When Jeff and I discuss our views on the past, present and future of baseball, we often disagree but rarely allow the dissent to become mean-spirited. Sure, there may be the occasional ad hominem attack comparing the other person to Neville Chamberlain but it’s all in good fun. Baseball, like most aspects of life, evolves over time and as choices get made, we see how those choices affect the game and debate the effects.
What happens when your debate can never be settled, though? For instance, what happens when the the debate itself is grounded in faith and a belief that things work one way or another in the afterlife? I’m not talking about zombies here, because we (and others) have already made preparations for that. If and when the zombie apocalypse comes, the fact of whether or not we were ready will be easily observable.
Instead, I’m talking once again about religion and what happens when someone challenges the orthodoxy. For Galileo, it meant facing the Inquisition. For Martin Luther, it meant excommunication. For Rob Bell, no one knows as of yet. That doesn’t mean the religious establishment hasn’t automatically turned their guns on him, though.
For me, the argument is moot since I don’t believe in god. But the fact that Mr. Bell has decided to address the sticky question of what happens to those who don’t believe in the christian god but also never heard about him, exhibits a little less disingenuous thought than one commonly expects from the hardcore evangelicals. It would be nice if my coauthor had similar intestinal fortitude when considering baseball orthodoxy.