The Tenth Leper

Theology Made Practical

Before Going Further in My “Love Wins” Review: A Personal Note…

Well hello there, spotlight.  I certainly didn’t see you coming.

Okay seriously, wow.  Before I go further in the “Love Wins” series, I felt the need publish a personal post.  Apparently my first entry in this “Love Wins” review EXPLODED.  The hits on my blog have reached number I never imagined, I’m at the top of a Google search for crying out loud (search “Rob Bell reviews” or something to that effect), Darrin Patrick retweeted me, and Joshua Harris gave me a shout-out.  Needless to say, my head is spinning a little bit.  It’s encouraging, but at the same time it makes me very nervous.  Literally thousands of people are reading the blog of a dude who gets five to fifteen hits on a good day.  I expected my readership to reach maybe twenty, thirty, or dare I hope forty hits on a posting day.  Certainly not four-and-a-half thousand (and counting).  So to all my visitors, I’d like to first say WELCOME!  I’d also like to say the following:

If you’re reading this and are a believer in Christ, please pray for me.  This is very surreal, and I feel an enormous burden now to do a good job with this review/analysis.  Apparently men like Justin Taylor and John Piper are getting some pushback for calling out Rob Bell without having read his book.  But I think that those men along with most preachers are ultimately playing the waiting game until the book is released before they take a definitive stance on it.  I realize that my site is getting slammed not because I’m the Christian equivalent of Miles Davis (Michael W. Smith holds that honor), but because I’m one of the few people who can actually take an informed stance on the book.  A month from now people won’t care about my opinion of the book, but until then a lot of people are expecting me to answer some questions.  Pray I’d do it with humility, with gentleness to Rob Bell, and that ultimately I would honor my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that his Truth would be glorified in what I say.

A brief note about me: my name is Scott.  I live in Dallas.  I’m 28 years old.  When I have time and can afford it I take some classes at Redeemer Seminary (formerly Westminster Theological Seminary, Dallas).  If Dallas had beaches I would enjoy long walks on them.  I’ve been working two part-time jobs to help make ends meet while taking classes, but I’m currently praying about what to do next in my life (hopefully something in church planting).  I can be sarcastic in my writing sometimes, so…just be aware of that.  Oh, and you can follow me on Twitter.  My college-nickname-username-so-don’t-ask is TheSaltyDawg.  I’ll post blog updates (and more) there.

As far as this series goes, here’s what to expect: I’d like to go in-depth into the book, so I didn’t want to just do one catch-all review but rather stretch it out into several entries.  My hope is to post everyday.  I’m a busy man though with the previously-mentioned two jobs, church commitments, and a girlfriend to hug so I can’t promise that.  On top of that, Mr. Bell’s writing style makes it hard at times to decipher whether he’s just playing devil’s advocate or if he really believes what he’s saying. That said, it may take me time to put out some entries due to me having to go back and re-read what he said in order to present his words accurately.

Mr. Bell, if you’re reading this, I want you to know one thing: we have the same glasses.  I’m not out to get you, and I’m not going to intentionally twist your words.  I’m simply obeying the mandate given to us in Scripture to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

Okay, that’s it.  Again, I completely didn’t see this blowing up as much as it has.  I’m very humbled by it.  Thanks again for visiting and for the kind words.

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27 thoughts on “Before Going Further in My “Love Wins” Review: A Personal Note…

  1. Appreciate you doing this and look forward to your posts!

  2. J S B on said:

    Will be praying. Thanks for the humility.

  3. Scott, thank you for taking the time to push through this important task. You will be prayed for, that you would uphold the glory of Christ through the faithful declaration of His Word. We all should be praying for Rob as well. I look forward to your posts.

  4. Your girlfriend does require a lot of hugs..

  5. bdawg on said:

    Scott, I found you when I Googled “Rob Bell Love Wins” and you were at the top. Congratulations! As a member of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for taking this on in an honest, open-minded approach, not coming at it with any preconceived notions. Thank you for checking and re-checking your sources, for giving Rob a fair shake which doesn’t happen that often. Trust me, I am not under any spell by Rob, but I have learned alot from him over the years. I think Rob welcomes any review and any discussion that might come from the reading of his book. I look forward to your review, and may the Holy Spirit lead you on your way.

  6. Paul Rutherford on said:

    Way to go buddy! I’m super stoked for you.

  7. akismet-43f8b363c338ac402d9a9870293a0015 on said:

    Proud of you, bro, and love ya. Let me know if you need coffee or other encouragement to stay rolling. I’m behind you (as are a lot of folks). “Let the will of the Lord be done” (Acts 21:14b, but without the prison & dying part ;).

    I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. ~1 Corinthians 1:4-9

    ~Chris

  8. Cate on said:

    Your humility and wisdom in regards to this brouhaha is astounding. Thanking the Lord for you and asking that He would use you as an advocate for His Truth and glory.

  9. Kristen Price on said:

    I’m from another generation- like your grandmothers. I’ve been a Christ follower for over 40 years. I was introduced to Christ from a Reformed perspective in the late 60’s. In the last ten years God has really been reforming me! Rob Bell is one of the men whose books and videos have challenged my core beliefs/unbeliefs. I’m eager to read the book myself. I’m very sad that these other apparently prominent men are so quick to make statements without any basis and I’m praying for you, Scott.

  10. -Nas on said:

    Scott –

    I’m one of the “new guys” to your blog. I’m encouraged by your petitions, and will keep you in prayer. As the top of your blog says, To God be All the Glory! I look forward to reading your views, and then seeing if what you write lines up with what else is written, looking to the Word and faithful witnesses to back up any claims, per Matthew 18 and 1 Timothy 5:19. I hope the rest of your readers will do the same.

  11. Keith on said:

    Lord, I pray that You bless Scott and empower Him for this tremendous undertaking, that You guide him in all truth, that You give him a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You, to be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, that Your peace be upon him, so that he will humbly speak the truth in love and rightly divide the word of truth. Thank You for placing teachers in the body, that there is truth and we can know it. Lord, be glorified in this endeavor. In Jesus’ name.

  12. Bro.. So proud of you and I will be praying!! The Holy Spirit will guide you to truth as he always does. Can’t wait to read your thoughts.. with the rest of the world:)

    David

  13. Daniel Park on said:

    Proud of you brother. And I’m excited to keep up with your posts.

  14. Scott! I am excited for you and your blog. I love the way that God can use anything to suddenly create a new ministry… one blog post later and look…! Seriously, I love the way you are humbly approaching this mandate and I am confident that “He who began this good work….” Bless ya Mate!

  15. I, too, put you on the top of my blog (as a linked blogger) yesterday, based on your review and some other posts you wrote. Congratulations on a spot well earned! I love your honest humility and pray you keep writing as you would before! 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    Not that now is a particularly negative time, but surely many challenges await you while you try to keep writing in an honest way under God and try not to get distracted by thinking who might be reading, but focused on Truth–Keep writing! Go go! ha ^_^

  16. scottie on said:

    Just wanted to say thanks for writing this and that I’m praying for you brother. I also live in Dallas and was wondering where you go to church? I have some friends at Redeemer and hear nothing but great things about it.

  17. andrea on said:

    Kind of scary knowing you are in the public eye, huh? Well, just remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. So may He give you the eyes and mind to interpret this book through the gaze of God. Danny and I miss you, friend. And give that girlfriend of yours a hug from us too!

  18. Just followed a link to your first post this morning. Wanted to say that what you are doing is admirable, and I’m glad you’ve decided to move forward despite the spotlight. I’ve read both of your review posts thus far and they are balanced and fair, and are very helpful for me, as someone who is in a very similar position to you. I’ve not read Bell, but think this is the first one that I will read because of the attention it is receiving, and your reviews are giving me a good sense of what’s to come.

    Thanks.

  19. Scott, thanks for the posts, and honesty! Quick question, How did you manage to get an advance-reader copy of the book? I mean, Justin Taylor didn’t even get one!

  20. Awesome to see your humility amongst all this.

  21. Scott, God does tell us to not make a judgement until we have all the facts. And then to depend on Him for the discernment to know the truth from the untruth. I really love that it seems that is exactly what you are doing. I absolutely love your comment, “Pray I’d do it with humility, with gentleness to Rob Bell, and that ultimately I would honor my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that his Truth would be glorified in what I say”! Right on brother! I see that God has given you the gift of discernment and that is so beautiful. This is something that God has taught me over the years as well. My initial sense is that Rob Bell is a false teacher. But I will definitely take time to study into this and pray before completely drawing to that conclusion. So many people today don’t do what you mentioned in regards to “simply obeying the mandate given to us in Scripture to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)” God has shown me that this is because people have abandoned the Word of God. They don’t study it and live their life by it. God is raising men such as yourself to remind people that this IS a mandate of God and we need to get back to the Bible and stop blindly following someone because them seem hip or relevant. I really look forward to your future reviews of this book and more. God bless you my brother! I have and will continue to pray for you. Keep up the good fight my friend. There are soooo many people out there that need to hear the Truth.

  22. Praying for you brother!

  23. christina liebler on said:

    I also stumbled across you in a google search. I subscribed to your blog and then found myself asking “Who is the 10th Leper, Anyway?” So glad for this introduction. For all I knew, you were some opinionated pastor of a megachurch looking to get in on the Rob Bell bashing. Glad to see that you are not exactly that:) I appreciate your objective and humble look into this book. I wish I had a copy and could work through it with you. Alas…I must wait. Thanks for a glimps into the book and what the word says about this subject. I’ll admit that I’ve been a fan of Robs in the past and I deeply respect his approach to studying and understanding the word of God. Of course, I am not sure where he is headed with this book. I do feel a little nervous about it. I hope it is not the direction some are claiming. I want them to be proved wrong. Anyway…thanks for taking this on. Clearly you have a gift for such things as this. I look forward to hearing from you more in the days ahead.

  24. Chaya on said:

    Bless you my dear brother in Christ for approaching this important task with humility, grace, wisdom and maturity reflective of true Christianity. Your request for prayer has been duly disseminated.

  25. I just appreciate having these posts to read to help me better understand what this book is about. I have some liberal relatives who have taken me to task over posts I’ve put on facebook.

  26. Jon White on said:

    Scott,

    Thanks for the blog, I came across it from some facebook links. My wife and I are home church missionaries from PCPC, and we have some friends at Redeemer. We may even know each other. I will be praying for you.

  27. Pingback: A bloody Cross and a bigger Gospel: if the atonement loses so does love « Dalit Discussions

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