Why Can’t the Church Evolve Like Everyone Else?

I’ve never read anything by Rob Bell, but I guess he’s popular.  Astrid Storm thinks his new book God Sex [?] is “kind of fun,” but, as hip as Bell is, he just can’t shake free of that ol’ time relijun.  (This review is eerily similar to another one Storm wrote for the same SoMA Review on Lauren Winner–another book I have not read.  I should not prolong this parenthesis any longer, but I can’t help one quote from Storm’s Lauren Winner review: “Short-lived beliefs and lack of credentials can be excused as just part of being young. But that’s why youth calls for some judicious withholding of opinion until one’s views are tested over time.”  How long, you might ask, has Storm been a priest?  10 years?  20 years?  How about 4.  Maybe Storm should have her opinion judiciously withheld.  By the way, anyone else foresee an upcoming review of Dawn Eden‘s The Thrill of the Chaste?)

Storm writes,

Bell makes a further retreat into the puritanical arms of his evangelical forebears with some truly preachy commentary. For instance, there’s his annoying observation about some teenagers he saw groping each other in a London subway. “What if subway girl demanded that before she gave herself to subway boy, he had to prove that he was the kind of man who would lay down his life for her?” Bell stodgily wonders. I mean, lighten up and let the poor girl have some fun! …

Fortunately, some evangelicals—the pro-gays and those who support birth control, especially in developing countries where unprotected sex leads to serious health risks—are making significant strides on these issues and redressing the harm done by generations before them by facing them head-on. And they’re saving lives while they’re at it.

When I picked up “Sex God,” I had hoped Rob Bell might be attempting to do the same. But edit out the glitz, and I’m afraid you get just another rehash of that fusty, old-time religion.

Heeyyy, why can’t the Church just lighten up, man?  Who’s sounding like her (hippie) parents now?  Yeah, that would solve all our problems…

That last line reminds me of a conversation I had with Robert Gagnon about the promo of his book by his publisher that said it had some good stuff to say “but is ultimately conservative.” 



2 thoughts on “Why Can’t the Church Evolve Like Everyone Else?

  1. Consider this…

    “Christianity in modern America is, in large part, innocuous. It tends to be easy, upbeat, convenient, and compatible. It does not require self-sacrifice, discipline, humility, a zeal for souls. There is little guilt and no punishment. The faith has been overwhelmed by the culture. Christianity becomes a cultural Christianity when the faith is dominated by a culture to the point that it loses much of its authenticity. What we now have might be labeled as a Consumer Christianity. Millions of Americans today feel free to buy as much of the Christian faith as seems desirable. The cost is low and customer satisfaction is guaranteed.” Thomas Reeves, The Empty Church

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