In a recent blog post, Brian McLaren takes issue with Albert Mohler’s review of Rob Bell’s new book Love Wins. Using a baseball metaphor, McLaren argues that Mohler has made four errors in his analysis of Bell’s book. Here is my summary of McLaren’s concerns.
1st base â€“ Mohler claims to “know” the gospel story. McLaren says that Mohler only knows his interpretation of the gospel, which shouldn’t be confused with the gospel itself.
2nd base â€“ Mohler says God’s holiness and justice require the traditional doctrine of hell. McLaren says God’s holiness and justice are jeopardized by the notion that hell is a place of eternal conscious punishment.
3rd base â€“ Mohler argues that anyone who rejects the traditional doctrine of hell is drifting toward a theological liberalism that has killed mainline churches. McLaren argues that the liberal/conservative narrative is misguided and that mainline churches have diminished for reasons other than their liberalism.
Home â€“ Mohler confuses secularism with liberalism. McLaren says that secularists come in both liberal and conservative varietiesâ€”both of which should be rejected by Christians.
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that I disagree both with McLaren’s framing of the issues and with his responses to Mohler. Mohler says that he will be responding forthwith. I’ll be looking forward to it.
Summaries are always inadequate, so I encourage you to go read McLaren’s entire argument. When you do, keep in mind that you won’t be able to know what McLaren is arguing. You’ll only be able know your interpretation of his argument which is not the same thing as his argument. Since you’ll never really be able to know McLaren’s argument as it really is, maybe you shouldn’t worry about reading it after all.