Consistency and Logic?
One critic who has read Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins, noted that: “It seems that where Bell’s arguments begin to break down, he simply walks away instead of pursuing consistency and logic.”
I wonder if perhaps the same could be said of Jesus, whose chief values were not consistency and logic, but of challenging people where they were with provocative parables and stories that often left them scratching their heads, confused them, and did not always conform to consistency and logic!
Yet somehow we presumptuously assume to know exactly what Jesus meant (even when his immediate audience often did not), and then we draw all kinds of concrete literal realities from *parables* (acc. to our conceptions of consistency and logic) and then get up in arms when someone does something sorta like Jesus did.
Kevin DeYoung has proposed eight points as to why we need a doctrine of divine wrath and eternal punishment, in his pre-emptive attempt to throw Rob Bell off the orthodoxy train: (you’d think he read my post: An Angry God?)
They are as follows:
“First, we need God’s wrath to keep us honest about evangelism.”
“Second, we need God’s wrath in order to forgive our enemies.”
“Third, we need God’s wrath in order to risk our lives for Jesus’ sake.”
“Fourth, we need God’s wrath in order to live holy lives.”
“Fifth, we need God’s wrath in order to understand what mercy means.”
“Sixth, we need God’s wrath in order to grasp how wonderful heaven will be.”
“Seventh, we need the wrath of God in order to be motivated to care for our impoverished brothers and sisters.”
“Eighth, we need God’s wrath in order to be ready for the Lord’s return.”
Fairly convincing, right?
If I had time, I’d respond to each of those points, but thankfully someone has already done it. Here is a great post by Andrew Perriman deconstructing Kevin DeYoung’s points biblically and common-sensically (is that a word?):
Kevin DeYoung, Rob Bell, and the argument about hell
Any thoughts you have are welcome, as always, below.