The “Old Gray Lady” has a report on the controversy surrounding Rob Bell’s forthcoming book. Justin Taylor, Scot McKnight, John Piper, and Albert Mohler are quoted in the article. Erik Eckholm writes the story and has also had an opportunity to read the book. Eckholm says that Bell seems to be advocating universalism while not using the term. He writes,
“Judging from an advance copy, the 200-page book is unlikely to assuage Mr. Bell’s critics. In an elliptical style, he throws out probing questions about traditional biblical interpretations, mixing real-life stories with scripture.
“Much of the book is a sometimes obscure discussion of the meaning of heaven and hell that tears away at the standard ideas. In his version, heaven is something that begins here on earth, in a life of goodness, and hell seems more a condition than an eternal fateâ€¦
“While sliding close to what critics consider the heresy of ‘universalism’ â€” that all humans will eventually be saved â€” he never uses the term.”
It appears that Justin Taylor’s initial take on the book may be vindicated when it is released on March 15. I will have more to say about it then.