It is said that Rob Bell’s fans flock to his Facebook page, his NOOMA videos have been viewed by millions, and his Sunday sermons are attended by 10,000 parishioners-with a downloadable podcast reaching 50,000 more. The latest stirring is related to his upcoming book “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived” His publisher allegedly boasts that he is an electrifying, unconventional pastor whom Time magazine calls “a singular rock star in the church world,” Rob Bell is the most vibrant, central religious leader of the millennial generation.” Bell plays with theology the way a cat plays with a mouse. His sermons, videos, books, and public relations are often more suggestive and subversive than clear.But who is this man who never defines what he means nor means what he says?
There are three men in particular who have solid responses to Rob Bell’s video: Justin Taylor, Kevin DeYoung and Al Mohler. Below are their responses to the video and the upcoming book. Click the links to see their entire responses:
1. Justin Taylor – “If Bell is teaching that hell is empty and that you can reject Jesus and still be saved, he is opposing the gospel and the biblical teaching of Jesus Christ. You may think that’s judgmental to say that; I think it’s being faithful. I would encourage a careful study of 1 Timothy to see what Paul says about false teaching and teachers.”
2. Kevin DeYoung – “Rob Bell is right about one thing: what you believe about heaven and hell says a lot about what you believe about God. That’s why theological error of this magnitude cannot go unchecked. The God of the Vimeo clip is not a God of wrath, not a God of eternal recompense, not a God who showed us love in sending his Son to be a propitiation for our wretched sins, not a God whose will it was to crush the Suffering Servant in an exercise of divine justice and free grace.”
3. Al Mohler – “The Emerging Church movement is known for its slick and sophisticated presentation. It wears irony and condescension as normal attire. Regardless of how Rob Bell’s book turns out, its promotion is the sad equivalent of a theological striptease. The Gospel is too precious and important to be commodified in this manner. The questions he asks are too important to leave so tantalizingly unanswered. Universalism is a heresy, not a lure to use in order to sell books. This much we know, almost a month before the book is to be released.”
Rob asks questions too important to leave unanswered. He knows Universalism is a heresy, but will he hesitate to use it as a lure to get more disillusioned followers? I don’t think that will be loving of him.
In which case shall we still be saying ‘love wins’ or will Mr. Rob Bell win as he cunningly always does? I agree with Tim Challies there’s a lot I would have to deny before I deny Hell.