I don’t think every ten-minute video needs to contain a crash course in systematic or biblical theology. Christian life and doctrine is a vast and rich universe of truth, and if Rob Bell wants to do ten minutes on sex, ten on anger, ten on this or that, that’s obviously fine. It’s always easy to say by way of critique, “That ten minutes should have said more than it did.” So that’s not where I see a problem with NOOMA.
The problem is that in the videos which aim to present the Christian gospel, the gospel presented is woefully incomplete if not outright wrong in places (which we’ll discuss at more length in the second part of this series). Yes, there’s sin and even grace in NOOMA; God loves us as we are, with all our junk, as Bell puts it. But beyond that there’s little to no cross or resurrection, no atonement, no substitution. Once we’re told that God accepts us as we are, all that follows is a call to live as Jesus lived in order to make the world a better place—which if it weren’t so hip would just be called “moralism,” or even “Pelagianism.”