Analysis and Critique of NOOMA 019 – Open

5:19PM, Monday, February 18, 2008

I watched this video on 18 Feb 08 in its entirety when it was available for free on Facebook for 48 hours. The URL I used to watch it is http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=588666405663

This analysis and critique is provided for the purposes of discernment and truth as declared and defined by the Word of God.

Problem 1:
Rob says, “God leaves the world unfinished.” I do not believe that this is an accurate statement in light of what Scripture says about the Creation. When God created the world, He made everything good and perfect. In John 1, we read that nothing that was made was made without Him. When God created, Creation was complete and good, perfect in every way. And then man fell, introducing sin and its consequences to the world.

But I think there’s another contextual clue as to what he means by this statement. He calls Genesis a “creation poem” which immediately raises a red flag for me. Why? Quite simply, you don’t read poems literally. You read a poem as a figure of speech. So if Genesis is a “creation poem” then the whole Adam and Eve thing didn’t happen, nor the literal six-day Creation account.

What sort of agenda might there be to call Genesis a poem as opposed to referring to it as a literal historical account (which, by the way, there is no reason, historical or literary, to assume otherwise)? If it’s not glaringly obvious by this point, it’s Evolutionism. The idea that the universe and that which is in it is constantly being “created” (i.e. evolving into bigger and better) is Evolutionism through and through.

Problem 2:
God commands us to pray, and so we ought to do so. Also God is sovereign and does as He pleases, and all that He does is good and perfect and holy. But the coexistence of these two truths do not mean that somehow there is a synergistic interaction going on when we pray. Prayer is not “tapping into divine creative energy” as Rob says. To even compare the creations of man to the creation of God is blasphemous. Man creates out of what is. God created ex nihilo, that is, out of nothing.

Prayer is the submission of the will of a man to the will of God in humility and acknowledgment of his utter dependence upon the providential graces of God. Sometimes God says no when we ask for things, and He is within His right to do so! God is sovereign. To ask “Well why should we pray then?” in response to God’s sovereignty is to be so arrogant as to expect that God owes us anything. God owes mankind nothing.

How about a little Romans shall we? This passage is from chapter 9, verses 14-24, emphasis mine and in bold:

14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.


You, However

6:30AM, Sunday, January 13, 2008

On the counsel of a close friend and brother whom I love dearly and the counsel of scripture, I decided to edit my paper on Rob Bell slightly to reflect what I believe to be a more appropriate attitude. I do not believe I was as charitable as I should have been toward Rob Bell himself. I do not speak of my views regarding his teaching; they remain unchanged. The original post has been edited and the edited Word document re-uploaded.

I do not suppose to sit as judge over Rob Bell the man. Only God is in the position to rightfully condemn a man’s soul to hell or else to commend Him to heaven by grace through faith in Christ alone. But that does not mean I will not tell you to stay far, far away from Rob Bell and his teachings until further notice. I do not condemn the man, but I do condemn his teachings as false because I am wholly convinced by scripture that they are in grievous error, at the very best severely lacking or else ignorant.

If given the chance to have dinner with Rob Bell, I would welcome him with a firm handshake, a genuine smile, and an ice cold glass of sweet tea (Southern style, because Yankees don’t know how to make it, ha ha). I would welcome the opportunity for him to clarify and/or be changed in his mind regarding those teachings of his which my understanding of scripture leads me to believe are in error. But until and unless that happens and Rob Bell and I come into contact and relationship with one another, conscience dictates that I warn you against his teachings. If you are looking to learn and grow (as you ought to be), I recommend to you more sound teachers such as John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, Ravi Zacharias, and also the men of old who were raised up to preach the Gospel and feed the flock of God: Charles Spurgeon, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, Matthew Henry, and others. Walk in the old paths not because they are old, but because they are good and will bring your soul rest.

As for me, I simply want to know the truth and for you to know it as well. To know the truth is to know the word of God. To intimately know the word of God brings knowledge of God. To know God is life. Brothers and sisters pray for me as I struggle to walk humbly before my God. Pray that God will cause me to be faithful to that which Paul called Timothy:

Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Peace be with you, friends.


The Call of Chaos

11:06PM, Thursday, November 1, 2007

I don’t think I can adequately describe the chaos I witnessed in the above video so I’ll let that speak for itself. I will say this though: it is impossible to reconcile that bedlam of madness with what the Word of God has to say about how we ought to behave.

Yet the things that men like Lou Engle (the balding guy with the mustache rocking back and forth telling people to do stuff) and Mike Bickle teach are right in my back yard at IHOP, and even those who I believe are my brothers and sisters are being deceived by them. These men are spiritually dangerous and we should have nothing to do with them in partnering in any manner, whether it’s a rally, a social action group, a youth camp, their books, or anything else.

They are damaging or destroying the faith of thousands of young men and women who are so eager to serve God but who are also naive and uninformed so they are unable to discern these teachings as the lies they really are. These men bring strange new doctrines which tickle the ears of their audience. So crafty are they that they will deceive even the elect if it is possible for them to do so.

May God grant that we are able to see clearly so that we are not deceived by the doctrines of demons and may discern what is true.


And Just in Case You Aren’t Convinced. . .

3:26PM, Sunday, October 14, 2007

Read the heresy for yourself.

Lambast me if you insist, but I’ll let the man speak for himself.

I’m wholly convinced by his own testimony, so I’ll come right out and say it: Rob Bell is a heretic. He preaches a gospel other than that which is revealed in Scripture and the gospel according to Rob Bell is powerless to save men from their sins.


Ears Which Long to be Tickled

9:29PM, Friday, October 12, 2007

Someone recently quoted this and I was surprised I missed it the first time I browsed the site. It’s from the “About NOOMA” section on NOOMA.com, one of Rob Bell’s projects. See if you can figure out what the folks producing it care most about and are pursuing with all their heart, mind, and strength from what is written in the description of NOOMA. I’ll give you a hint: it’s not truth.

We can get anything we want, from anywhere in the world, whenever we want it. That’s how it is and that’s how we want it to be. Still, our lives aren’t any different than other generations before us. Our time is.

We want spiritual direction, but it has to be real for us and available when we need it. We want a new format for getting Christian perspectives.

NOOMA is the new format.

It’s short films with communicators that really speak to us. Compact, portable, and concise. Each NOOMA touches on issues that we care about, that we want to talk about,
and it comes in a way that fits our world. It’s a format that’s there for us when we need it, as we need it, how we need it.

To Bell and the rest of the Emergent movement, it’s all about what we want, we need, and we care about. It’s not about knowing the absolute truths about God and ourselves and then conforming our lives to what God wants. To Bell and those like him, it’s about redefining the truth about God to make it conform to what man wants.

Regardless, I plan on going to see Mr. Bell speak in Cleveland on December 1st. Not because I’m not already thoroughly convinced that what he teaches is contrary to Scripture in the utmost. It is firmly established in my mind that Mr. Bell is the dreaded h-word that so many Christians are afraid to utter, even in the face of clear evidence which justifies its use. But I digress. I will go because I have friends and loved ones who are being deceived by what this man is teaching to the flock. And to be credible to them, it would be profitable to hear what they are hearing (although we ought to strive to listen always in a discerning manner) and read what they are reading to know what is being said in order that we might respond point for point to the deception that has come and will no doubt abound all the more when Mr. Bell comes to town.

We must contend earnestly for the faith that was handed down once for all to the saints. And we must not be afraid to call out false teaching for what it is. We know that more is coming and that much is already here (Mike Bickle, Lou Engle, Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt, etc). Jesus Himself said in Matt 24 and Mark 13: “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance.”

Paul gives instructions to Timothy in 1 Tim 4:1-5 “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

My prayer is that we would be wise, filled with the knowledge of Truth, not being tossed about by every wind of doctrine, but holding fast to that which is sound, to that which is true. My prayer is that God would open our minds and hearts to the Truth first and foremost so that we might easily recognize the many counterfeits, discarding that which is bad and holding onto what is good.