So last week, Rob Bell showed us all the way* to gain instantaneous HYPER-PR: Hint that you are a [controversial belief holder], you’ve written a book about it and then do a short promo video hinting at [the controversial belief].  In Bell’s case, it was universalism, i.e. the notion that all people go to Heaven eventually (Yeah, a GROSS oversimplification of universalism, but we’ll deal with that at another time).  So, the internet blows up with people lauding Bell for his work, urging caution to those unfamiliar with him and outright damning Bell for all time for this rank heresy.  The problem, of course, is that Bell’s book, Love Wins, isn’t even out yet, so all of the railing against him (or the defending of him, for that matter) is a little premature.

Or is it?

What does Rob, the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, mean when he asks “How do you become one of the few? Is it what you believe or what you say…?”  Moreover, what’s wrong with responding to this trailer as it is?  No, no one has read the book yet, but can’t we respond to Rob’s comments as they are?  What happened to discourse?

This is the primary question, sort of, in Jonathan D. Fitzgerald‘s, Rob Belled: Corn-Pone Opinions Prevail Amongst The Din On Twitter.  Corn-pone?  CORN-PONE?!?  Read the article and what you find is a general dismissal of any who have a problem with Rob Bell and his pronouncements in this video.  Now, read the definitions of “cornpone” from Merriam-Webster’s dictionary: of, relating to, or appealing to people who live on farms away from big cities.

So, if you disagree with Bell, you’re just a hick???

I wish that Fitzgerald was alone in his criticism; He isn’t and the implications are frightening.

*I don’t believe Rob released this trailer solely to generate PR.

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