In case you missed it, here’s the segment from “Good Morning America” this morning about the controversy surrounding Rob Bell’s book (text article here). It includes remarks from Albert Mohler and Serene Jones. It even features a tweet posted by Josh Harris: “There’s nothing loving about preaching a false gospel.”
Albert Mohler is of course faithful as ever in standing for the orthodox consensus. He says,
“If indeed Rob Bell denies the existence of hell, this is a betrayal of biblical truth that has severe spiritual and evangelistic consequencesâ€¦ Jesus was himself very, very clear about the reality and threat of hell.”
Serene Jones, President of Union Theological Seminary, gave an honest articulation of the other side:
“I think that the people who are going after Rob Bell as controversial are themselves closer to heresy than Rob Bell isâ€¦ Jesus’ message was basically that the love of God is stronger than anything we can do. And the forgiveness of God is stronger, so why would that God be torturing people in some made-up hell?… Centuries of theologians â€¦ have said that the question of heaven and hell was not something that we should be worrying about but rather doing good in this life and loving God.”
This is not surprising coming from a theological liberal. What has been surprising over the last week is how many “evangelicals” are making the same sorts of arguments as Dr. Jones’. Rob Bell is absolutely right. What we believe about hell reveals what we believe about God. Unfortunately, I think we are seeing a gigantic rift in evangelicalism on just this point.