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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Derek Rishmawy Is Awesome

I went through my daily ritual of seeing what Alan Noble and the other fine folks at Christ and Pop Culture have written. I'm not kidding, I love it. I love it even when they annoy me with their Protestantism (granted, easy to do) and their politics, although if you figure out what it is, let me know. I'd describe it as "annoyingly moderate," but I repeat myself. Anyway, this Derek Rishmawy dude is worth reading all the time. I think I stopped by his blog once and thought, "Whoa, he's way smarter than me." I hate it when that happens, but it happens a lot. I digress.

Derek wrote a piece about Rob "Love Wins" Bell and his new book. I mean, it's clear to me that he's not commending the book to his core team, but goodness, I hope if I ever write dangerous books advocating universalism and complete capitulation to prevailing cultural opinion, I get "savaged" like this. Ahem. [You're too passionate and volatile to write like that.--ed.] That's what I was thinking. Anyway, good job, Derek.

I should say that if you wanted to keep me away from Rob Bell, you failed. It's probably time to read him (with caution). Probably the openness driven by the command to take every thought captive is wasted by your own leaky ecclesiology. What good is a divine truth with no universality? And so, for the 4997th time, the Church must be fundamentally visible. Nothing personal, but you produced Rob Bell; now you must deal with him. He's the inevitable Agent Smith of your Matrix produced by Sola Scriptura. It'd be just gloating, or sound like it, but for the fact that our imperfect communion with each other was formed and sustained by the charisms given to the Catholic Church. That's the only reason why I would even dare such a provincial-sounding comment. Then again, how provincial is a Church with 1.2 billion members? I digress again.

I can recall Feuerbach back in Catholic Theological Tradition class, in the context of the breakdown of the relationship between the universal, the particular, and what we name things. Essentially, it was a nominalism discussion. Someone fill me in.

From this semi-educated Catholic perspective, it sounds like Bell has lost his source of revelation, or if there is one, it doesn't have the power to alter the intellectual journey in his own mind. The journey from winsome, non-confessional, emergent Christian to full-blown existentialist who makes use of Christian symbols to decorate his journey of self-discovery is not a long one. Sooner or later, you have to stop listening, and start talking. But the Christian only speaks what he has heard, and by definition, he trusts the one from whom he heard it, that is, God. Which circles us back to ecclesiology, whether we like it or not. Just my two cents.

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