I’m not there, but I wanted to weigh in on Catalyst, and ask some honest questions. Please hear that my heart is not to criticize, but to honestly ask.
I am a little surprised to see Rob Bell on the list of speakers for Catalyst. I’ve written before about Rob, and what I think of the one book of his that I’ve read. After a quick perusal of the recommended reading on his website, it seems that he puts more stock in Judaism than Christianity. Having a Jewish understanding of the scriptures (unless it is a messianic perspective) simply means that you are listening to people who disagreed with Jesus on his most fundamental issue (his own identity—that he was and is God in the flesh, sent to save sinful, broken people). That’s a pretty shaky hermeneutic.
So I wonder why Catalyst would have him come and speak. I do not argue that he is a gifted communicator, and a passionate guy. I’m not throwing stones at the guy, but I think that some of his teachings are dangerous (at worst) or confusing (at best). Surely the organizers of the conference are aware of the uproar the mention of his name causes in evangelical culture. Yet they brought him anyway.
The other issue that has me shaking my head is the use of the TNIV on the Youversion Live event for Andy Stanley’s talk. This may simply be a technological deal, and they are unaware that it is using a gender-inclusive, highly controversial “translation” of the original languages. If it’s just an oversight, that’s fine. But if it’s an intentional choice, I have to question it. Why go with that translation? The NIV works just fine (and carries almost no connotative baggage even for more conservative biblical scholars), or the ESV, or the NAS, or the NKJV, or even a paraphrase like The Message. Using the TNIV (intentionally) is a blatant theological statement.
Those are my questions. Id love for some folks who are/were there to weigh in. More than that, I’d love if some of the organizers could weigh in and explain these choices to me.