justice wins, now on audio

Many of you linked to Jeremy’s Grinnell piece of satire yesterday, and a few of you missed the point that this was not an expression of his complete view, but an example meant to show how lopsided Rob’s point was. I hope you catch on soon, or I may ask Martin Bashir to explain it to you.

WordPress wouldn’t let me post the audio yesterday, but  Jeremy just now gave me a format that works. Jeremy will be graduating from Calvin Seminary’s Ph.D. program this spring, and then he will be unleashed upon the world. Until then, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKMBMOTZwrY






7 responses to “justice wins, now on audio”

  1. Why does he sound like Charlie Sheen?

  2. Jonathan Shelley

    Speaking of Martin Bashir, I wonder how Kevin DeYoung liked having his review quoted on MSNBC. That’s pretty awesome.

  3. Richard

    Here’s where the logic breaks down in equating the two. Scripture never says “God is justice,” that would be reductionist. It does say, “God is love,” hence “Love Wins” isn’t reductionist. Especially because it’s a love centered on the cross and even understands people suffering the consequences of not turning from their sin to turn to Christ. Pretty ironic that the liberal, heretical, emergent guy has more biblical standing than the conservative, orthodox, seminary professor in this case.

  4. mikewittmer


    Okay, I’ll bite once. In defense of Jeremy’s post, the Bible does not say God is justice, but it does say he is just. And it says he is holy. So you are worried about verbal forms–the predicative nominative (“just”) is applied to God but not the abstract noun form. So what?

    And if you haven’t seen the book, you should reconsider how Rob says the love of God is centered on the cross of Christ. The cross is merely an example of God’s love, which means there isn’t enough there to save anyone.

    The power of the cross is in the blood (i.e., sacrifice of atonement), and Rob doesn’t think that category still applies.

  5. Richard

    Thanks for engaging Mike. If you want a larger point regarding “Justice Wins,” it does a fair amount of speculating about Hitler’s eternal destiny to determine if God is being just to the Holocaust and WWII survivors. Not to mention that most of the victims in the Holocaust would be suffering an eternal Holocaust if this notion of God’s justice is true…

    And I agree that justice is a crucial action of God, essential to his plan for restoration and new creation. But what is the essence of justice? And I ask this because Calvin asks this in Vol 2 of his commentary on the gospel of John (ch. 12:27-33) where he asserts that the Hebraic notion of judgment isn’t for “condemnation” but for “reformation.” I understand justice to be “putting things right” not merely punishing those that do wrong. Afterall, Solomon is acknowledged as being “just” because he returns the baby to its mother, even without punishing the lying prostitute.

    Or another issue with the video, since many saw it fit to condemn Rob Bell based on his video asking questions, what should think when they hear Jeremy state a form of justice that demands punishment for all of us, not just that we deserve it, but that we will receive it: “millions were taught that the primary message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that God is willing to forgive everybody no matter who they are or what evils they’ve committed against the rest of us.” How does the video advance the conversation in anyway, shape or form? Or is it a not-so-nice inside joke for those of us that are assured of our salvation?

    As to your point regarding Rob’s view of atonement and that he doesn’t make PSA the central definition of atonement, you’re right. I think you’re mistaken in asserting that indicates that the cross has lost its power in his mind. Rather, he sees it as one vital and viable image of expressing what Jesus did on the cross that has been so powerful in shaping humanity that it single-handedly did away with the sacrificial system of Western cultures to the point that anyone that slaughters a goat today is considered nuts. And he demonstrates that it’s not the only image used in Scripture to describe it: substitutionary atonement in the book of Hebrews, reconciliation in Colossians, justification in Romans, destroying death and victory in 2 Timothy, and redemption in Ephesians and he summarizes it beautifully (and I’ll use his words and formatting for effect):

    “What happened on the cross?

    Is the cross about the end of the sacrificial system
    or a broken relationship that’s been reconciled
    or a guilty defendant who’s been set free
    or a battle that’s been won
    or the redeeming of something that was lost?

    Which is it?
    Which perspective is the right one? Which metaphor is correct? Which explanation is true?

    The answer, of course, is yes.” (end quote)

    He then goes on to talk about how central the cross is in all of this and that the church has always had a toolbox of metaphors to explain what Christ had accomplished because “The point then, as it is now, is Jesus. The divine in flesh and blood. He’s where the life is.”

    Please don’t see this as me intending to lecture someone of your stature and education, I would appreciate it if you would be willing to “bite” a second time because I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

  6. Dave Carpenter

    The earthquake and tsunami in Japan has had me reflecting upon the following passage that I believe applies to this conversation as well.

    Hebrews 12:25-29

    25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
    28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

  7. The discussion surrounding Bell’s book reminds me of your loosely paraphrased quote, “Heresy is like sand in the oyster.”

    I have to read the book before I have any more to add.

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