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Rob Bell hates blogging

January 1, 2008


Rob Bell hates blogging!

In the latest issue of Relevant Magazine, during the question and answer interview with Rob Bell (see previous entries to verify I’m all for Rob Bell) he says:

“You have to be totally disconnected from the pain of the world to think that blogging is somehow a redemptive use of your time. I guess I have some strong thoughts on that.”

Ok, to be fair. the question was about how he deals with critics. It was a fairly long answer that dealt with how that “…the world is an emergency, it’s on fire. It’s drowning, it’s an absolute crisis..” and that followers of Jesus can think of nothing better to do than pick apart the work of other followers who are trying to do something to help the world. So I think he is referring to the blogs dedicated to criticizing him and others.

He also has some interesting things to say about what church is. And that anytime a church is large it is reason to be questioned. By large he means 20-30 people.

Hoping 2008 is a year of new starts for you and me. I know I could use some in a number of areas.


I thought this was a provocative quote.  And I thought it worth considering how much time is spent blogging.  But I do think there are times that it can be very much a good use of time.  I also thought it worth considering if you spend your time criticizing or arguing about others beliefs that claim to follow Jesus.  But apparently some outside arguments that are part of what Rob Bell is speaking of came over here to continue their arguing.  So anybody got any comments about blogging or church size?

19 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2008 9:16 pm

    I think blogs are used for different purposes. Some people use their blogs for education, some to fuel their ego, some to cry out for help or attention. I think I’ve used mine for many reasons but now that I’ve met so many of my “blog friends”. I think mine is just used to stay in touch.

    I do agree with Mr. Bell that people who use the things they write to hurt others are not using their time wisely. Those who comment anonymously to be critical of others are not being helpful to anyone.

  2. nonamepreacher permalink
    January 2, 2008 3:34 pm

    We do spend too much time blogging about our critics. There is a certain element within Christianity who believe their calling is to expose all who oppose their version of Christianity and the gospel. Of course that means exposing everyone but the elect few who agree with them. Trying to debate them.correct them/challenge them/etc is casting pearls before swine. In this context blogging has little, if no, redemptive value.

    But, blogging CAN and DOES have a redemptive value if it promotes unity and discussion among the people of God . Blogging has little evangelistic value but it does have value in promoting a broader catholicity.

  3. January 2, 2008 3:55 pm

    But, blogging CAN and DOES have a redemptive value if it promotes unity and discussion among the people of God

    Unity … in…the gospel? Wouldn’t we then have to debate/agree on what exactly the gospel is? shucks… I guess we can’t do that.

  4. January 2, 2008 7:26 pm

    “There is a certain element within Christianity who believe their calling is to expose all who oppose their version of Christianity and the gospel.”

    Agreed in principle but there is only one Gospel. However, this is precisely the motive behind semi-pelagian synergists like Rob Bell. The Emergent Church consistently attacks the proper Biblical theology of the Reformation.

  5. January 2, 2008 8:02 pm

    What Silva means here is that calvinism=gospel. His version of the gospel is calvinism and a such any non-calvinist is branded as a preacher of a false gospel.

    Second, Rob Bell is considered emerging not emergent. Silva knows the difference and refuses to use it.

    Contrary to Paula’s drivel there is unity on the gospel. Where there is not unity is on the calvinists and their interpretation of that gospel. To deny calvinism is not the same as denying the Reformation. The key ingredient of the Reformation was justification by faith not election and predestination.

  6. January 2, 2008 8:51 pm

    “No Name” is a good moniker with this misinformation. Guess you’ve got some more rethinking to do. This isn’t about Calvinism. Let me set the record straight: The Reformers taught monergism – sola gratia and sola fide – as opposed to Rome’s synergism.

    Looks to me like the disunity comes from the Arminians and their interpretation of the Gospel. And Emergent=Emerging; same thang, same rotten semi-pelagian root.

  7. January 2, 2008 9:09 pm

    Silva uses all the calvinist buzzwords. It is ALL about calvinism because calvinism=gospel. Since Silva is defending the gospel he is defending calvinism. The very fact that he drags the Arminians into this proves my point.

    The ONLY people who go around throwing out the term semi-pelagian are calvinists. Of course, anyone who is not a calvinist must be pelagian tosome degree (in their thinking)

    Ask 100 followers of Jesus “are a syner or mono” 99 say huh? The other one is from Georgia and he thinks that you are talking about being just a syner.

    Enough said and I apologize to our host here for cluttering his comments with this.

    As to the subject of blogging. Blogging, like anything else, can be a tool for the edification of the body or a tool for the tearing down of the body. Most blogging is for the good of the Church. Unfortunately, it is those who tear down the body who get all the press.

    As far as Church size……….smaller is better, and what I mean by small is 25 or less. House Churches seem to fit th bill best. Mar’s Hill ha an interesting setup…..large wekly gathering…..and then lots of house church meetings during the week. In the 1970’s, while in college, I attended a Church of over 5000 in attendance. Our Sunday School class became our Church. The pastor wasn’t really my pastor. He was the paid preacher.

  8. john frerich permalink
    January 2, 2008 9:30 pm

    I have to say I have learned much from reading blogs and the responses. If we remember that Jesus said that our love for each other, the brethren, will be the proof the world knows we are His, if this is evident in the blogging, all the more. But we must remember that there will be false teachers, antichrists if you will, who have been there from the beginning and continue today. These and their teaching must be exposed and opposed will all vigor. True believers can discern the difference between judging one another as Christians and exposing false teaching, if we are growing in our faith.
    Keep up the blogging.

  9. January 3, 2008 9:30 am

    Well I think your commentors just proved Mr. Bell’s point…..

  10. January 4, 2008 12:10 am

    Does this come when you mention Rob Bell in a post?

    I think a blog can be used to inspire people to action and build relationships with like minded people. Those people help encourage you to keep going out into the fire.

  11. January 4, 2008 3:55 pm

    Who does Rob Bell speak for except for himself? There an idea afloat that if a person is a published author that fact somehow makes his opinions authoritative. What that means to me is that the person’s writing has been published. I have read plenty of nonsense penned by well known authors.

    Rob Bell is a good guy, doing some fine work for the Kingdom. But, he is just a guy. I don’t value his opinion about the size of a local church, or blogging, any more than dozens of other men.

    His peace,

  12. January 4, 2008 4:03 pm

    Yes Rob is just a man…..

    but we should give a healthy respect and deference to those who are mature in the faith;those who have been gifted as pastor/teacher. They deserve our respect and the benefit of the doubt.

    We all have people whom we value more than others. We have “proved” them and found them to be reliable and honest (not infallible)

    There is certainly equality at the foot of the cross but God does gift each of us differently. We are wise to recognize and respect those whom god has gifted to be teachers and pastors.

    This can be done without turning it into man worship (of which Evangelical Christianity is rife)

  13. Daren permalink
    January 4, 2008 10:30 pm

    I like cheese

  14. January 9, 2008 2:44 pm

    Oh no, should I give up my Rob Bell eye glasses now? lol

    Hope things are well in Starkvegas for you in 2008!

  15. January 9, 2008 9:18 pm

    I love blogging because I like to make people think about their faith. I like to challenge the way they think theologically about relevant issues that face the church, ministry, relationships, God, the Trinity, Culture, and their lives. I love blogging because it give me a way to get my message out. Ideas out. Meet fellow clergy that I wouldn’t otherwise. Rob bell should check out my blog. I’d love to visit with him.

  16. February 1, 2008 1:17 pm

    Blogging is talking, writing. When Jesus spoke, he wasn’t wasting his time. When the biblical authors wrote, they weren’t wasting their time.

    Oh, but that was JESUS speaking, and other people writing by INSPIRATION. Fine, was Augustine wasting his time? Martin Luther? C. S. Lewis? Rob Bell? (Oh, wait, he’s the guy making the criticism).

    Say what you want to, Rob. We’re going to keep on blogging. Why? Because, like you, we assume the Fall. The world’s messed up. And most of us think we know why and what should be done about it.

  17. Steve S permalink
    March 13, 2008 1:58 am

    Pathetic.. If Rob and his followers would take the time to examine the life and message of their “rabbi” than they would stop focusing on all this bleeding heart, liberal, reform the world crap and get back to the primary task of saving souls, instead of focusing their efforts on providing the third world with low interest loans!
    You can argue, as they do, that we should focus our efforts on these feel good, Gospel-lite, do-gooder, friend of world promotions all you want, but in the end it will amount to the same thing it has always amounted to – a colossal waste of time for the church. God has equipped the church to make disciples, not capitalists or peace activists, and that is precisely why all these side endeavors by the church WILL ultimately fail.
    Does anyone really think that cleaning up neighborhoods equals snatching people from the fires of hell? ( and yes, the “rabbi Jesus” teaches that the vast majority of people will go there, read it for yourself if you doubt it).
    Is the world somehow going to escape this judgment because we taught them to be nice to each other? Nope.. The emerging church seems to honor the legacy of Gandi more than the words of their “rabbi Jesus”.
    Do not misunderstand, we MUST feed those who are hungry, it’s what our Lord did, but to believe that that is going to turn their hearts toward Christ is no more likely than when Our Lord did it (as Christ Himself pointed out). In the end it was “the words of life” that Jesus preached that mattered, not the food!!
    Read up on “rabbi” Jesus and His apostles and you will have to agree that they absolutely suggest that persecution and even martyrdom is what awaits Christ’s followers on this earth. Is Rob teaching his congregation to be prepared for the world to repay their goodwill efforts with persecution and martyrdom? I haven’t heard him say it or even suggest it. Hasn’t Rob eagerly accepted the roll of preparing the saints? Yes. And now he whines when his words and efforts are questioned or opposed? He should be engaging them personally, and teaching his flock to do the same, like his “rabbi” did, not teaching them ( by his words and example) to try and get the opposition to shut up and quit being so mean . Show me where his “rabbi” ever told him, or showed him, to do that? On a whole, I don’t think Rob does much of anything his “rabbi” does, or says to do! In fact, his “rabbi” jumped right into the argument more often than not, even to the point that they had to crucify HIM just to shut Him up! That doesn’t sound like Rob to me at all, it almost sounds like the opposite doesn’t it? What “rabbi” is he following exactly??
    If Jesus is your rabbi, aren’t you taught to obey him and make it your life mission to become like your rabbi? Aren’t you in fact mis-leading people when you do the opposite of what your “rabbi” did?

    “is it possible that Rob’s world “… is an emergency, it’s on fire. It’s drowning, it’s an absolute crisis..” because he’s not properly following the example of his rabbi? Oh yeah, I forgot, he is, and his rabbi’s name is Rob Bell!

  18. Steve S permalink
    March 13, 2008 2:58 am

    I have question about the whole “follow the rabbi” teaching.
    Does it seem possible that some people might be under the impression that Rob is their living rabbi? A sort of living example of their heavenly rabbi? Does it seem possible that both Rob’s and Ray Vanderlaan’s teaching about how the Jews (Jesus included) were rightly encouraged to “be like” their rabbi might confuse some immature believers into following them the same way? Are they promoting that Jesus is the only rabbi who should be followed? And if that is so, than how can Jesus “the rabbi” be followed in any other way than by a strict (with Jewish like fervor) study of Him, with Him, and By Him alone? (just like the following of the rabbi’s of old.) I’ve heard Ray explain how the disciples of a rabbi would state with absolute conviction that they were of “this rabbi” or “that rabbi”. So if, as they teach, we are to be disciples of Jesus, in the same way as a disciple of a certain rabbi, wouldn’t that teaching lead us to the obvious conclusion that we should reject ANY other teacher or teaching than that of OUR rabbi alone?
    So how can ANYONE but my rabbi ALONE teach me to be exactly like him?
    I’ve never heard them, or anyone else, suggest that someone else can teach me to be like MY rabbi, but My rabbi. Is there now a new dispensation of the rabbi/disciple relationship whereby I am to become “as my rabbi, in every way, literally dress like the rabbi, talk like the rabbi, walk like the rabbi, comb my hair like the rabbi, etc. through some sort of surrogate stand in?
    Any thoughts?

  19. October 27, 2010 2:52 pm

    i always use my eye glasses specially when working in front of the monitor for long periods of time;-,

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