I often wander. In the cyber sense.
I have done my share of wondering in the physical sense as well, but those are different stories for different times. Back to my recent cyber-wandering.
I was recently discussing the relevance of the need to have an understanding of the Old Testament Hebrew world in order to frame the stories and accounts of the New Testament world. During this discussion I wanted badly to quote Rob Bell, who I incorrectly remembered as having written a book about Old Testament exodus experiences and why they are so important to framing the intent behind the words we read in the New Testament.
I first searched my bookshelves at home for the book which in my creative imagination was called Exodus. I had a picture of a green cover with a pattern of multiple shades of green checks across one quarter of the cover. Either the top left or top right. Under that pattern was the word “Exodus” in all caps with the leading letter in a larger typeface. Under that and left justified it said “Rob Bell”.
I’m telling you – I saw that book in my minds eye.
Weeks went by. Months. I never did find it on my bookshelf despite looking at every book. I look through my ebooks on every device I’ve used in the last year. Even those I was certain I’d never read an ebook on. I Googled it and found no reference. I checked Wikipedia, and Rob Bells own web site which seemed to have an exhaustive listing of his publications. I couldn’t find it.
Then… I decided to give it one more try and bingo! I found it! In 2006 Rob did a study series at Mars Hill called Exodus. It was in four parts. When I saw the post I realized that was it. I’d stumbled across it on the Mars Hill site at some point, downloaded, and listened to the series. There was very little chance I’d find those downloads again so I coughed up a few bucks and downloaded them again. Whew! Found at last.
But that’s not what this story is about.
This story is about an article I came across while doing that Internet search. It was written by Brian Mclaren as a rebuttal to an article entitled “We’ve All Seen this Before”. A criticism of Rob Bell’s book Love Wins, published by prominent Southern Baptist leader, Dr. Albert Mohler. In Mr. Mclaren’s rebuttal was the following paragraph which I quote here. In an attempt to provide some context – Mr. Mclaren was addressing the motivations that compel those of us who sometimes question the things we’ve been taught we need to believe…
We’re seeking – imperfectly at every turn, no doubt – an incarnational theology, a theology that brings radical good news of great joy for all the people, good news that God loves the world and didn’t send Jesus to condemn it but to save it, good news that God’s wrath is not merely punitive but restorative, good news that the fire of God’s holiness is not bent on eternal torment but always works to purify and refine, good news that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.
— Brian Mclaren
Hear, hear, Mr. Mclaren!