Conversation on Rob Bell Quotes (Quote #2)

#2 “The main reason of the incarnation of Jesus is so that we can understand how to be human” – Rob Bell 

I then simply ask then, “Someone want to tell me what is wrong with this?”

And this is what I got…

Ron Miller at 12:46pm March 15

I thought it was to pay for our sin? what a strage guy.

Michael Dewalt at 12:54pm March 15

he is

Edward Palmer at 1:03pm March 15

Yes. What is wrong with it is the way you percieve it because you believe Jesus is God, which he clearly isn’t. I know Rob Bell thinks he is too, but there is nothing wrong with this statement.

John Amos at 1:09pm March 15

Really, Jesus isn’t God?? Wanna try that again?

Michael Dewalt at 1:10pm March 15

the point that he was making in the message, was that Christ being human was so that we can go thur our own human life, and not need God at all times but ourselves and other friends. WHICH is totally nuts!

Michael Dewalt at 1:10pm March 15

John, i love you, haha

Kyle Borg at 1:17pm March 15

I was in back throwing up at that point

Edward Palmer at 1:19pm March 15

Yes, I was confidently saying that, John. Jesus isn’t God.

As to the point Rob Bell is making . . . He is right to say that Jesus was here to show us the way to be human in a complete sense. We CAN be just like him, THROUGH complete dependence on God . . . the same way that Jesus was able to be what he was.

Edward Palmer at 1:20pm March 15

Maybe you guys should confront the things you see as wrong with the people using Rob Bell’s arguments, or with Rob Bell himself . . . instead of just talking about it on facebook. Not sure what good that does . . . .

Kevin Rhyne at 1:26pm March 15

Ed, consider it an exercise in critical thinking…I’m not going to stop analyzing Obama’s statements just because I don’t get to confront him personally. You put it out there, expect it to be analyzed and tested publically.

John Amos at 1:45pm March 15

So, Ed, what’s your take on the Trinity?

Edward Palmer at 1:47pm March 15

Trinity? Not a biblical concept. Not even a word mentioned in the bible. Total systematic theology. The bible keeps the father , son and spirit separate for a good reason I think.

Obviously I DO believe that theology has to be consistent.

John Amos at 1:49pm March 15

You can’t truthfully claim equality with God unless you are God. That’s why the pharisees got so ticked off when Jesus said, “I am”.

Michael Dewalt at 1:57pm March 15

John those are called Heretics or Jehovah Witnesses.

Rob Kirby at 2:12pm March 15

The Trinity is a biblical concept, however, it is not mentioned as such in the Bible. I’m not sure that the idea that the Trinity being derived simply from Systematic theology is accurate. John for example details the Father, Son, and Spirit in the same book, thus moving it into biblical theology. Although, I can look that up again.

Kyle Borg at 2:28pm March 15


Wow, you’re super heterodox (that’s not a compliment). Really? The Bible keeps the Father, Son, and Spirit separate? How do you deal with Christ’s own testimony that he and the Father are one, the baptismal formula, all of John 1, and the Trinitarian benediction? I mean seriously. It seems that a cursory reading of the Scriptures will give evidence to the fact, that whether (in your mind) right or wrong, the undeniable and resounding conviction of Scripture is that Christ is God.

Can I ask you to show your cards a little more. Are you Arian?

Joe Weyman at 2:41pm March 15

Sounds like someone’s been reading too much of The Shack.

Edward Palmer at 2:55pm March 15

I don’t know all the tenets of Arianism well enough to say yes or no. But I can say that I would agree with him on what would be know as the “Arian Controversy”, as far as Jesus being created or begotten by God, and therefore inferior to Him. I simply think that Jesus is what Adam should have been. I think the Bible makes it pretty clear that in old and new testaments, God has no equals. I also think that the NT makes it VERY clear that Jesus is totally subservient to God the Father . . .

As far as their oneness . . . The NT also says we are “one” with Christ. Does that mean that we are all God too? I mean I know that most conservatives THINK they are, since they perceive that their theology is above discussion. But seriously . . . Jesus is the complete human, super empowered by God through the spirit. Through him, all of us can be like that, though only through his sacrifice. We can’t all be ONLY the begotten on God, obviously.

Edward Palmer at 3:05pm March 15

As far as my cards, um, I am not sure what you want to know. I guess I side on the idea of rationality above other things. I think that because we all have to stand before God and give an answer, which means we all have the responsibility of listening for God now and interpreting what we hear as truth or not. Above I said that the authority of scripture is bullshit . . . I should qualify that statement. I mean to say that the fundamentalist ideal of authority is bullshit. I view it authoritatively too . . . but more like a Doctor than I Police officer. And you can’t even read it all the same way. Context and writing style, as well as agendas and errors, make it a very complex book to navigate. That is why I reject the “WORD OF GOD” teaching . . . because clearly it isn’t all the same, but that teaching would mislead into people thinking that it is.

We have to think rationally in ALL areas of our life, even faith. There are many rational and logical reasons to believe in God.

Kyle Borg at 3:15pm March 15


It seems you are struggling with the difference between the economic and ontological Trinity. It’s an important distinction, I wonder if you’re missing it.

Your statements are full of presuppositions you know no orthodox person is going to accept. I’m wondering if you can show me from Scripture that Christ is ontologically inferior to the Father.

No offense, but I keep hearing in your statements, “I think…” What you think is fairly inconsequential, unless you are the fulcrum on which all truth is balanced.

I’m also wondering, without the incarnation, how is that the phenomenal can break into the noumenal (to use Kantian terms)?

Edward Palmer at 3:22pm March 15

Truth has to be broken down and accepted by the individual, in every single circumstance. Even a direct interaction with God would have to pass through that filter. This makes mine, and yours, and everyone’s individual understanding, the “fulcrum on which all truth is balanced”. What is considered true except that which has been perceived and understood by the individual first and foremost? It is only when it moves through community, and more popularly accepted that something becomes “truth” in the way you are talking about. So the real issue is that I trust my “truth” over the general “christian” population.

Edward Palmer at 3:25pm March 15

When the general community of “Christians” starts making more sense to me than what I discover for myself through my own studies . . . then I will except it. Until then, what can any man do to understand truth, except trust his own conscience?

Kyle Borg at 3:34pm March 15


I don’t accept your presuppositions. You make perception to be what determines truth. This is completely contrary to the epistemology of Scripture. Truth is not dependent upon creation, if it is then you have enslaved the Creator to the creation, and you really have nothing else than pantheism. I wonder, if truth is such a construction of the community can you explain to me, in hypothetical, when raping a nine year old would be an okay thing.

Rob Kirby at 3:39pm March 15

I think you’re looking at “Christians” and filtering your studies through your own negative experiences with them.

Edward Palmer at 3:45pm March 15

I’m not sure when the rape thing entered the discussion, but I am not going to comment on something like that, especially in a public discussion. Yuck.

I didn’t say truth was dependant on perception . . . you are mixing up what I am saying. I said that truth, for the individual, is determined BY the individual. Both of us are capable of determining the wrong thing, obviously. That wouldn’t change truth. Truth is. That is that. But when seeking to define truth, such as creation as you mentioned, we are bound to look at the box from the inside. Only God, can perceive the outside of the box . . . and therefore we are dependent on Him for a view of the outside of creation. But if I have to answer to Him for how I acted as an individual, then He has an obligation to give me the correct information . . . and the closest voice ANY of us have to knowing the “truth” of anything . . . is our conscience. Again, my conscience doesn’t change truth . . . but it defines how I see it, same as you.

Edward Palmer at 3:48pm March 15

It is useless to talk about truth coming from God . . . and then say that you are, some other guy was . . . the spokesman for God. God is obligated to interact with us as individuals as He sees fit, if He expects us to live as He wants and answer for it. Which makes the Bible . . . maybe all true, maybe just a record . . . but interpretable none the less . . . and therefore, up to my conscience and yours, and everyone’s. And the communities that form, are nothing more than matching consciences at best . . . or forced traditionalism at worst.

Rob Kirby at 3:48pm March 15

While I understand this argument, you make an assumption that what you perceive and what I perceive can be radically different. Yes, we are finite and can never get out of our own “box.” That being said, each human’s “boxes” aren’t all that different. We are all interacting with the same set of data.

Edward Palmer at 3:50pm March 15

True Rob, very true . . .

Edward Palmer at 3:51pm March 15

. . . as far as the “same data” comment, I mean.

Kyle Borg at 4:21pm March 15

“we are bound to look at the box from the inside.” How does that work with revelation? What if I said all truth was revealed truth, how would that change your statement?

Perhaps you could explain more clearly this difference between truth being “determined” and what you think I’m saying. I’m not sure I’m seeing that much of a difference.

“then He has an obligation to give me the correct information” Why? What’s the basis for this presupposition?

“the closest voice ANY of us have to knowing the “truth” of anything . . . is our conscience. ” What about the Holy Spirit speaking through the Scriptures? How do you account for the noetic effects of the fall?

No offense, but it seems your thoughts are more dominated by humanism and autonomy than anything else. Which simply makes you a product of post-enlightenment thought, instead of a student of Scripture. Many of your presuppositions are complete foreign to Scripture.

Kyle Borg at 4:36pm March 15

I’m not asking you to “agree” with me. I’m asking that you recognize your presuppositions, namely, the ultimacy of man, and to realize that these presuppositions are completely contrary to the Bible.

Further, the raping of the 9 year old stems from you saying we determine truth. Again, I’m not sure how this differs from relativism, but perhaps you can elucidate that for me.

Logan Snakes at 7:50pm March 15

the problem with protestants we are so spread apart!

Edward Palmer at 8:04pm March 15

I agree, we are.

Maybe the segmenting out of people who still think and ask questions vs those who accept “traditional” is one reason for that.

Logan Snakes at 8:24pm March 15

You still have to admit that Robby boy is pretty liberal. Does anyone realize reason why Protestants get bashed is because they continually move away from the reasons of the reformation which has led to so many divisions you cant even count them. To say that Robby boy is helping unification is false i think he may be joel olsteens bro lol jj

Kyle Borg at 8:24pm March 15


I hope you can see the potential problems with your comment, as if those who accept the “traditional” view have never critically thought through convictions. I hope this isn’t what you’re implying, and in charity I will assume it’s not.

But to be fair, I did ask you some questions that you have failed to answer. I mean, if you can show me how the greater part of Christian thought has gone wrong please do so. The biblical doctrine of the Trinity (and of the two natures of Christ) has formally been recognized by every corner of Christendom, which makes me think a position like yours is a little arrogant. Perhaps it is that you have never thought through the consequences of your supposed answers to your questions. If so, I hope you weigh seriously the questions I’ve asked, because consistently drawn out some of your thoughts are completely antithetical, not only to tradition, but to Scripture and have, rightly so, been called heresy by Christendom as a whole.

Edward Palmer at 8:55pm March 15

Line up your questions right here in a row and I will answer them, And yes, I am quite aware that I am considered a heretic . . . and consequently, don’t care.

Edward Palmer at 9:10pm March 15

Just do everyone involved a favor . . . and leave all the theology terminology out as much as possible, so other people can understand what we are talking about. I mean it’s fine, I get it, but I doubt a lot of people who read stuff I comment on, if they are following this, know what ontological means. Plus it makes you sound preachy . . . so lets just have a conversation.

Rob Vandoodewaard at 9:17pm March 15

The Bible is clear that there IS a single, right, true interpretation of scripture and that (a) it is not determined individualistically and (b) it is confirmed by Word centered communities and (c) most importantly requires new birth and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

(a) 2 Peter 1:19,20

(b) Acts 17:11-12

(c) 1 Corinthians 2:13-16

Karlie Burns at 9:21pm March 15 via Facebook Mobile


Kyle Borg at 9:25pm March 15


I’ll make this is as easy as possible for you, and try not to sound “preachy.”

1. If Christ isn’t God how do you deal with texts such as a) Acts 20:28, b) John 1, c) baptismal formula, and d) Trinitarian benediction (to name a few)?

2. Do you understand the difference between God as He is (ontological), and God as He works (economic)?

3. You said people/communities “determine” the truth. How is this different than relativism?

4. What’s your gripe against traditional orthodoxy? You speak as if it is baseless and lacks thought. Why the angst? I’m not going to lie. Reading your responses makes me seriously question your grasp on orthodoxy, which makes it ironic that you speak out against it so much.

We’ll start there.

Edward Palmer at 9:28pm March 15

You don’t have to dissect a piece of crap to know it’s a piece of crap kyle. Sorry if my lack of seminary vocabulary doesn’t wow you, but last I checked in Scripture . . . the most useful of God’s servants didn’t have a classical education. Might want to remember that. I will get to your questions in a second

Edward Palmer at 9:31pm March 15

Okay then. So I will try not to attack your “grasp” on anything if you will do the same for me. Trust me dude. I have this conversation with guys like you 10 times a week. It’s just sort of exhausting, but I will answer your q’s.

Logan Snakes at 9:46pm March 15

and catholics call me a gnostic. this is going crazy. maybe all true, maybe just a record . . . but interpretable none the less, lol

Michael Dewalt at 9:48pm March 15

for the sake of my Facebook wall i am asking at this point no more comments. I/we will continue as I move it over to my blog. I will give the link to it in a few minutes.

Logan Snakes at 9:51pm March 15

i love you mike had a bass today tryed to pull it up on fly rod big mistake



4 Comments on “Conversation on Rob Bell Quotes (Quote #2)”

  1. Kyle says:

    Thanks for throwing this up here. Hopefully it migrates this way.

  2. no problem, tell everyone to join in commenting.

  3. TW says:

    trinity in bible, maybe? Depends on your outlook on this passage? Key word us? Why has it been written that God said “let US make man in OUR own image”?
    Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – (Gen. 1:26-27 NIV). Seriously go pick up a hebrew version of the old testament / Torah and figure it out for yourself.

    John 1:1-2 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
    If you can do basic math you should be able to figure this passage out… it’s not to difficult…
    word = Jesus
    God = God
    Jesus + God
    Jesus = God
    Jesus + God since the beginning
    – Just a note the Jehovah’s witnesses bible says that “the word was A God at the end of the first verse” – hence their alteration to distinguish themselves from Christianity in the way that Jesus is apart from God and is in essense a God himself – hence they are not monothistic and also claim that their loving God/gods has only 400,000 spots for salvation, sounds promising… :S

    Trinity in the bible? Kind of, if you think tri = 3 :
    For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 1 John 5:7

    On the Rob Bell quote:
    People don’t seem to want to listen to God, because he is to scary to them (ex: Exodus). So Human form seems like a good medium, even though a lot of people didn’t like Jesus, and were even scared of him to the point of putting guards at the closed opening of his tomb, where is body laid, and dead (Why? unless he becomes undead?). But the main fact is that Jesus loves others, we love ourselves, so why can’t we just look at Jesus and recognize that we need to love others as much as we love ourselves.

    I think that you are all so cute for arguing over a quote that clearly says that if we could love the way God wants to see us love, it may make being human a bit more enjoyable and life worth living if it is for the glory of God.
    It’s also pretty cute that you are arguing over a quote, which is in full essence the opinion of a man, not truly fact but something that makes Jesus, and his faith make sense to him.
    But then nothing is fact, everything is relative, everything we know is from experience and what we invest faith into everyday.

  4. Jess says:

    Rob Bell should have been right in saying that the “reason of the incarnation of Jesus is so that we can understand how to be human”. We don’t know how to be human anymore since the fall. God is far, and all the wrong in the world. And I think this is to show how far we are from the image of God. He is the perfect man. Everything he did was right and pleasing to God.

    But just understanding how to be human isn’t enough. He is misses the main point when asserting that it is the MAIN reason. The main reason he came so that he might bring us to God. Not only to show how to be human, but mainly that we could come to God, receiving forgiveness from sins and righteousness not of the law. Thus, receiving for Himself glory as the source of true delight. That is the MAIN point — the glory of God.

    I don’t personally know Rob Bell. But I think we have enough forgiveness and patience for us to pray for Him.

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