Demonstrating its ignorance of Biblical Christianity (as usual), the liberal media is quick to refer to Rob Bell as a voice of evangelicals, but in promotions of his yet-to-be-released book, Bell refutes Jesus Christ in regards to the doctrine of Hell (for starters).
". . . but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions . . ."
-- 2 Tim. 4:3 (ESV)
UPDATE 3/15/11 Interview with Rob Bell (video):
-- From "Pastor Stirs Wrath With His Views on Old Questions" by Erik Eckholm, New York Times 3/4/11
A new book by one of the country’s most influential evangelical pastors, challenging traditional Christian views of heaven, hell and eternal damnation, has created an uproar among evangelical leaders, with the most ancient of questions being argued in a biblical hailstorm of Twitter messages and blog posts.
In a book to be published this month, the pastor, Rob Bell, known for his provocative views and appeal among the young, describes as “misguided and toxic” the dogma that “a select few Christians will spend forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity spends forever in torment and punishment in hell with no chance for anything better.”
Such statements are hardly radical among more liberal theologians, who for centuries have wrestled with the seeming contradiction between an all-loving God and the consignment of the billions of non-Christians to eternal suffering. But to traditionalists they border on heresy, and they have come just at a time when conservative evangelicals fear that a younger generation is straying from unbendable biblical truths.
Mr. Bell, 40, whose Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., has 10,000 members, is a Christian celebrity and something of a hipster in the pulpit, with engaging videos that sell by the hundreds of thousands and appearances to rapt, youthful crowds in rock-music arenas.
To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.
From "Christian author's book sparks charges of heresy" by Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor 3/1/11
Universalism, in its broadest terms, preaches that everyone goes to heaven and that there is no hell. Critics say it represents a break from traditional Christianity, which they say holds that heaven and hell are very real places. In most Christian circles, universalism is a dirty word.
Last year, Brian McLaren – a popular Christian author and a former pastor - was accused of breaking with Christian orthodoxy and delving headlong into universalism in his book A New Kind of Christianity.
But it's rare that theological arguments become top ten trending topics on Twitter, as Rob Bell did . . .
In the promotional video [for the new book,] Bell refers to the nonviolent Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu, and asks, "Gandhi's in hell? He is?"
"And someone knows this for sure?" Bell continues. "Will billions and billions of people burn forever in hell? And if that's the case how do you become one of the few? "
The video follows a trend in Bell's career as a pastor . . .
To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.
From "Universalism as a Lure? The Emerging Case of Rob Bell" by Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 3/1/11
. . . Rob Bell and others within the Emerging Church movement represent what can only be described as a new form of cultural Christianity. Bell plays with theology the way a cat plays with a mouse. His sermons, videos, books, and public relations are often more suggestive and subversive than clear.
. . . [Bell's raises] the question of the exclusivity of the Gospel of Christ. With that question come the related questions of heaven, hell, judgment, and the fate of the unregenerate. The Bible answers these questions clearly enough, but few issues are as hard to reconcile with the modern or postmodern mind than this. Of course, it was hard to reconcile with the ancient mind as well. The singularity of the person and work of Christ and the necessity of personal faith in him for salvation run counter to the pluralistic bent of the human mind, but this is nothing less than the wisdom of God and the power of God unto salvation.
The Emerging Church movement is known for its slick and sophisticated presentation. It wears irony and condescension as normal attire. Regardless of how Rob Bell’s book turns out, its promotion is the sad equivalent of a theological striptease.
. . . Universalism is a heresy, not a lure to use in order to sell books.
To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.