Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Rob Bell's view of Jesus

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

-Matthew 14:25-33

I recently had the opportunity to watch another one of the video's from Rob Bell's "Nooma" series entitled, "Dust." In the video, Mr. Bell makes the case that Peter sank into the water because of his doubt in himself rather than doubting Jesus. He tells us that "Jesus wouldn't have called him unless he thought that Peter could be like him." He goes on to tell us that Jesus has faith in us. That at the great commission, He "leaves it all in the hands of nobodies."

It is apparent to me that Rob Bell does not believe in the sovereignty of God. He would have us believe that Jesus left the great commission in our hands and now he is sitting back and hoping that we fulfill it. He would have us believe that God is impotent without us to grant him the favor of doing his work for him.

You see, the truth is that the bible teaches us that not even a swallow falls to the ground apart from Gods Will. (Matthew 10:29) The truth is that God is in control of all things. (Romans 8:28) That includes the power over the choppy water that Peter was walking on and the power over Peter himself.

In actuality, It couldn't matter less how we feel about ourselves. When we look at the life of Peter, we find that as a young, cocky, overconfident believer, he was basically useless. It wasn't until he submitted completely to the power of God that he started performing miracles and doing wonders for the kingdom of God. Ultimately, it has nothing to do with our faith in ourselves, it's our faith in God and God's favor that has power.

One final thought; Rob Bell states that while faith in God is a wonderful thing, we should also focus on God's faith in us. While that is a lovely thought, it's flawed. The Bible defines faith as "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1) If that is how we define faith, then riddle me this; What does God Hope for, and what does God not see?