Francis Chan on Hell
I was just listening to this video (thanks, Tim Johnson!) by Francis Chan.
In so many ways, I feel that Chan has hit the nail absolutely on the head. How can Hell be secondary? How can we avoid it? If it is real, we need to make it primary, and live as though people are really going there, unless we do something about it. Hell quite literally « lights a fire » under people – Christian and non alike. It forces the non-Christian to make up their mind. It forces the Christian to get out there and give people the option of making up their mind.
If you believe in Hell, passivity and non-evangelism is the worst form of sin!
I loved especially what Chan had to say about being humble enough to believe that God knows better than you.
The section where Chan speaks of all the things which God said and did in the Old Testament that « I would never think to do or say » was fascinating. What I found really interesting here was that Rob Bell has a section almost identical in Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith – only he leverages the section for the exact opposite use. (Note: because I read this book in audio, I don’t have the direct quotation in front of me, but see my review of Velvet Elvis Here) He basically says, « Look, there’s lots of stuff (e.g. the Israelites slaughtering the now-helpless citizens of Jericho after their walls fell down, or the slaughter of the Amalekites, etc.) which we as rational, moral Westerners just can’t stomach. So if we can’t stomach parts of it, why do we trust any of it? » Then he goes on to talk about how we need to « repaint » Christianity for our own generation, etc.
Perhaps I am over simplifying his nuanced language: but he was basically saying, « we believe this, the Bible presents that. We win, the Bible looses. We get to edit Scriptures. » Chan seems to be saying, (and I so agree!) « the Bible says this, we think that. The Bible wins. We need to learn to think like the Bible thinks and, if this is impossible, sometimes we just have to admit defeat and say, ‘God, your ways are above our ways. We commit to learn from and obey you, without arrogantly judging or attempting to edit your Word!’ »
I like it. I like it a lot. I think I will start getting into Francis Chan in a big way, very soon!