Firstly let me be clear. I am not interested in discussing this myself. I agree with Peterson’s assessment and comments. If others wish to engage with what Peterson is saying so be it but for my own sanity I will not be commenting. I simply found what Peterson had to say as wise Christ-like advice for all of us as we consider the way in which we dialogue. It always helps when someone much smarter than you makes your point for you! The whole article can be read HERE
Question to Peterson: What are your thoughts regarding Rob Bell’s book and the controversy it ignited? What inspired you to endorse the book?
Rob Bell and anyone else who is baptized is my brother or my sister. We have different ways of looking at things, but we are all a part of the kingdom of God. And I don’t think that brothers and sisters in the kingdom of God should fight. I think that’s bad family manners.
I don’t agree with everything Rob Bell says. But I think they’re worth saying. I think he puts a voice into the whole evangelical world which, if people will listen to it, will put you on your guard against judging people too quickly, making rapid dogmatic judgments on people. I don’t like it when people use hell and the wrath of God as weaponry against one another.
I knew that people would jump on me for writing the endorsement. I wrote the endorsement because I would like people to listen to him. He may not be right. But he’s doing something worth doing. There’s so much polarization in the evangelical church that it’s a true scandal. We’ve got to learn how to talk to each other and listen to each other in a civil way.
Question to Peterson:Do evangelicals need to reexamine our doctrines of hell and damnation?
Yes, I guess I do think they ought to reexamine. They ought to be a good bit more biblical, not taking things out of context. But the people who are against Rob Bell are not going to reexamine anything. They have a litmus test for who is a Christian and who is not. But that’s not what it means to live in community.