• yankeegospelgirl

    Well, that was predictable.

    Don’t you love how he always pretends that all he’s ever said is that we should question whether or not God places people in Hell who have never heard of him? Obviously Bell is challenging far more than that.

    As for question two, that was easy for him to get out of because he has said that he does believe in Hell. It’s just a very different Hell from what the Bible actually describes, which he’s conveniently ignoring.

  • Derek

    If you or I choose to espouse and promote ideas that have been rejected by the vast majority of theologians (in this case, both Catholic and Protestant) for many centuries, it would be fair for people to ask us “What if you’re wrong?”.

    By the way, if Bell is wrong, many of his readers will be filled with a false and potentially deadly optimism, not unlike that of a cancer victim who is told that his cancer should clear up without treatment. So I think it is a very important question here.

  • Ryan K.

    Also Joshua Bell is being less than completely clear about his beliefs here.

    What he does not mention in the interview that he does in the book, is that though some will not choose God, they will have endless opportunities to do so in the after life. This is outside of historical orthodoxy and Bell should be more clear about this.

    He also does the same thing when he does not fess up that he believes that eventually all will choose God, given the ample time of eternity. Though he is changing the path this is still universalism and makes Hell not eternal but only existent until all come to their sense at some point in the after life and choose God’s love. When this happens there will obviously be no Hell.

    Therefore, it is fair to say that Bell does believe that eventually all will be saved and eventually there will be no Hell. Regardless of what Bell says or believes, this is akin to universalism.

  • yankeegospelgirl

    Justin Taylor said it best I think: Bell is “an incoherent universalist.” On the one hand, he wants to say that God always gets what he wants. On the other hand, he wants to say that God always gives us what we want.

    But the problem is that some of us don’t want God. Bell tries to get around this by implying that even though some people will insist on clinging to their sin and “go to Hell” as a result, God’s love will ultimately “melt every heart.” Which means that Hell is really nothing more than a timeout until we decide to say we’re sorry and behave.

    In other words, Bell attempts to “resolve” things by making God the greatest nag in human history.

  • Derek

    That’s pretty funny, yankeegospelgirl – you nailed it.
    Joshua, I didn’t see your reply, I think your feedback must have been blocked.

  • Ryan K.

    Joshua said, “A lot of what Bell says resembles universalism, with the caveat that some people will persist in not believing and God will let them have what they want. A subtle nuance of universalism.”

    Point of loving correction here. If you read the book he teaches and indicates that eventually no one will persist in not trusting and loving God…that love wins. So there is no subtle nuanced difference from universalism.

    As I said before this is just a hybrid of universalism that only seems to squabble with the time frame of all being saved.

  • Ryan K.

    Fair enough Joshua, good thoughts and always worthwhile to see what others are learning from the book.

    Thanks for comments here.

  • K Gray

    I am going to represent here for the folks who haven’t heard of Rob Bell. Life’s short and I’m having trouble enough with the Bible.

  • Christiane

    Hi K GRAY,

    be sure to read the part of the Holy Gospels where Christ encounters the questions of others,
    and notice with what patience and compassion He responds to these people. His ‘way’ is not like ours, is it? We get defensive and dismissive of others at times. They are turned away without another thought, as though they were not ‘worth’ our time.

    There is something wonderful in the ‘way’ our Saving Lord had compassion on people, and patience with them. Even on the Cross, we see Him that way. We are called to ‘learn of Him’.

    The Rob Bell episode may show that we have a ways to go, but it’s only been two thousand years, and we struggle with our pride, impatience, superiority over the ‘others’, and we cannot easily change to His Way.
    But still we must try . . .

  • Tom

    The question “what if”. We all can ask that question, what is important is who we ask it to.

    Some believe that even asking this question is akin to dowting ones faith. We even sing songs of this believe “faith of our fathers”.

    Then some ask that question to man. This springs up many super churches. For we all wan’t to fill comfortable in what wee believe If some man is going to tell us what we want to hear “why not” follow some man.

    There is only one who is able to answere that question, The man who knows that is Christ Jesus our lord.

    So what you need to do is ask yourself when was the last time you asked Jesus that question. Most Christian can answer never have. If not.

    What is different from what Bell believes and what you believe. You believe your going to heaven and so does he. Not once have I read a review that Bell Prayed and fasted and beseached Jesus. Have you

    Jesus made it simple to know

    Just pray the Prayer from Jesus

    Please, I beg you don’t take my word or what I say. Ask Jesus through the prayer He has giving for these last of days.

  • Ken Silva

    “As I said before this is just a hybrid of universalism that only seems to squabble with the time frame of all being saved.”

    This is because Rob Bell is leaning toward Christian Universalism. It has a hell, which will eventually be emptied: http://tiny.cc/cjkb3

    It’s as old as the church father Origen.

  • Josh

    “It’s as old as the church father Origen”.

    True, and its thus been rejected just as long as well. Rob isn’t new – he’s “hip” because of his style, not his teaching.

    Origen was to be anathema – much of his work was rejected by the church councils. If you want to consider Origen as a legitimate source of sound, orthodox, Christian doctrine, then you also have to consider Arius and others (who, if included, make Christianity unrecognizable and beyond unbiblical).

    The problem with Rob is this: He is trying to frame God within what he thinks God should be – a framework established by his own sense of what right and wrong are. Its funny, because his first book seems to be about not putting God in a box, and yet that’s exactly what he does in his new book (sin actually doesn’t matter – it simply extends how long it takes to get into heaven, which, using calculus on an infinite timescale, means it practically doesn’t exist).

    I don’t agree with previous comments that equate CS Lewis’ theology with bell’s either. I’ve read almost all of CS Lewis’ work, and the impression I get is that he considered this life a training ground – a place to make life’s (eternal life’s) ultimate decision.

    People can try to mold God into whatever they define love as as much as they want (the phrase “Love wins” is extremely vague). The real truth is that Christ wins, and that He is Absolutely Just, and if His Justice involves hell (read the New Testament, it is talked about A LOT), then we must rely on that over our own human, mortal, warped views of justice. Just because its popular doesn’t make it right. In fact, the fact it is so appealing to degenerate minds (non-saved, non-Holy Spirit led minds), should be indicative of its falsehood. God’s Wisdom is foolishness to the worldly wise. Yet this book appeals to pseudo-intellectuals and worldly-types.

    That’s a problem for me.

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