Tracing the steps of my life as it crosses the bridge from all about me to all about Jesus.

Everyone seems to be weighing in on the Rob Bell controversy so why not me too. I like Rob Bell. I have read all his books, I have gone to a service at his church, I have seen him live at his “Drops Like Stars” tour. I don’t always agree with him, but I can’t think of anyone I agree with 100% of the time. I like is his style, He asks questions, starts discussion, and tells stories. His is a faith that constantly proclaims he hopes for the best, from GOD and from people.

This is the video for the promotion of the book. Rather then just state my opinion I want to break down the promo.

What is interesting to me is that while Piper and a slew of others are writing Bell off. Bell never actually
says there is no hell and that no one will be in it. Bell is asking questions. He is inviting us to a discussion about our theology and how we convey that theology to the world.

“Gandhi is in Hell? And we know this for sure?” This is a perfectly legitimate question.We don’t know what or who Gahndi encountered at the end of his life. There are Biblical characters like Nebuchadnezzar that did not encounter and confess faith in GOD until the end of their lives. Hundreds of times I have heard Christians use Darwin’s deathbed encounter with Christ and confession that his theory was wrong as a reason evolution should not be taught in school. How is it right for us to use a death-bed experience as a way to prove our points but not believe in the possibility that if it happened to Darwin it can happened to others? Verdict: We don’t know Gandhi is in Hell. A side note; Bell doesn’t say Gandhi is in heaven either.

Will only a few people make it to Heaven? Will millions burn in Hell? These questions are not even original. The world
has been asking it for years. How you answer this question as a believer plays a great deal into whether you find yourself
in the evangelistic camp or the pre-destination camp. When several different denominations and theology already debate this I am confused how it is offensive when Bell asks it.

How do you become on of the few? Bell goes on to list several options using the phrasing “do you” in each instance.
He also includes all the things Christians would put on their lists, born again, baptism, etc. Another case of Bell never answers his own question. He is starting a conversation.

In the Video Bell says “The primary message the center of the gospel of Jesus is that GOD is going
to send you to hell unless you believe in Jesus. And so what gets subtly caught or taught is that Jesus rescues
you from GOD, and what kind of GOD is that, that we need to be reduced from that GOD. How could that GOD ever be good, how could that GOD ever be trusted and how could that ever be good news?” This question is spot on.
The point being made is we need to consider what we are communicating to the world about the character of Jesus and The Father.

In the end Bell overs this statement. “What we believe about heaven and hell is important because it exposed
what we believe about who GOD is”. I say Bravo! Love does win.

It frustrates me to see so many Christians up in arms over a promo video that doesn’t even make any
definite statements. It disappoints me that so many Christians are more ready to judge someone for
their questions rather than engage in conversation. It makes me sad that other believers would rather think
the worst of Bell instead of first reading the book.

The truth is the Bible teaches us that hell does exist, but it also teaches love and hope. Jesus saw the best in people
and gave hope to anyone He touched. I can’t fault, judge, or write off Rob Bell or any other person who focuses more
on love then evil. Who wants to talk more about Heaven than Hell. Who believes more in the power of salvation then the power of damnation.

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Comments on: "The Bible tells us that Love indeed does win. Why I am siding with Bell (at least until I actually read the book)" (2)

  1. Thanks for the comment Jeff.

    You make a point I should have included. Based on how Bell has promoted other material It seems like he is doing exactly what you said.

    So far after what I have read I think the book is going to be more about how what we believe gets heard and translated by unbelievers not that our theology is wrong.

    Every Christian I know would agree that John 3:16 is the basis and reason for salvation. The flip side is that I have had several discussion with unbelievers about exactly what Bell says is conveyed “GOD is mean and is going to send you to Hell but Jesus is the magic key to get out” That response to the way we explain salvation is out there and I think it is worth at least the discussion.

  2. Jeff Huston said:

    BELL: “The primary message the center of the gospel of Jesus is that GOD is going to send you to hell unless you believe in Jesus. And so what gets subtly caught or taught is that Jesus rescues you from GOD, and what kind of GOD is that, that we need to be rescued from that GOD. How could that GOD ever be good, how could that GOD ever be trusted and how could that ever be good news?”

    Bell’s a smart guy, and even an intentional provocateur (though not for shock, but to ignite thinking), so in that context I hope he’s conscious of (and therefore intentional about) the fact that this line of thinking is a classic Straw Man. The message of the Gospel is that we are being rescued from death and hell, not from GOD. One need to look no further than John 3:16 to see that Bell’s line of questioning here (and philosophical suggestion) is completely off. My hunch, though, is he knows that, and that his intent in this promo is to speak to the people who think this way and, therefore, spark their interest so as to eventually disassemble this Straw Man for them through his book.

    To see many jump the gun and already judge that Bell firmly believes the proposition he’s positing in his promo is, well, presumptive and reactionary. And it may be innocently based in the way most people perceive marketing, i.e. to promote what you believe. What Bell may be doing here is to speak to people who believe a certain thing, wrongly, and get their attention.

    Who knows – maybe his book will end up supporting what he says in this promo. And maybe it won’t. Guess we’ll actually have to read it and see.

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