As we are in the middle of the Passion season before Easter, I have been reflecting a little on the whole Rob Bell issue. It has been interesting to follow all of this brouhaha with my older boys. Since we read Kevin DeYoung's blog regularly it started with watching Rob Bell's promotional clip for his new book and the evangelical world's response to it. Is Rob Bell a universalist? Does he believe all will be saved in the end, that love wins? Kevin DeYoung wrote a rather lengthy review on the book from an advance copy that he had (takes awhile to read, but worth the time) and published it on the day the book was released. At the end of the day, it appears Rob Bell has some serious issues regarding his views of God, the atonement, and Scripture. We then watched as Bell went on the interview circuit, his interviews with George Stephanopoulos on GMA and with Bashir on MSNBC. The boys immediately picked up on Bell's inability to answer questions directly and also his poor answers regarding God's hand in the disaster in Japan. This gave us a platform to ask the boys, "How would you answer the question, 'Is God all-powerful, but doesn't care, or does He care, but isn't all-powerful?'" (Going further than just "neither":) Anyway, good discussions at our house. If you are unaware of the controversy you may have to start from scratch (read Kevin DeYoung's blog posts on Rob Bell and then do YouTube searches for the interviews alluded to above) to understand what I am going to say next.
Rob Bell's God is all about love. My God is too, but he is also about justice and wrath for sin. Starr Meade in her devotional we read the other night "Behold, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah" talks of how Scripture beginning in Genesis 49:9-10 speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ as a lion. She describes how a lion is powerful, kingly and fierce; Jesus is all of those characteristics. She referenced Hosea 13:7-8 and Rev. 19:15 to describe how fierce and powerful the Lord God is in the fury of his wrath against sin and disobedience. Meade writes this: "In the book of Revelation, John saw a scroll in the hand of God, sealed up with seals so that it couldn't be opened. A search was made in heaven and earth for someone worthy to open those seals, but none was found. John wept over this until he heard someone say, "Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals." Jesus Christ, the Lion of Judah, is victorious. The Lion wins.
But when John turns to look, does he see a conquering Lion? No, he sees instead a Lamb, standing as if slain. Just as we have recently studied in Isaiah 53, Jesus, the Lion, conquered by being slain. All that fury of God's wrath was opened up on Jesus, the Lamb, in the place of sinners, so that those who trust in His salvation may escape the fierce anger of God for their sins. This is the Good News. The Lion wins by being the Lamb.