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Mike Horton on Rob Bell with Tony Jones

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On Sunday afternoon, Mike Horton was a special guest on the Doug Pagitt Radio program in Minneapolis on AM950. The show's guest host that day was Tony Jones, who works with Doug at Solomon's Porch, an emergent church. Mike had referenced a book by Tony in a March WHI blog post on the internet and the church. That sparked a few blog comments and offline conversation between Mike and Tony, culminating in Tony's invitation to Mike to participate in the show.

It was a great dialogue and it models how those who disagree can speak honestly about their disagreements without being flippant or dismissive. If you haven't yet tired of the whole Rob Bell/Love Wins/hell and universalism dialogue, you should spend some time listening to the show from Sunday. In fact, even if you are tired of it all, you should listen to the show to get a better understanding of what we mean when we say that theological conversation is at the heart of what we do here at White Horse Inn. After all, if we only talk with those with whom we agree, the conversation will grow dull and we will be ingrown and inattentive to what people are saying outside our circles. But by honestly engaging those outside our circles, we are able to better articulate what we believe and why it matters.

We're grateful to Tony Jones and the Doug Pagitt Radio show for the opportunity to join an important conversation. You can read Tony's thoughts on the conversation here.


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People in this conversation

  • Guest - Michael Harber


    Hi there WHI

    Here's a message from Cape Town, South Africa.
    I cannot express how much I am enjoying and learning from your Christ centered teaching. The Lord is using what you are teaching to grow and change the way I teach God's Word in my fellowship. I'm a deacon who leads a small teens group as well as a Bible Study with young adults.
    I can only imagine the affect that this resource is having around the world. I'll make sure I remember you in prayer.

    Yours in Christ,

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  • Guest - Mike Storey

    If you needed to understand the gulf between these guys and the reformed position, this comes through as loud as can be in this audio. I've listened to their whole show from Sunday, and I'm amazed at how they try to marginalize not only Dr. Horton's position, but the Bible in general. The arguments are from experience, not from scripture. I don't know the area of study for Tony Jones' PhD, but I'm skeptical that it was in any area of theology or divinity. He had no grasp of the issues. They view criticism as sniping and ignore the arguments.

    Rob Bell was no better. It was like listening to a couple of dudes discussing the weather over a six pack. The degree to which these guys paid homage to Bell was amazing as well. You would think that he had actually said something.

    I know that the WHI has a mission to engage these guys in any forum possible, and I thought Dr. Horton was pretty good at redirecting bad questions to real issues, but perhaps inviting Rob Bell to your show would cause a better discussion. Surely, Rob Bell would not be served up such inane questions on the WHI. Just my thoughts....

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  • Guest - Dan Fitch


    I'm not a fan of Tony or his theology, but he is educated in the field. He has a MDiv in Theology from Fuller and a PHD in Practical Theology from Princeton. Unfortunately, his education and his personal theological bent is toward liberal theology. That is the problem.

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  • Besides John Piper I can't think of any mainstream Fuller grads that aren't liberal in their theology likened to Bell.

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  • Guest - Paul Grace

    Kim Riddlebarger is another well thought of graduate from Fuller!

    What I found most disconcerting about the Horton interview with Tony Jones was the suggestion from Jones and Dan Kimble that there are many, many theories of the atonement and the penal substitution theory was not really any more significant than the others.

    There are many theories in this world about a host of different things. To suggest that all theories contain equal merit is simply nonsense. Theories are presented in courtrooms every day. The juries are instructed to decide based upon the preponderance of evidence. However, in this instance, by fiat, one theory of the atonement is just as valid as another.

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