This isn’t another “down with Bell” article. Instead, Kimball offers his thoughts on how the three subjects compliment each other, and how, if taken apart, they don’t give a complete picture of the Truth. He breaks the article up by “Joys” and “Concerns.”
To Kimball, entering into a full (and honest) conversation about heaven, hell and evangelism, is joyous for two reasons: it allows theology conversations to develop, and many present thorough arguments from average people. Finally, theological discussions aren’t just happening between seminary profs and church leaders; the average church attender is speaking forth their minds and defending a truth they passionately believe in.
However, these arguments also produce some concerns, which Kimball continues the article with. To him, these theological conversations are often shallow, they try to offer “fresh” perspectives (often leading people away from Truth), and it seems that evangelism is de-emphasized further because of them. In the end, while having conversations about Heaven, Hell and Evangelism is good, and needed, we need to make sure that our conversations flow in line with what God has already spoken into existence concerning the matter. Half-truth is really no truth at all. If our evangelism centers on Heaven only, what are people really being saved from? Likewise, if our evangelism centers on Hell only, what hope doe people have, in this life and the life to come? There needs to be a balance.
I like how Kimball puts it:
The value of evangelism, especially among emerging generations, has already significantly decreased due to so much emphasis on social justice to the point that Ron Sider – founder of Evangelicals for Social Action and known as the father of social justice for the contemporary evangelical church – recently raised this concern. Now add in a universal reconciliation conversation to an already softened focus on evangelism, and I have to wonder: Will this discussion end up convincing people that everyone is eventually saved in the end, and as a result, lessen the urgency of telling others about Jesus even further?
Kimball is totally correct. I wonder the same thing. What are your thoughts?