Friday, March 11, 2011
Rob Bell John Piper Controversy
Mad Magazine fans will recognise Sergio Aragones' style of illustrating hidden motives. An important formative influence in my thought, perhaps.
I have little or nothing to add to the theological discussion. But I may have something of my unusual perspective to bring in. I know nothing about either of the participants - I'm not up on this. But this smells like a cultural conflict, not a theological one, at least from someone. Maybe, maybe a political one, but I think I would have heard of these guys if they were big hitters left or right. Politics come into cultural conflicts of course, so one or both of them probably has a political agenda in disguised form. Disguised even from themselves, I'll bet. This is tribal, and I don't think many of the players know that.
As with my NCAA bracket, I will strive to know little about the surface of the debate, so that I might perceive the hidden motives better. I have some initial thoughts, but for now, I would simply ask you to play along. If you know what is up with this controversy, try and unlearn it for the moment and simply look at the symbols and presentation that people are bringing to the debate. I don't mean to imply that either is manipulating symbols - I mean only to notice what type of person they want to look like and sound like. For example, I am pretty certain Bell is Emerging Church and Piper is midwestern Reformed. I don't know if they are pastors or academics or writers or what. But you can tell at a glance what cultural image they want to be seen as.