Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 2010

School

School of Religion

Major

Religion: Biblical Studies

Keywords

Rob Bell, Walter Rauschenbusch, Social Gospel, Emergent Church, Velvet Elvis, Heaven and Hell, Realized Eschatology, Postmodernism

Abstract

Rob Bell, author of the book Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith, is one of the lead voices in the new emergent conversation. In his book, Bell’s ideas suggest a postmodern worldview for the modern day American church. Through this presupposition, Bell aligns himself with many of the liberal writers of the early nineteen hundreds, such as Walter Rauschenbusch of the Social Gospel movement. This arrangement has led to Bell’s reworking of many core orthodox positions, but in particular, the doctrine of eschatology. He asserts a form of realized eschatology, similar to Rauschenbusch, which misrepresents the gospel, while elevating the authority of man’s reasoning at the expense of that of Scripture.

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