I really like Rob Bell. Have for years. He puts out the Nooma series of videos that are nothing short of brilliant. As a filmmaker and pastor, I’ve enjoyed them tremendously. In a world full of poorly produced church videos, the Nooma series have great quality, as do Bell’s messages. I highly recommend them.
Because I like them, I was not surprised when Twitter exploded over the weekend. I was just surprised that it took this long. Bell has a new book coming out called Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. As first posted on this blog, the jacket basically says that Bell thinks everyone goes to heaven. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that that was going to piss off the fundamentalists. I wish I had known about it in advance, I would have bet the farm on it happening. And won. When news broke on Saturday, Twitter was full of people calling him all sorts of things. The fact that no one had yet actually read the book didn’t stop most of them. A few, but not many. Most were- unsurprisingly- quick to judge.
I love fundies. They make me laugh.
This has been coming for years. In Bell’s videos I learned things about Jesus I never knew before. I found insights I had never imagined. So did many other people. It was only a matter of time before he learned and shared something that the fundamentalists didn’t like. Learning new things isn’t what fundamentalists do. That’s why they’re fundamentalists. Because they want things to stay the way they are. The minute someone comes up with a new idea, it’s wrong. Why? Because it’s different. For a fundamentalist, that’s reason enough.
Which is just funny.
I wish all the people on Twitter and beyond who have written him off would read this book. I really do. I wish fundamentalists would take the time to consider a viewpoint that differs from their own. But I know they won’t. So I’m just going to read Rob Bell’s book and laugh at the fundamentalist outrage. I can do that because I agree with Rob Bell. I truly believe that God’s love is enough to overcome absolutely everything. Even fundamentalism.