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The God Who Smokes

February 28, 2011

Trevin Wax weighs in on the Rob Bell controversy by pointing out an telling excerpt about Bell from Timothy Stoner’s book, The God Who Smokes: Scandalous Meditations on Faith.  The quote:

“Okay,” I said, “I get that it is important to listen to other ‘stories.’ I get it that other points of view need to be given dignity. And I agree. But” – and here I took a breath for dramatic effect – “at the end of the day, is Rob saying that there are other stories that can lead to God? Is he just creatively repeating that old line from the 1900′s that led to the split between liberals and fundamentalists? Does he believe, down deep, that those who sincerely follow other roads, who pursue justice and compassion, even though they reject Jesus, will be saved?”

There was the moment of silence that inevitably follows explosive verbal gambits. What I didn’t expect was the fervor of the response.

In our small coterie, there was a young man who knew Rob personally. He had been a founding member of his church, had served in leadership roles, and so was on a first-name basis with him. After that split-second of quiet, he blurted out, “Of course that’s what he believes!”

The statement was not to be derogatory. It was an affirmation…

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