Thursday, June 09, 2011

Chan on Hell

... Speaking of Francis Chan... my wife showed me this video yesterday morning.



I'm excited to see that there's gonna be more discussion about hell--and then again, maybe I'm not--but Francis Chan's perspective on Scripture makes me particularly nervous. I'm afraid that his background does not position him very well to discuss hell in a healthy way. Implicit in most of what I've read from Francis Chan is what I call "biblical docetism"--where there's no room for the humanness of the text and where individual passages are often used to speak on behalf of the whole Biblical narrative. It is profoundly important that the whole narrative, in all it's historical context and hermeneutical subjectivity, be taken into account in the discussion of hell and/or postmortem retribution--that individual passages are held subject to the whole creative and eschatological work of God in the scriptures.

But just because according to my opinion his background dispositions him, it does not mean that he won't break some ground with some great thoughts. This hesitation of mine, by the way, is coming someone who loved Love Wins by Rob Bell and I don't think Chan would feel the need to write this book if he did not have at least a few points of tension with Rob's recent work on the subject. I don't wish to speculate any more than I have already about what an unwritten book might say. But I will be in prayer for Francis and for this new book he's writing. I have no doubt that he'll write it with faith and humility and I hope that he leaves as space for people to wrestle with the complexity of the subject as he sets out to leave.

Needless to say, I'll be reading the book as soon as I can get my hands on it.

2 comments:

Steve Swope said...

Spencer Burke's website, theooze.com, has a new post on hell and C. S. Lewis. I liked it!

WES ELLIS said...

Thanks Steve, I'll check it out.