Late Breaking News from Minneapolis
Rob Bell was not the only Christian celebrity speaking to his followers via streaming online video on Monday evening. John Piper, in a hastily thrown together video chat on his website (www.desiringgod.org), answered reporters questions regarding his previous tweet which had created the firestorm of blogs postings, tweets and facebook rants on the supposed content of Rob Bell's newest book, Love Wins.
In an opening statement, an unnamed twenty-something spokesman for Piper declared that the controversy was entirely overblown and without merit. Piper was disappointed that his words had been taken out of context and that so much buzz had been created for a book by a pastor with a mere Master of Divinity and no advanced theological training. Said the statement, "While I am sure Rob is a wonderful guy, his books should not be selling as well as mine due to the fact his followers are not as well educated and he is lacking the proper credentials, credentials that would put his theological ramblings in proper alignment."
Asked why his press conference/ web chat was happening at the same time as a Rob Bell event in New York City, the spokesman explained that "Reformed Christians, or should I say, Christians, need to have their focus on the truth of the Gospel and Hell, not be distracted by a rock star talking about love. Who does he think he is, Bono?"
At this time, Dr. Piper came to the podium to explain his tweet. Piper explained that the tweet in question, in which he said "Farewell, Rob Bell" before sharing the link to a review of the book by a Conservative blogger with no actual knowledge of the contents of the book, was out of context.
"Actually I said, Fare Well, Rob Bell," which is a completely different sentiment. For one thing, it flows poetically. That anyone would think that I would create such an awkward couplet as the actual tweet is preposterous. I have modeled my use of language after the Puritan poet/ theologians like Jonathan Edwards. Secondly, I realized that much controversy would arise surrounding his book, so I wanted to offer a word of encouragement and hope that he fares well with this. Lastly, as any reader of Old English understands, 'fare-thee-well' is a statement of hope for perfection."
When asked about the actual tweet, Piper answered, "Dang autocorrect. I don't know what kind of Communists they have running Apple, but their Big Brother attitude towards typing is ridiculous."
At this time, Piper left the podium, abruptly ending the news conference/ chat. His spokesman told those gathered that Piper would be retreating to his home to read Jonathan Edwards' responses to bad press before reading tweets about the Rob Bell event in New York City.
Later that evening, after watching a bit of Rob Bell's stream, John Piper's twitter account shared this tweet, "Farewell, Rob Bell, You I tell, There is a Hell." A spokesman asserted the veracity of the tweet.