In his new book “Love Wins” Rob Bell seems to say that loving and compassionate people, regardless of their faith, will not be condemned to eternal hell just because they do not accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
As I read the last word of his book, I had to admit that much of what he said was truth. In fact, there were a couple entire chapters in the book that lined up with scripture and were certainly truth. (Because that’s all that matters. NOT what I or anyone else agrees with.) Being fair, I’d say that 70% of what he writes is true and good. It’s the other 30% that I can’t swallow.
I’ve listened to him a lot lately, but I don’t know Rob Bell at all, so I won’t make assumptions about him as a person. I’m sure he genuinely loves God and means well. His theology is broad, but in a nutshell his general message is that Heaven and hell aren’t real, literal places that we go to when we die depending on whether or not we chose Christ while we lived. He believes they do exist, but not as actual places separate from this earth. In a sense, he states that we have the ability to “create” our own Heaven and hell on earth based on whether or not we make the choice to live inside the plan of God for our lives, or choose to live without Him.
There are many specific points I could pick out to zone in on what I believe to be complete untruth, and how he is manipulating the meaning of scripture to back it up – but the whole thing comes down to one main thing for me.
We could get wrapped up in useless theology debates about the specifics of his beliefs. But a person either completely believes that every word of the scriptures is totally God inspired or they don’t. Assuming that every word isn’t inspired, only parts of it, doesn’t give anybody with half a brain anything solid to stand on. But assuming that we do, I’m not sure how it is logically possible to explain away the 150 scriptures referencing hell “sheol” in hebrew, in some fashion, or the 400+ verses referencing Heaven.
So what do we do with all that? Heaven and hell MUST be a big deal to God. Therefore it is only logical that things that are a big deal to Him, should also be a big deal to His people. Rob’s philosophy, while containing much truth, is almost worst than if it consisted entirely of a bunch of highly intelligent sounding, humanist, feel good garbage that no one in their right mind could believe.
But deception is deception. It’s sneaky and we can all allow ourselves to become susceptible to it….especially if we don’t really know the scriptures and the power of God for ourselves. (Matt. 22:29) Deception usually sneaks in most effectively when a few lies get mixed with a lot of truth anyway. After all, a spoonful of sugar always makes the medicine go down.
I feel that they are some grey areas in scriptures, in which there is no black and white answer. However, I believe that scriptures were written by God, for the common, everyday man. Meaning, you don’t have to have a theology degree, or be a brilliant, highly educated philosopher to understand exactly what is meant in almost every point.
To believe Rob Bell’s message and personal agenda to is question some of the pillars holding up the very foundations of our Christian faith. And that, my friend is dangerous.
I believe in having an open mind and an open heart, but in some cYou can’t shoot a huge hole through the middle a foundation of faith and expect to remain standing, it will fall.ases, we need to be much more careful what we open ourselves up to. If we start to question major areas of what was written as absolute truth, or think that after all this time we can reason away the real meaning of it, then my question is, what DO we have left to believe?
That is the very thing the church in America is in danger of, and it’s sad those that call themselves Christ followers stand for it, rather than against it. Or that some choose to remain neutral or silent for fear of man’s opinion of them. That’s even more pathetic!
Yes, it should be okay for the family of Christ to have differences in opinions in some points, but in this one, I think it’s totally unhealthy. 1 Corinthians 1:10 ……I plead with you be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
And yes, love did win. But it’s not something still yet to happen, it already has.
(stepping off my soapbox now as a very unpopular Christ follower)
“I will destroy human wisdom and discard their most brilliant ideas.” 1 Corinthians 1:19