Jesus Needs New PR

Jesus Needs New PR


Rob Bell's answer to my question…

Remember when I said that I had asked Rob Bell a question last week when he was here in Nashville? Well somebody got video of Rob’s answer…

My question was: “Rob, we’ve focused a lot of time and attention of the criticism, controversy, and negative aspects of this book release, can you share one good story that has happened or you’ve heard since releasing the book?”

Rob nodded and then said, “I have hundreds of stories.”

And then I said, “can you choose one of them?”

Here’s the clip from there…


You can watch most of Rob’s talk here!



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Joe Peters

posted April 13, 2011 at 11:06 am


So he was returned to full Health only to Die in a year? Sounds a lil’ fishy to me.



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    Preston

    posted April 13, 2011 at 11:19 am


    Agreed. “Hey, I’m Jesus… welcome to heaven. Dying of AIDS sucks, right? So, you wanna stay here with me in heaven, or do you want to live a bit longer and die all over again?”



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    Charlie's Church of Christ

    posted April 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm


    I don’t think he returned to full health – I didn’t hear he was cured of aids.



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Gina

posted April 13, 2011 at 11:07 am


I am really glad you found and posted this. Ever since you said that he answered your question, I wondered what the answer was. That was a great answer. I love that answer. I am saving that answer.



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Derek Malpass

posted April 13, 2011 at 11:08 am


That gave me chills. In a good way. Maybe the year was to tell his story? To make right with those he was hostile towards?



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    Ethan

    posted April 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm


    I got chills too.
    I don’t usually give a lot of credence to stories like this, but it was so simple (most of the people who have after death experiences tend to have these really specific experiences that seem made up of Dante and old paintings) that I’m not writing it off.



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Casey Tygrett

posted April 13, 2011 at 11:14 am


Thanks for posting this and for asking the question. I love the story but the problem with polarizing issues like this is that people who want to criticize Rob will call this “anecdotal” and discredit it as a “walk toward the light thing.” It saddens my heart but I know that’s coming.

Thanks again for posting – I hope more stories of goodness come up as we go.

peace



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    James Williams

    posted April 13, 2011 at 11:55 am


    I’m one who is very disappointed in Love Wins, yet those kinds of criticisms never came to mind for me.



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Joe Peters

posted April 13, 2011 at 11:18 am


My question is, if you don’t have to be Saved to go to Heaven, then why did Jesus come?



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    Kellen

    posted April 13, 2011 at 11:44 am


    My thought on it was that Jesus’ death and resurrection are what provides the way for humanity to return to God. Without Jesus we’re still stuck in death.



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    Ethan

    posted April 13, 2011 at 3:31 pm


    You do have to be saved. It’s just that Jesus wants to save everyone.



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Rob

posted April 13, 2011 at 11:19 am


I never quite know what to make of stories like this. On the one hand, I never want to be limiting what God is capable of doing, but on the other it does come across similarly to an “I was abducted by aliens” story.

I’m not calling the guy a liar, I’m just saying I have trouble believing it.



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    Chris Donato

    posted April 13, 2011 at 11:55 am


    My thoughts exactly. It may be the modern, rational world is too much with us, and so we’re immediately allergic to such things. I don’t give charismatics the benefit of the doubt when I hear stories like this, so, to be fair, I won’t here either.

    I call bullshit.



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    Grace

    posted April 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm


    Do you believe in the miracles in the Bible? If so, why are they easier to believe than a story like this? I find them equally far-fetched.



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FDR

posted April 13, 2011 at 11:20 am


I guess the guy became a christian after his “after death” experience? Also, how would his story compare to others out there…….
Wonder what he would think of 2 Thess. 1:3-10



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Tim

posted April 13, 2011 at 11:22 am


Ah, yes. The ol’ “the sinner’s unbelief is the Christian’s fault” routine, cleverly wrapped in a story that’s as old as the hills. Gotta love it.



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted April 13, 2011 at 11:51 am


    Tim, it’s just a story. From one person. Rob didn’t say he believed every word nor was he trying to make theological assumptions with the story. He just told the story, a story that meant something to him. Why can’t it just be that? Why can’t it simply be a story. There was nothing clever or wrapped or old about the story.



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      GG2011

      posted April 13, 2011 at 12:02 pm


      Because every detail matters… unless you’re a minister/missionary/evangelist talking about how many souls were saved… then you can “evangelastically”. ;)



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        GG2011

        posted April 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm


        (sigh)… then you can *speak “evangelastically”



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      Tim

      posted April 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm


      That story – in some form or another – has been told over and over again for who knows how long.

      And to say he wasn’t making a theological statement with it is naive, at best.



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        Matthew Paul Turner

        posted April 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm


        Tim, can you give us an example of “that” story being told over and over again? Just one? I want to hear it or read it. If it’s been told that many times, you should be able to find an example or two.



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      Sara

      posted April 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm


      I feel the same way as MPT. Rob Bell was asked to a tell a story that was positive and this is what came to mind – an email about salvation and healing. I can understand people’s skepticism but Bell doesn’t claim it’s true, he just claims it was a story that made him happy. It makes me feel happy too. Isn’t it okay for a story of unbelievable, unknowable, unthinkable, yes, even unrealistic grace something we can think about and be happy?



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      rick

      posted April 13, 2011 at 1:11 pm


      Did Jesus just tell stories? Can we let them simply be stories? Stories have power, MPT.



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        Luke

        posted April 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm


        Agreed, Rick.

        RB’s book and views aside, whatever story he tells following your question holds greater significance than just being ‘another story’.

        The particular story he choose to tell was one that strengthened his argument that ‘love wins’.

        I’m not suggesting that he made the story up or that the person who emailed him the story made it up but I am suggesting that he strategically told a story that would solidify his argument (which any intelligent person would do).



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Adam Whitley

posted April 13, 2011 at 11:30 am


Wow. That was amazing.

Thanks for getting me all choked up @ work.

//AW



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FDR

posted April 13, 2011 at 11:33 am


so i guess if we die Jesus lets us decide if we want to come back. What about
“And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment,” Hebrews 9:27



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GG2011

posted April 13, 2011 at 11:39 am


FDR… How many times did Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter die again?



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    FDR

    posted April 13, 2011 at 11:50 am


    what does that have to do with my question. do you think Jesus asked them if they wanted to stay dead?



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      GG2011

      posted April 13, 2011 at 11:58 am


      Did Jesus ask them? No clue… I have enough trouble figuring out life, let alone the afterlife.(although Jesus did ask people if they wanted to be well which seems like a stupid question).

      Stories like this don’t sit well with me either… I was mostly being a little tongue-in-cheek about your use of the scripture verse since elsewhere in scripture people died twice.

      {but *now* I’m backing away slowly from what might be a more heated argument} ;)



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James Williams

posted April 13, 2011 at 11:51 am


I listened 4 times and cannot make out the thing he says around 2:10. Someone help me?



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    Sara

    posted April 13, 2011 at 11:58 am


    I think he says “I’m beginning to think that love might win”



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FDR

posted April 13, 2011 at 11:57 am


so they guy chooses living with AIDS for one more year over being with Jesus in a field with a stream?



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Kevin

posted April 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm


I wasn’t sure what to expect from Rob Bell’s reply. But THAT tripe was the 1 story you pick from “100’s?” Really?

Now that we’ve jettisoned Hell, can we discard sin too. That might attract a lot of sinn.. Oops.



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T. C.

posted April 13, 2011 at 1:15 pm


The beauty and relevance of the story isn’t in how much sense it makes to us. How much sense do a lot biblical stories make? Why did Jesus make a mudpie to heal a man’s eyes? Why’d he then need to wash it off? If we’re honest, this story isn’t any more odd.

The beauty and relevance of the story is in the fact that God’s love overpowered this man’s hostility towards the false gospel he’d been sold. God overcame my enmity toward him and I am eternally grateful. However God chooses to accomplish this in someone’s life—Praise God!! All that matters is that God’s love is the most powerful force in the universe and celebrating his love, his mercy, his grace is our greatest joy.



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    Joe Peters

    posted April 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm


    On the Contrary, Each Biblical Story has a Purpose & makes Perfect Sense, it is why they are in the “BIBLE.” You know, the book before “Love Wins?” The question is whether or not we are willing to develop enough of a RELATIONSHIP with Him to use our God given knowledge to Understand them? You may not Understand this, but the answer to the Blind Man story is that you have to make an Exchange of Like Substance in the Physical Realm in order to receive from the Spiritual Realm. This is because both run Instantaneously to each other. We came from Dirt, so it makes sense that Mud ie Dirt would be used for the Exchange. No different from when Jesus turned Water into Wine. Water was the Like Substance. And you can go down the list of stories in the Bible if you read it. Now as for God overcoming someone’s Enmity by GOING BACK ON HIS WORD????….I think you need to have deeper Conversations with God? You’d be Surprised how much “Sense,” the Bible makes when you actually take the time to Understand it.



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David

posted April 13, 2011 at 2:03 pm


Since God bankrupted heaven to save the world it might be a good idea to trust His commitment to that process over our understanding of our place in it. If Jesus refused to judge the world shouldn’t those who profess to be his disciples follow?

God is bigger than my idea of who and how the world should be saved.



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    Joe Peters

    posted April 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm


    You’re Right. His Idea is bigger than your Idea. So let’s just use His. His says that THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH JESUS. He tells us to Choose IN THIS LIFE. Is God a Man that he would LIE? Understand what you read in Context not just Passage. He meant not to Judge the world, because each person can only be judged according to what they Know to be True. Make no mistake though. The “World,” will be judged.



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      Justin

      posted April 13, 2011 at 5:41 pm


      Wouldn’t you say this man in Rob’s story was going to the Father through Jesus? Just not in the same terms we have put on this verse. There is no other way to the Father, but how does that exactly play out would be my question.

      Also, when does Jesus say we need to choose in this life? Not being snarky, just not sure what verses you’re referencing when you say that.



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        Joe Peters

        posted April 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm


        John 14:6 You see…this is my Point. How can we be so ready to back some one, when we don’t even know the WORD!? We don’t even know some of the most Prominent Verses in the BIBLE! This isn’t directly at you Justin, but dang. LoL Now, the way that plays out is IN THIS LIFE. He’s talking about being born again. You don’t get born again after you die. That’s not how this thing works. The point is that what Rob Bell is saying is in DIRECT OPPOSITION OF GOD’s WORD.



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John Ferguson

posted April 13, 2011 at 2:58 pm


I want to believe.



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cindyc

posted April 13, 2011 at 5:43 pm


Why is it that when a little boy claims he went to Heaven (Colton Burpo) people think it’s a load of crap but when Rob Bell tells a story about a guy who claims he went to Heaven it immediately becomes a riveting story about God’s love?



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    Justin

    posted April 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm


    a lot of the comments below are calling Rob’s story “a load of crap” more or less. I think you will always find skeptics and believers with stories like these. I’m not sure if it is just because Rob said it.



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      Joe Peters

      posted April 13, 2011 at 7:05 pm


      What you also have to Understand that it isn’t because ROB said it, it’s because ROB has a Platform, and he is Preaching a FALSE Gospel. If someone was on National TV telling Lies about your Loved One, you would Object if possible Right?



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