It appears that Rob holds what Francis Schaeffer described as a two story model of knowing where in the upper story we have faith (what Bell calls “3D objects”) and the lower story which contains science, reason and all that jazz. So how about it? Is it possible for a person living in flatland to know, with any degree of certainty, anything about 3D land? Are we forced to make a blind “leap of faith” into the upper story?
Copernicus described his idea with mathematical models based on a Christian worldview which taught him that metaphysical constructs like mathematics comes from the same source the physical world. So the analogy Bell uses is not only scientifically and philosophically flawed, it is also epistemologically and apologetically deficient.
Its possible for the two worlds to coexist without putting one above the other. Its possible for someone living in flatland to accurately describe something in 3d land.
“We are speculating after you die” that seems to leave no room for assurance of salvation. It robs the gospel of its very essence.
But then later he said “what interests me is what matters, what interests me is what’s true”. Wait, what? Are we serious about our search for knowledge or aren’t we? James would like to know
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. -James 1:5-8
In the end I believe this ordeals has only served to highlight what a poor teacher Rob Bell is and has always been. And all the people who praise him for not “spoon feeding” them propositional truths gleaned from careful study are simply idiots.
What I’d like to see Rob Bell address in all of this is his underlying epistemology. Does he hold to an epistemology which has the capacity to provide him and others with certain knowledge of objective truths about reality or does he hold to something that rejects objective truths altogether like his friend Brian McLaren.