Rob Bell, Universalism, and Hell

So I get back to the country and I get a few emails and texts asking me about my position on hell and universalism. I admit, I was very confused at first and was like… “The trip was great. Thanks for asking.”

Come to find out that while I was out of country Rob Bell decides to start promoting a book that will come out on March 15th titles “Love Wins: A book about Heaven, Hell and the fate of every person who ever lived.”

Here’s a quote from the Washington Post on the subject:

Justin Taylor, vice president of editorial at Crossway, wrote a blog post suggesting that Bell had become a universalist and was moving “farther and farther away from anything resembling biblical Christianity.” (Universalism asserts that all people will be saved and that an eternal hell is not a part of God’s plan for a new heaven and new earth.) In response, Pastor John Piper issued a tweet that linked to the post and added, “Farewell Rob Bell,” suggesting that such a position disqualifies Bell from Christian fellowship. Neither Taylor nor Piper have read the book in question. (Emphasis mine.)

So…to sum up. Rob Bell makes a cool video about his upcoming book by asking provocative questions that intelligent people have asked for centuries…questions like how does billions of people going to hell prove that God is love? He doesn’t answer the questions in the video because…well…because he never does and he’s trying to sell books. And instead of reading the book or waiting for the book, we roast Rob Bell over the coals for what MIGHT be his answers even though we don’t really know what his answers may really be?

And all of this gets played out in front of the whole world via Twitter, Facebook, blog posts and mainline news outlets? Instead of face to face conversations and waiting for the actual book to come out?

Sounds…really…mature.

I think I’ll just wait for the book.

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8 thoughts on “Rob Bell, Universalism, and Hell

  1. I really appreciate this post. It’s simply unsettling how so many are so quick to judge. Anyway, I linked your post to one that I wrote. Hope you don’t mind. My husband reads your blog and sent it to me because he knew you had said just what I would want to say. So, thanks! It’s refreshing to know there are others out there who are not so quick to judge and condemn.

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  2. A verdict? Ahhhh … I’ll let God decide from his point of view *smiles. My thought though is that yes, from chapter 1 on – clearly, the gospel is redefined for us, everyone gets “in” where ever in is, that a loose hermeneutic of ‘gotchas’ is employed by the author .. that repenting from anything really isnt that big of a deal … soooo … quick read. Frankly? Quiet arrogance. And I never mentioned universalism once … 😉 Or did I …

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    1. It’s an equal dose of wonder and frustration for me. I love the creative, edgy way he asks the questions. Frustrated with his answers…if that is in fact what they are.

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