Jesus Needs New PR

Jesus Needs New PR


WHAT ROB BELL BELIEVES (A response to his critics…)

Sent to me by Marilyn…



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Sierra

posted April 9, 2011 at 9:13 am


I seriously just yelled out a big OH SNAP! and scared my dog.



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Alise

posted April 9, 2011 at 9:14 am


A friend posted this vid on his Facebook page yesterday. The response from a detractor was that Bell’s Jesus, hell & salvation aren’t the ones in the Bible.

Haters gonna’ hate.



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Sarah

posted April 9, 2011 at 9:17 am


I saw this floating around the twitterverse, and I adore the last line–discuss only books you’ve read. Guess this would mean a whole lots of silence or talking of the weather for blogs, twitter, and various social media.



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JamesW

posted April 9, 2011 at 9:19 am


This isn’t about hating. This is about disagreeing.

Bell’s statement about reserving criticism for only books one has actually read is a blatantly dishonest statement, and that’s the kind of thing that has made me lose respect for Bell during this mess. People responded to the promo video clip, which featured Bell himself, saying some pretty provocative things. To say that responses to that clip are actually responses to an unread book is dishonest. To say that Bell was only “asking questions” in that clip is dishonest.



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    Joel K

    posted April 9, 2011 at 9:27 am


    If you found out that your favorite movie critic was writing his reviews based solely on a teaser that he saw on TV, you would not take his opinion all that seriously. Why would should the standard be lowered for those who want to comment on the religious convictions of a Christian writer? There is absolutely nothing wrong or dishonest about Bell’s criticism of those who criticized his book based on a promotional video.



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      JamesW

      posted April 9, 2011 at 9:35 am


      We didn’t criticize the book. We criticized the video clip.



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        joel k

        posted April 9, 2011 at 11:48 am


        I can’t speak for you personally, but the vast majority of the critics that I saw and read before the book came out were clearly critiquing the book, not the teaser, and many of them had not read it and instead based their opinions on the teaser and other their general opinions of Rob Bell. It’s kinda hard to take these people seriously, if and when they do get around to reading the book that they criticized.



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted April 9, 2011 at 9:30 am


    I think you’re stretching here, James.



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      JamesW

      posted April 9, 2011 at 9:35 am


      I really don’t. People were responding to the video. In the video, he he said some things he had to know would get a backlash.
      I think calling those who disagree with him “haters” is stretching.



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        Jason Powers

        posted April 9, 2011 at 10:44 am


        I think people were responding to the video… at first, but it very clearly and very quickly became about the book. The interview on MSNBC referenced the book (You say in your book…). The video launched the debate, but the video was about the book. I think Bell’s criticism is right on track. We live in an overreactive culture. Now, it’s possible that all of the criticism is right on track, but the fact that it happened before the book dropped is significant.



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      JamesW

      posted April 9, 2011 at 9:40 am


      Perhaps the concept of “stretching” is on your mind because you’re doing taxes? ;)



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    Elizabeth Esther

    posted April 9, 2011 at 10:27 am


    If it was really about “disagreeing,” why did John Piper bid Rob Bell farewell? The criticism of Bell was not just “disagreement,” it was shunning. It was borderline excommunication. It was the most hyperbolic, graceless, unkind response to a book that hadn’t even been released. Sure, disagree with what you see in the video-clip, but hold your blanket condemnation until AFTER you’ve read the book.



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      Jason Powers

      posted April 9, 2011 at 10:41 am


      I don’t believe John Piper’s “farewell” was an excommunication, but recognition that Bell’s alleged beliefs are outside the bounds of orthodoxy. Saying farewell to my son as he goes off to college isn’t excommunication, it’s just the recognition that he’s gone. He can come back if he wants, but he can’t be here and there.



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Joel K

posted April 9, 2011 at 9:28 am


I am sure that there is a part of Rob Bell that is thanking all his critics for helping his book to make it to Number 2 on the NYTimes Bestseller list. :)



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Dianna

posted April 9, 2011 at 9:35 am


I heard this a little while back actually (hipster, I know), but I couldn’t agree with it more.

The above argument that his critics were responding just to the video is bullshit. The primary critic in that discussion (Justin Taylor) proclaimed, based on the video, that Bell was a univeralist, without having read the book that it was leading to. Like the comment below it, it’s the equivalent of someone reviewing a movie based on the teaser trailer, or a TV show based on the ad poster. Sure, you can critique said trailers and posters, but you cannot draw conclusions about what they are advertisements FOR (Example: I can say the recent Dolce and Gabanna ads are sexist without saying that D&G itself is sexist).

That, however, is not what Bell’s critics did. And that’s why it’s such a zinger.

Every critic I’ve talked to personally about the book hasn’t actually read it. And that’s always my first question – “have you read it?”



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Kevin Gilbert

posted April 9, 2011 at 9:49 am


And in an interesting bit of irony, when visiting this page from my iPhone, just under the Bell video is one of the “and I’m a Mormon” videos. That made me laugh.



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Matt Mikalatos

posted April 9, 2011 at 9:57 am


I think this is a continuous issue in the Christian community… bashing books you haven’t read. Back when it was in vogue to bash the Shack someone in one of my seminary classes said something about the whole “God as black woman” thing and I said, “Don’t forget that she also makes pancakes” intending to sort of goad this guy. He started laughing and said, “That would have been really funny if she also made pancakes.”

When I asked him if he had read it, he just sort of shrunk away.

I follow Dianna’s advice now when someone is ranting about a book and ask them if they’ve read it. Saves us all a lot of energy.



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Dave

posted April 9, 2011 at 9:58 am


I am neutral about Rob Bell’s theology, what someone else believes does not have a significant impact on what I believe unless I allow it to. I appreciate the Nooma series Bell produced and am not going to burn my copy of Velvet Elvis because of the controversy over Love Wins, but I’m not rushing out to buy it either.

That said, I have an honest question I’d like answered without any mudslinging rhetoric from either side:

Rob said, “I am not a universalist because I believe God’s love is so great, God lets you decide.”

Does anyone else find this statement confusing?

According to Webster’s dictionary, universalism is a theological doctrine that all human beings will eventually be saved.

According to Bell, he is not a universalist, but believes God’s love is so great one is free to decide which religion fits best (my interpretation of what he meant by “God lets you decide.”).

What’s the difference?

Since he also believes in hell, he must believe something can separate an individual from God. Is his statement to say, God isn’t concerned with religious routines as long as His love is practiced? Or is he saying all forms of religious doctrine that include showing love and compassion for humanity lead to heaven, meaning only haters go to hell?

“I also believe its best to ONLY discuss books you’ve actually read.” – you tell ‘em Bell!

Having not read Love Wins, I am asking this question to anyone who has first hand knowledge of the text, not just regurgitating someone else’s opinion. I’d also appreciate a little respect from the haters and the hater haters alike. I’m not out to prove a point, just looking a little clarification.

Peace.



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    M.J. DePue

    posted April 9, 2011 at 10:20 am


    Dave,

    I’m fairly certain, from what I read of Bell, that when he says “God lets you decide” he’s not talking about individuals picking what religion fits them best, but about deciding whether or not they accept God’s love in Christ. What separates us from God are our decisions.

    While not all Christians will use this kind of language, Bell’s not advocating universalism here.



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    ETS

    posted April 10, 2011 at 6:58 pm


    Yeah, Dave, I heard that and thought, Rob, that’s the explanation you give for why you’re Arminian. That has nothing to do with universalism.



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Matt Mikalatos

posted April 9, 2011 at 9:58 am


Actually, on later reflection maybe he “shrank away.”



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Joe Greene

posted April 9, 2011 at 10:11 am


Okay, I’ll toss out an obvious problem with the book. Bell claims that the Greek in Matthew 25:46 can mean that those banished are only sent away from God for “an age.” The problem with that, beyond Bell actually getting the Greek wrong (the words and the translation), is that the phrase he claims to mean an age would also apply to heaven in that verse. It’s the same Greek phrase in John 3:16.

If Rob Bell is right about the Greek phrase, and he isn’t, then salvation is temporary. That’s not good news.



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    Bo

    posted April 9, 2011 at 11:00 am


    Joe, the Greek here does not, in fact, mean “forever” as many people interpret that world “eternal” in reference to the punishment Jesus describes Matthew 25. Before you get out your lexicon, let’s look at a few extra-Biblical examples. Ancient historian Herodotus writes of “aion” as somebody’s lifetime (The Histories, 1.32). He speaks of ending our own “aion.” Writing around the same time as Herodotus, Euripides, ancient Greek tragedian, writes of “aion” as something that can “be breathed away” (Fragment 801). Yet another playwright from the 5th century BCE, Aeschylus, writing in “Prometheus” (862), says we can “deprive a man of his aion” seemingly saying that “aion” and its various forms is equivalent to one’s life. In William Barclay’s New Testament Words, he claims that from the ancient Greeks use of the world, it slowly evolved.
    “Then it comes to mean an age, a generation, or an epoch. So the Greeks could speak of this present aion, and of the aion which is to come, this present age and the age which is to come.

    But then the word comes to mean a very long space of time. The prepositional phrase ap’aionos means from of old; and di’aionos means perpetually and for ever. It is just here that the first mystery begins to enter in. In the papyri we read how at a public meeting the crowd shout `The Emperor eis ton aiona, The Emperor for ever.’

    The adjective aionios becomes in Hellenistic Greek times the standing adjective to describe the Emperor’s power. The royal power of Rome is a power which is to last for ever. And so, as Milligan well puts it, the word aionios comes to describe ‘a state wherein the horizon is not in view’. Aionios becomes the word of far distances, the word of eternities, the word which transcends time.”

    It’s important that we don’t overlook Plato, however, as he is most famous fro using this word “aionios” in unique ways. I won’t go into it here, but check out “Timaeus” 37D specifically, or “The Republic (363) to see Plato using the word “aionios” as somethign that is “eternal,” but not never-ending, simply as being in contrast with the ways of the world. An eternal “now,” not something without end. Aionios is the word of eternity as opposed to and contrasted with time. It is the word of deity as opposed to and contrasted with humanity. It is the word which can only really be applied to God.This is confusing business, but don’t claim to know exactly what the Biblical authors meant when they used this word.



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    Bo

    posted April 9, 2011 at 11:04 am


    I’ll conclude though by saying that to me, it seems reasonable to conclude that the authors were speaking of “eternal life” not as a life witout end, necessarily, but life that abides in the ternal order of things, in contrast with the human order of things. It is life in the Kingdom, life to the fullest, life “of the ages” the way we were made to live. It is not a claim about time, it’s actually probably a claim (influenced by Greek thought, no doubt) that is atemporal.



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      LRA

      posted April 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm


      Bo, that was fascinating! Thank you for posting it!

      :D

      Also, I wonder if you could address the fact that time was cyclical for ancient people (and not linear like it is for us today after Newton), so that would also affect people’s perceptions of time, right?



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      Mason C.

      posted April 14, 2011 at 8:06 am


      1. Classical Greek is not Koine Greek and near context trumps distant context. All the quotes sound impressive but your omission of near (biblical) context usages is glaring and damning for your argument. Shall we think that Paul meant the same thing by ‘theos’ that Plato did? You outline the Classical Greek context of ‘aion’ as if the Jewish authors of the NT may not bring other semantics to the game. Saying “before you turn to your lexicon” is just your way of dodging a major flaw in your argument, people studying biblical usages of ‘aion’ have concluded it can mean “forever” and some have concluded it means “forever” in Matthew 25 (the BDAG quartet for one.)

      2. And while we’re on sources, William Barclay? Is it 1890 again where we think one man’s opinion on the Greek is a valid scholarly resource?

      3. An example

      Luke 1:33 και βασιλευσει επι τον οικον ιακωβ εις τους αιωνας και της βασιλειας αυτου ουκ εσται τελος, “and he will reign over the house of Jacob *forever* (the prepositional phrase serving adverbially), and of his kingdom there will not be an end.”
      Observe the parallel…

      He will βασιλευ-(v)… αιωνος (adv. in this context attributing a quality to βασιλεω)
      βασιλειας(n) of him … ουκ εσται τελος (using the copulative to attribute an adjectival quality to βασιλειας.

      This is a classic synonymous parallelism with positive-negative morphology. Note that αιωνας is contrasted with τελος. The parallel breaks down if εις τους αιωνας doesn’t have “forever” as part of its semantic range.



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Eric

posted April 9, 2011 at 10:25 am


Rob Bell denies a very restricted definition of Universalism. Essentially, he says that he is not a universalist because he doesn’t think that God takes people into heaven against their will.

Believing that God lets people choose not to be in heaven doesn’t make you “not a universalist.”

Believing that hell exists doesn’t make you “not a universalist.”

A universalist is someone who believes that all people will eventually be saved. Rob Bell claims that people will be able to choose hell for an indefinite period of time, but will eventually realize that God is more pleasing and choose Him.

I have read his book and the entire 4th chapter is based on making the argument that God wants everyone to be saved and eventually He will get what He wants. This may not be universalism as Rob Bell defines it, but it is consistent with universalism defined in the dictionary.



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Chad

posted April 9, 2011 at 11:24 am


Tons of people have read his book, correctly criticized it, and somehow that’s the pinnacle of his defense? Please… he didn’t mention that he also believes someone can die without Jesus, and then choose salvation after death. That is heresy, so for the love of Pete will you guys please defend him (and him defend himself) with the BIBLE???? This is getting tiresome…



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    Hannah

    posted April 11, 2011 at 9:45 am


    “…he also believes someone can die without Jesus, and then choose salvation after death.”

    I need to study up. Did people react this vehemently to Lewis'”The Great Divorce”?

    Because last I checked, most of the people criticizing Bell still LUURRRVE Clive.

    And before we say, “But that was FICTION!” remember: Lewis was doing what he always did. He was talking about God through the vehicle of the story, and didn’t waste words.

    Basically, if you’re going to be indignant, please spread it around to the other authors and theologians we love to prooftext.



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      Chad

      posted April 11, 2011 at 10:49 am


      Excellent point. Like you, I will study up myself. Thanks for the post (seriously)!



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        BMH

        posted April 11, 2011 at 10:59 am


        he defends it using scripture himself, so reading the book is important, if you haven’t

        For more theologically-oriented defense of the same position, Greg Boyd is a good one to read. he doesn’t have a book on this topic specifically, but I think it is addressed in Satan and The Problem of Evil. But sorry, don’t know page #s. Been a while since I read it.



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        Hannah

        posted April 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm


        Post a follow up if you find anything. I really am interested to know if good ol’ C.S. kicked up such a dander when his book released.



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Kerry-Anne

posted April 9, 2011 at 11:30 am


Could these be the words of someone who ‘sounds’ like Rob Bell?? We’ve got a guy at our church who looks JUST like Rob Bell. Just younger.



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John

posted April 9, 2011 at 11:40 am


I’m tired of Bell criticism from half-wit theological bloggers splitting hairs over Greek and Hebrew words as if entire doctrines of both the Christian and Jewish faiths have never been shifted without warning to serve the constituencies for which these religions were crafted. And I say this as a Jew who has grown really weary of my Christian friends who only read church-approved history books and who have argued about Bell since his book released.

The reality is that, when a religious culture grows stale or limited in its reach to its constituencies, its leadership (sometimes collectively, sometimes through the actions of a small few) make changes to its constructs to better meet the needs of the collective. In light of global awareness and cultural sensitivity, Bell has done that. He has found parallel imagery in the scriptures to give his notions a sense of precedent and poetry (see Rabbi Hillel or St. Augustine for excellent examples of doctrinal invention to serve the needs of a thinking, evolving mass of people).

In short, disagree with Bell if you must (I do, but as a Jew — the afterlife isn’t a concern of mine, nor Jesus), but either way, leave him the heck alone.



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Joel

posted April 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm


Kerry, this video was made with audio from the Mars Hill Bible Church podcast



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Griffin

posted April 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm


Here’s the problem:
The hell he speaks of is not the Hell I believe in.
The ‘way’ that he speaks of is not the Way I believe in.
The God he speaks of acts very differently than the God I believe in.

You see, and this isn’t to say anything one way or the other about Rob Bell, definitions matter.

I could come out and say
“I believe in God, I believe in heaven, I believe in Jesus, I believe in healing, I believe in happiness and joy, I believe in loving others, I believe in prayer and repentance”
and what might I be? A Christian? I could be a Muslim.
How we define words is not simply important, it is of the utmost importance (especially in philosophy, which theology is a branch of)

So to say “I believe God is love” is really a question of “Is that love one that wins people over to himself even after a lifetime of full blown rejection or is it a love for himself and his own righteousness and goodness because the most loving thing God can do for us is to love himself utmost and be holy, holy, holy? Which is it” I believe the latter, Rob believes the former.

This sets us apart. So just saying “I’m a Christian” isn’t enough. Getting the Gospel right is. A Gospel without substitutionary atonement and belief in this life isn’t the Gospel. And I weep that a man who I genuinely like in Rob Bell is missing it, and doing so publicly. Because he truly is a nice guy. But then again, so was Gandhi. And sadly, Gandhi is indeed in Hell.



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    Griffin

    posted April 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm


    and just for a bit of backup on this, I give you Romans 10:2-4: “For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”



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    John

    posted April 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm


    “And sadly, Gandhi is indeed in hell.”

    Oh god. I’m not sure what bothers me more — the inherent statement, the confidence with which you “said” it, or the stupidity it takes a finite human mind to assume it can comprehend thousands of years of theological and ethical history, not to mention an understanding of metaphysics, spiritual writings, and the nature of the Creator, all to come to a conclusion about the soul of an Indian philosopher and peacemaker.

    You, sir, have earned a trophy for your silliness.



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      LRA

      posted April 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm


      *like*



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        LRA

        posted April 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm


        “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians; they are so unlike your Christ.”

        -Ghandi



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          John

          posted April 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm


          Thanks, LRA. This Bell stuff has been out of hand since day one.



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          Chad

          posted April 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm


          Griffin posted a Biblically sound argument, and you say it’s silliness without a shred of Bilical reasoning to back your stance up. Well played…



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          jasdye

          posted April 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm


          trolltrolltrollytrolltroll…



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          John

          posted April 9, 2011 at 5:34 pm


          Chad:

          Griffin posted a Bible passage. This is not equivalent to a biblically sound argument. Biblically sound arguments with strong theological underpinnings cannot be climaxed by determining the heaven or hell placement of a historical figure, which is how Griffin concluded his piece. It is theologically ignorant and, frankly, immature.

          My argument avoided the use of biblical passages because it sought not to comment on the salvific state of Gandhi or whomever, but because it was a clear, articulate thought with a single purpose: to demonstrate the sheer wealth of information related to the concept of salvation that one would need to plumb (thousands of years worth) before being even remotely equipped to comment on the salvation of another individual, and then only dubiously.

          I didn’t need the use of passages for that purpose because tossing about bible verses to validate arguments is both moot and often misleading or misrepresentative of the wider context and meaning of a text. In smaller words, it’s dumb to do that.



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          Joshhhhhh

          posted April 10, 2011 at 9:29 am


          Lol John, your “intellectual” arrogance transcends the internet… oh ooops… big words… am I thus correct???



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          jasdye

          posted April 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm


          no. because you don’t know how to choose and string those big words properly.



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          John

          posted April 10, 2011 at 2:41 pm


          @jasdye:

          Like.

          @Joshhhhhh:

          I think it’s ironic that it’s only intellectual arrogance when one is NOT proclaiming via the Interwebz which historical figures didn’t make it to heaven without a shred of proof or legitimate understanding of theological history.



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          LRA

          posted April 11, 2011 at 6:34 am


          And the “arrogance” card gets played.

          Why is it always “arrogance”? Seriously, it’s like ill-informed people can’t stand those nerdy book types… so clearly the studious ones are “arrogant”.

          You know what is arrogant? Thinking you have anything to contribute to a conversation with only an ad hominem.



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          Chad

          posted April 11, 2011 at 10:45 am


          I agree that just to throw out Scripture doesn’t validate an argument, but as I said, he made a Biblically sound argument… not just the passage he cited. Maybe his one comment about Ghandi could have been worded better (it would be more accurate to say something like “if we can safely assume Ghandi never trusted in Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Bible speaks clearly that he is indeed in hell”), but that one comment didn’t make his entire post invalid, correct?

          At the end of the day, I can’t “assume” the salvation of anyone, not even those closest to me. It’s not up to me to determine that. But back to the issue at hand, I can interpret what Bell says and line it up with Scripture, and it sure seems like he is making some dramatic leaps of interpretation to come up with the position he has come up with.



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          BMH

          posted April 11, 2011 at 10:56 am


          Chad – I completely disagree. Bell is careful to point out that the ideas we commonly pull together in our ‘common theology’ (if we can use such a term) of Hell are (1) that it is based on beliefs held during life and that hell (2) is conscious punishment/torture and that it (3) lasts forever in a temporal sense. Bell points out there is no support for these ideas in the Hebrew scriptures and very, very little in the New Testament. What little there is in the NT, he argues are metaphors borrowed from Greek thought to make a point and not statements about theological/ontological realities.

          He also points out there are is a long tradition of Christian thought that take his approach, going back to the church fathers and first disciples.

          On the basis of scripture along, I don’t find Bell’s approach (which is basically annihilistic) any less of a leap than I do the idea that people who don’t know Jesus at death go to a physical place of continuous torture for all eternity.

          Beyond the individual scriptures that reference hell, and in the context of Biblical narrative and God’s character as revealed in Jesus, I find Bell’s approach much more consistent, well-thought out, and integrated with the Christian approach. Given that particular scriptural texts can be interpreted in various ways, I tend to find this measurement the more important one as well.

          In other words, I think most of the arguments fall in Bell’s favor. In fact, it is hard to think of any good arguments outside of proof-texting for the more traditional view.



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          John

          posted April 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm


          Careful, BMH, you made an intelligent argument with sub-points. You’ll be accused of arrogance if you keep that up.

          And Chad, changing Griffin’s sentence structure while still stipulating propositions about the current state of Gandhi’s soul would not have changed it very much; it would still be a stupid thing to argue with no proof or without thousands of years of salvation theory processed and considered, which (I’d wager) hasn’t.

          I’m not of the conviction that all ideas are equally valid, or that faith alone renders any notion more solid than another. Some ideas are stupid, others are simply ridiculous. Stating the eternal resting place of a single Indian philosopher based on a rudimentary understanding of a concept like substitutionary atonement is both.



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    James

    posted April 9, 2011 at 8:58 pm


    “A Gospel without substitutionary atonement…isn’t the Gospel.”

    God help us. Please read a bit about atonement theories before making such ridiculous statements.



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    Joshua Wypij

    posted April 11, 2011 at 10:34 am


    Yes.. @Griffin

    it’s true.. Rob is saying things people want to hear but when you read the book you realize he doesn’t mean the same things we do..

    After reading the book I’ve noticed there are things that the majority of Christians believe that might be a tad bit off.. however I feel like this book was written to people who do not have a strong knowledge of the scriptures..
    for example… the man on the cross who asked Jesus if he would remember him.. What about the other man who mocked Jesus? Did Jesus say he will be with him in paradise? I don’t believe so… it would lead me to believe that there was another alternative..



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Joel

posted April 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm


Didn’t Satan and the fallen angels choose, in the presence of God, to reject God? Just a thought, appreciate responses.



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JBen

posted April 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm


I read the sermon on the mount today and was very interested in the part about false prophets. Jesus says you will know them by their fruit. Now, obviously, there are other things about that in Scripture, but I thought it interesting that the main thing to look at was fruit.

So what is the fruit of Rob’s preaching and what fruit is growing in his congregation? If it is good then maybe we ought to let it be.

But maybe we would rather have fruit that makes us right rather than fruit that moved us to love our enemies. I like this clip.



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Evan

posted April 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm


The video was uploaded on April 1. Happy April Fools’?



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Nick

posted April 9, 2011 at 1:29 pm


Sounds like he’s a Christian to me.



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    Jlah

    posted April 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm


    Lean not to your own understanding ….



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      Elemenope

      posted April 10, 2011 at 8:01 pm


      …rather, let others do your thinking for you.



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LRA

posted April 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm


(Is it just me… or are the comments upside down? The first is the last and the last is the first… is this the Beattitudes of comments??? :D LOL!



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    Dianna

    posted April 9, 2011 at 3:52 pm


    It’s not just you! It’s a little…hard to read the direction of conversation this way, by the way…



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Phil (NZ)

posted April 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm


Having read the book, and then watching this, it doesn’t change my opinion that Rob seems to think eventually everyone will be in the new heaven.



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    Kerry-Anne

    posted April 9, 2011 at 4:27 pm


    Is this now Rob Heaven, or Heaven Heaven?



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BMH

posted April 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm


I think we are missing the bigger point:

Bell’s views are absolutely biblical.

They may not be your views. They may not be what you interpret the Bible to say. But they are what he interprets the Bible to say, and they are entirely reasonable based on Biblical argument, even, again, if you disagree and even if he turns out to be wrong in the end.

It is possible for two people to read the Bible and reach different conclusions about what it is saying. It is possible for those two people to have civil conversations about those differences and even be friends.

If we can’t get comfortable with this state of things, then there is no way forward.



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Danny

posted April 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm


I’m going to go ahead and buy the book now. I know that I will more than likely disagree with what Rob Bell says, but this clipped has finally intrigued me.



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Kevin Gilbert

posted April 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm


@BMH – I think you nailed it. It is entirely possible for two people to read/see the exact same words/pictures and yet see completely different things. We have to learn to live together in civil disagreement. The arguing takes energy away from the real work we’re called to, and that is to love God, love others, take care of those in need and tell them the good news.



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Carole Turner

posted April 9, 2011 at 9:12 pm


Love it! Thanks Rob and thanks Matt for posting this.

I still haven’t read the book. I want to. And after I do, I will post the very first review of it ;-)



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Tamara

posted April 9, 2011 at 9:25 pm


This made me smile.



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Pingback: WHAT ROB BELL BELIEVES (A response to his critics…) | churchministrynews.com

almightygod

posted April 11, 2011 at 7:01 am


He believes in a bunch of strange stuff. But if his strange stuff doesn’t match up precisely with your strange stuff, then he’s a heretic. And you know what the Bible says to do with heretics.



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Ptray

posted April 11, 2011 at 9:07 am


I certainly can understand the controversy surrounding Bell, his book, and what he believes. However, I am stunned that nothing has been said concerning the shear beauty of his chapter on the father and his two sons. Love Wins!



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JoelR

posted April 11, 2011 at 9:11 am


No matter what the man says, people get pissed off. They call him names, question his motives and even his intelligence. And, still he responds with tons of grace. I’m not sure I could do the same.



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Pingback: WHAT ROB BELL BELIEVES (A response to his critics…) | Freedom News Service

jay adams

posted April 12, 2011 at 10:58 pm


I’ve never been to seminary, and I don’t speak Greek, but I do notice in my Bible that Paul and Peter have a fairly serious disagreement at one point…and later on, Peter essentially tells everybody to go buy Paul’s books. Seems like there’s something there for us to learn from (regardless of theology)



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