I have had to tear myself away from the violent earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown/volcano videos coming out of Japan. I want to stop looking, but I can’t not stare on in horror. These catastrophic events will define the younger generations of Japanese people. Indeed, how can they not? How will Japan and her people be different as a result of surviving something so traumatic? What impact will it have on the rest of the world? I am asking myself a lot of questions lately about life, death, the illusion of control, good and evil, our fragility and resilience…
I appreciated Dr. Piper’s prayer for Japan, by the way. Especially, “And may the floods they so much dread make blessings break upon their head.” I find myself repeating, “Mercy, please, Lord. Mercy.” I keep watching and reading the news for signs of grace.
But to write what’s on my mind isn’t why I logged-in tonight. The time is now 12:45 in the AM, and I’m not asleep (obviously). Instead, I’m making my way through Kevin DeYoung’s 20-page review of Love Wins by Rob Bell. DeYoung makes several introductory points, and I read this omni-applicable gem a moment ago:
Four, it is possible that I (like other critics) am mean-spirited, nasty, and cruel. But voicing strong disagreement does not automatically make me any of these. Judgmentalism is not the same as making judgments. The same Jesus who said “do not judge” in Matthew 7:1 calls his opponents dogs and pigs in Matthew 7:6. Paul pronounces an anathema on those who preach a false gospel (Gal. 1:8). Disagreement among professing Christians is not a plague on the church. In fact, it is sometimes necessary. The whole Bible is full of evaluation and encourages the faithful to be discerning and make their own evaluations. What’s tricky is that some fights are stupid, and some judgments are unfair and judgmental. But this must be proven, not assumed.