One of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes is “Once the layman was anxious to hide the fact that he believed so much less than the vicar; now he tends to hide the fact that he believes so much more.”
I knew Rob Bell left his church in Grandville, Michigan, for southern California, but I didn’t know his Michigan congregation essentially fired him, so I was surprised to see this article in the Christian Post.
I had assumed Bell was at Mars Hill Bible Church so long because the congregation enjoyed having a “celebrity” pastor, in spite of Bell’s sad, hip search for relevance, but that’s not the case. In fact, 3,000 members of the church left after the publication of Bell’s book Love Wins, in which he questions the existence of hell (because it’s just not nice to think about), among other things. Now Bell is in California, looking for ways, the article notes, “to move beyond old-fashioned worship.”
As an aside, isn’t it interesting that all you have to do is call something “old-fashioned” and in some quarters you’ve won the argument? C.S. Lewis had a term for that logical fallacy: “chronological snobbery.”
So God bless the Mars Hill congregation—the laymen. They knew more than the pastor and told him so.