Monday, April 18, 2011

Time Magazine Cover Stories: David Von Drehle on the Civil War & Jon Meacham on Pastor Rob Bell

Each of the past two Time Magazine issues featured cover stories which stood out as having really interesting content.

From the Apr 18 issue, David Von Drehle penned "150 Years After Fort Sumter: Why We're Still Fighting the Civil War".

Von Drehle is an excellent writer who I've linked to a number of times on this blog and in this story he investigates what caused the conflict leaving 625,000 Americans dead. Specifically, what he looks at and debunks is the notion (which I've heard before) that the Civil War was about something other than slavery.

It's a fascinating read for anyone interested in history... specifically the actually happened kind of history rather than revisionist looking view subscribed to by some (in this case for the purpose of aggrandizement of the Southern states who were fighting for the perpetuation of slavery).


From this week's (Apr 25) edition of Time came the cover piece "Is Hell Dead?" by Pulitzer Prize winning author Jon Meacham.

Basis for the story is Evangelical Pastor Rob Bell and his recently written Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (a heavy-sounding title to be sure).

Bell blends solid evangelical credentials (in the form of a 7,000 person congregation at Mars Hill Bible Church about 3 hours outside both Chicago and Detroit) with strong youth following (in part because he's just 40 and started Mars Hill at 28).

What inspired the Time cover story, though, is the idea put forth in Bell's book. In short, he questions the existence of Hell as a place long described in Christianity and wonders instead if the intent of God isn't instead to bring everyone into a place in Heaven. It's a bold idea that for those who take stock in it, changes much current dogma about what it means to become a Christian.

A really interesting idea... and one being put forth by someone deeply within the Christian community that's having a principle tenant of it's belief questioned.