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Is your rhino wearing a suit of armour?*,
This review is from: Love Wins: At the Heart of Life's Big Questions (Hardcover)
Back in 1515, German artist Albrecht Durer produced a famous woodcut illustration of a rhino (yes, this is a review of Love Wins!) Having been nowhere near a rhinoceros he based it on a written description of a rhino and an anonymous sketch.
Durer gave his rhino plates of armour and an extra small horn, based on the limited information he had.
As centuries passed, artists got a the chance to draw and paint the rhino from first hand. But, in spite of the evidence of their own eyes, many artists persisted in portraying it as wearing a suit of armour. Why? It is argued that Durer's woodcut became so established as the 'definitive rhino' that even real rhinos themselves couldn't compete with what had become the accepted portrayal of rhino-ness.
So... Love Wins...
A plea from the heart: do not dismiss what Rob Bell is saying out of hand because his portrayal of the Gospel looks unfamiliar to you. If you have decided exactly what the Bible says about the life to come before you even open it, you will constrains God's words with your own preconceptions. In other words you will plate it in suits of constricting armour. Scripture is not best served by being squeezed into suits of armour.
Whatever your preconceptions - positive or negative - may I urge you to approach Love Wins with your mind open. Bell has done rather more theological homework than his detractors suggest. And while you read Rob's book, be prepared to pick up your Bible with an open mind too - don't just say 'scripture plainly teaches' - it's the very least that scripture deserves that you don't presume upon it.
* Advance apologies to any art historians or semiologists if there are any inaccuracies in my retelling of the Durer story.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 May 2011 15:46:25 BDT
Brilliant analogy, I think it is really helpful. If you gt a chance, you should look at the link at the bottom of the page the Premier radio. I found that Rob came accross superbly and showed that he is a man of integrity. It is unfortunate that the discussion moved from the merits of the book to trying the classify Bell as Liberal rather than evangelical. It seems really sad that we cannot consider anything that appears to be outside of evagelical orthodoxy.
In reply to an earlier post on 22 May 2011 16:56:49 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 May 2011 16:07:56 BDT
Ben Cohen says:
Thanks Paul. Saw the Premier discussion and agree. It was interesting to see how - after much referring to 'the plain teaching of scripture' Warnock immediately tried to wriggle out of discussing OT Hebrew and start throwing categories around again. (featured in this excerpt http://tinyurl.com/3ehumjd
In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jul 2011 18:17:18 BDT
R T says:
I see the strength of the rhino analogy: I often feel some evangelicals just can not change; when you start thinking creatively then a whole range of other ideas surface and needs examination. While not agreeing with all Rob Bell has written he is asking questions that force us to think out our faith in a relevant way. God wants us to use our minds; collectively we know more now than 50 years ago.
Posted on 19 Sep 2011 19:45:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Sep 2011 19:55:50 BDT
Thanks for that interesting reference to Durer's Rhino. You might find Tentmaker ministries website interesting, it puts reasons in favour of a universalist position. Wisdomcommons looks at humanity's shared moral core,
Posted on 2 Jun 2012 13:50:27 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Jun 2012 13:51:05 BDT
Agnus Vincit says:
Useful analogy - but ironically it seems to work better to question Bell's presentation not legitimate it. Surely the implication and application of the analogy is: so what does a Rhino look like, cos Durer misrepresented it? And what is the Gospel 'cos Bell might have misrepresented it?
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2012 16:30:39 BDT
Ben Cohen says:
Simon: if Rob's book sends you back to Scripture to ask the question "what is the Gospel?" afresh then I'm sure he'd be *very* happy - even if you end up disagreeing with his arguments.
My only objection is when some people say "I know exactly what the Gospel is. Rob's book sounds a bit different to that, therefore it must be unbiblical error." My response to them would be similar to what Jesus said to the Pharisees: "Because you say 'we see' your blindness remains"
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