Rob Bell and His Cleverness

Rob Bell is up and about again with a new documentary on how he became enlightened and became a heretic at the same time. He thinks that being a heretic is a good thing, but alas, this just shows his foolishness. Brett McCracken reviews Bell’s documentary along with another movie about another heretic entitled “Come Sunday,” and does a good job of showing that both these men have nothing to offer but a powerless message.

Both men, Bell and Carlton Pearson, are truly gifted communicators. However, this ends up being their down fall as McCracken’s comments below show us:

One of the problems with clever communicators who have big platforms and bestseller expectations, though, is that they must constantly push the envelope of cleverness to maintain their “relevance” and renegade edge. And this almost always leads to unorthodox places.

The truth is, when “relevance” means reinventing the wheel or constantly “rethinking” major doctrines of historic Christianity, it just becomes gimmicky and sad. But this is where Bell now resides. Along with others whose “fresh” takes on Christianity (on sexual ethics, for example) come with the minor asterisk of wholly dispensing with two millennia of Christian wisdom, Bell is simply embodying the worst tendencies of ahistorical American evangelicalism and its notorious chronological snobbery.