Jesus lived with the awareness that God is doing something, right here, right now, and anybody can be a part of it. He encouraged his listeners to search, to question, to wrestle with the implications of what he was saying and doing. He inspired, challenged, provoked, comforted, and invited people to be open to God's work in this world. Wherever he went, whatever he did, Jesus started discussions about what matters most

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Rob Bell in his pre-minstry days, at 18 months. The full sermons offer the full experience. Nonetheless, I find this concept somewhat straightforward. Peter asks Jesus if he can join him walking on the water.

Rob brings a lot of cultural context to this request in the full sermon, and in other teachings. Peter, you see, is a lead disciple. The disciple is expected to do what [i. Peter gets out of the boat. Starts well. He walks on water. Going good. Then he takes his eyes of Jesus. Not so smart. He looks down. Getting worse. He wonders what the heck he is doing out there.

Sinking starts. Jesus is unmistakably walking on water. Peter is just not sure he can do it, and he begins to sink. Too big for him to handle. Do you get it now? Then give up. This context is a unique presentation of a unique concept that applies to one disciple in one particular time and place.

His application is that Jesus believes you can do this. You can live this Christ-following life. He will give you the strength and the courage to live out this faith in a world of temptation, trial and opposition.

He has faith in you to be His instrument to carry out His plans and purposes in your generation. Give the guy a break on this one. I like what he says in both of those media, but I think they draw an inordinate amount of controversy. I always recommend that people listen to his sermons before criticizing him. Comment by Steven Rossi — January 12, pm. I remember confronting Pro a celebrity who participated in producing a video about Bell.

I agree with you. Thanks for writing this and being frank… some of us have forgotten that we are supposed to be wearing the dust of our rabbi and instead are wearing eu du toilette pharisee and it never looks good or smells good….

Comment by Derek Iannelli-Smith — January 13, am. I remember that video, and it was a good message, an encouraging message. I noticed the same idiosyncracies as the critic on the Aletheia site. I asked myself, why would Jesus have faith in us? The answer is simple. He has faith in God, and God has chosen us.

We need to not forget we are talking about the Creator of all, no mistakes, knowledge of everything here. If God knows you can then you really have no reason to doubt yourself, do you?

People make mistakes, not God. Comment by George Conklin — January 14, am. Good point. Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — January 14, am. Comment by Stephen — February 24, am. Everybody is using the same terminology but it has different meaning for each group. Republicans and U. Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — February 24, am. Subtly, but unhelpfully. If Peter failed because he doubted himself, his problem was focusing on himself in the first place.

Jesus call was grounded in his own nature, not Peters. Reject this and you have a merit-theology. Comment by Jamie — February 18, am. And there are limits. Peter sees Jesus walking on water and decides he can do that, too. But Peter should never have thought he could feed 5, with a few fish whole-wheat buns!

Nor should he have ever thought at this point he could the sick; although later he God through him did just that. He actually had a huge amount of faith for the water-walk, when you think about it. Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — February 18, am. This is NOT a generational issue. Case in point. What allowed Peter to walk on water? Try as he might, no matter how much faith Peter had in himself, he would have never walked on water.

The reason Bell is the first person to ever come up with his interpretation is because it is his own interpretation, not what Scripture teaches. Peter was not later restored because of something inherent in himself, but because of the forgiveness of Christ and the ability of the Holy Spirit to enable him.

Jesus sent the disciples out to make disciples because HE gave them power, not becuase of inherent ability which the disciples possessed to make this happen. What does Peter lack? He has spent time with Jesus. He is seeing, with his own eyes, physical evidence of Jesus walking on the water as though the water were a solid, not a liquid.

Jesus invites him to come. So what does Peter lack? There are only two reasons for that possibility. But later, he will be the first to recognize Jesus as Messiah, as God in flesh. This is the factor that makes countless thousands millions? Perhaps they are hampered by lack of self-confidence, perhaps they are harboring secret sin.

Up until this debate started, the commonly held prime interpretation of this passage was that Peter took his eyes of Jesus. But what does that mean? The Hebrew culture had a general phobia about water; this would extend to fishermen. Peter needed to transfer his intellectual faith in Jesus from his head to his heart.

He needed to act on all that faith meant in that moment. Bell does let scripture speak for itself. In his world, scripture is three-dimensional, he describes it other teaching as a jewel or a large multi-faceted diamond. To conservative Christians in the Western world, as much as I hate to say this, scripture is very one-dimensional; and when people of that ilk come to more complex New Testament passages — such as The Prodigal Son — they have a hard time dealing with the fact there are at least a half dozen acceptable applications to the story.

This should drive some of the same people equally nuts. But […]. Some of you are completely missing the point entirely. Rob Bell never even came close to implying that Peter was walking on the water because he believed in himself.

Rob Bell never came close to saying that Peter began to sink because he lost faith in his own power, personality, actions or potential.

The entire point of the illustration is that Jesus had faith in Peter as his disciple. Furthermore, Jesus had faith that Peter would walk to him on the water or he never would have called him to come. Peter lost faith in his calling. He lost faith in himself in that he was the person that Jesus called.

Comment by Brent — May 8, am. This may be a dead thread, but the debate seems to be very much alive elsewhere. It seems to me that this discussion continues as a result of poor communication. Mainly, people get hung up on the word faith in that they only will see it as applying to faith in God.

Substitute a different word for faith, and you might see some lights go on in the other camp.


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