believe is most true and honorable to God (regardless of whether I agree about that or not.) But that leaves me with the dilemma about what I ought to do, personally, in regard to her. Focusing on what I know her parents believe that I can agree in professing (which is very extensive) is the obvious answer. But… well, there’s just more to it than that.

That day will come, I guess–I write very publicly and extensively on the topic, which will (hopefully) only grow more prevalent in the next few years, and she’ll want to know what her uncle is doing and where she can read or hear him. :frowning:

(Sometimes I feel like I might as well be living in an alternate reality where Arians and modalists both became ascendant in Christianity, and trinitarian theism (affirming strong statements from both camps while naturally having to disagree strongly on some things they agree and disagree with one another about) is a super-minority view that usually only a few historians know was once held as a minority in the church, but which every once in a while makes a public appearance–to be roundly condemned, of course, by both Arians and modalists, though for conflicting and mutually opposing reasons. Instead of embraced as the most logically coherent theology, both in accounting for the most scriptural testimony and in metaphysical analysis. sigh. Well, things could be worse: in that alternate reality, it would be even more difficult to get people to believe that God will persist in saving all sinners, since God can only be essentially love if ortho-trin is true.)