On one of the blogs I follow, I found this recent interview with Martin Bashir, after he had already interviewed Rob Bell. Apparently he had been given much flack for his candor and desire to get to the bottom of Bell’s question behind the question: aren’t you just trying to make a palatable Christianity more than really seeking what the bible and the Church have to say about the issue of Hell?
If you have about 25 minutes, be sure to check out this interview. In it Martin Bashir explains he is a believer and actually goes to Redeemer in New York City with Tim Keller. I assumed he wasn’t because I was playing the law of averages. Glad I was wrong.
Anyhow, in addition to discussing the poor historiography and scriptural manipulation in Bell’s book Love Wins (quoting a letter from Luther, but ignoring the scope of the letter; quoting a verse in the bible, yet ignoring the next verse or two which gives the context and actually contradicts his point), he gives several fascinating and challenging insights.
1.) The church should be take the lead in diligently seeking what is true regardless whether that claim is found in scripture, politics, or pastors promoting books. The truth can’t be left out in pastoring, parenting, or politicking.
2.) Any truth that is not open to being challenged or questioned is not a truth worth following. How true. Bashir was born into a Pakistani Muslim family and remembers one time questioning the prophet Muhuammad. He was told he dare not even ask or think such a question. Bashir thought and you’re supposed to follow someone whom you can’t even question?
I would hope that we don’t embrace this attitude in the church. The church is a place where we are to “have mercy on those who doubt (Jude 22)” and not be afraid of questions.
If we don’t allow our young and our old to ask questions in our families or our covenant community, they will ask them somewhere else. Yet Jesus isn’t afraid for people to question his uniqueness among other religions. I rather think he welcomes it because he knows that the scriptures shout of his unique glory. I don’t think Jesus is afraid to tackle questions on whether or not He exists. Because He does, he’s not afraid for folks to ask such questions. Jesus can take that one as well.
The church is a place where seekers, those asking questions, and those struggling with doubts can co-exist with those who have been granted faith (Eph 2:8-9) or simply granted greater measures of faith (Rom 12:3).