Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rob Bell's Love Wins - What They Are Saying

Rob Bell's brazenly heretical book "Love Wins" has caused a firestorm of controversy which started with his promotional video. Though the controversy is, by my estimation, five years late (go here and scroll down for earlier articles on Bell), there are some positives to "emerge" from all of this. One of the positive aspects to this saga is that when people become more overt in their apostasy/heresy, they make it far easier for undiscerning church goers to decide when to run full speed out the door. Another interesting illumination is found in the number of high profile people who have responded and taken a side. Thank you, thank you, thank you for removing that boggy middle ground and finally drawing up some battle lines!!! The following list of "for" and "against" may prove most helpful to you the reader in being selective about which wells we drink from . . .


It isn’t easy to develop a biblical imagination that takes in the comprehensive and eternal work of Christ…Rob Bell goes a long way in helping us acquire just such an imagination — without a trace of the soft sentimentality and without compromising an inch of evangelical conviction - Eugene Peterson (back cover endorsement)

Wow! Let's just hope that the spaceship returns soon to take Eugene home. If you were ever deluded enough to believe that "The Message" is a legitimate Bible translation, this latest comment from Peterson should seal the deal. "Without compromising an inch of evangelical conviction" - yeah right!!!

Rob Bell is NOT a Universalist (and I actually read “Love Wins”) . . . I know many readers will want my opinion on whether or not Rob is in fact a Universalist . . . I’m not sure; read the book for yourself and figure it out . . . I strongly doubt Rob would describe himself as a “Universalist.” But even if he did, I would recommend Love Wins just as enthusiastically as I already have - Greg Boyd

The gaps in Greg Boyd's self refuting statements are getting shorter all the time. It seems that Greg Boyd is open to a lot of things and not just theism!

A great book, well within the bounds of orthodox Christianity and passionate about Jesus. The real hellacious fight is between generous orthodoxy and stingy orthodoxy. There are stingy people who just want to consign many others to hell and only a few to heaven and take delight in the idea. But Rob Bell allows for a lot of mystery in how Jesus reaches people - Richard Mouw

Richard Mouw is the president of the very large and influential Fuller Theological Seminary. I have been asked before for an opinion on Fuller Seminary and I'll give it right now - don't go there, don't send your kids there, don't send them any money, and the leader of the Seminary has no clue what the "bounds of orthodox Christianity" are.

Rob has come to see that the biblical story is bigger and better than a narrative about how souls get sorted out into two bins at the end of time . . . A courageous minority will become more courageous because of Rob's courage in this book . . . to seize this opportunity, displaying the courage to differ graciously . . . and speak up for Rob whenever the opportunity presents itself - Brian McLaren


It is unspeakably sad when those called to be ministers of the Word distort the gospel and deceive the people of God with false doctrine - Justin Taylor

Farewell Rob Bell - John Piper

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 - Al Mohler

...there are dozens of problems with Love Wins. The theology is heterodox. The history is inaccurate. The impact on souls is devastating. And the use of Scripture is indefensible. Worst of all, Love Wins demeans the cross and misrepresents God’s character - Kevin DeYoung

Repent of it, Rob: repent because there’s no shame in turning away from even decades of wrong teaching to turning over a new leaf and teaching that Jesus saves sinner from their own sins and from God’s displeasure if they repent and believe. That is actually the message of the NT, and it ought to be your message if you’re really concerned with the real people you meet every day - Frank Turk

Bell's latest heresy neither surprises nor interests me. What does intrigue me is the tragic drift of popular, mainstream evangelicalism. Here we see clearly why the evangelical movement is in grave trouble: The passions of today's self-styled evangelicals are easily aroused in defense of someone who makes a career dabbling around the edges of truth. Rob Bell likes to play with damnable heresies as if they were Lego bricks, and yet anyone who points out the glaring errors in Bell's teaching will be met with a wall of angry resistance from young, self-styled Christians who grew up in the evangelical mainstream. Where is that much passion ever employed these days in defense of the truth? - Phil Johnson

Bell is an inveterate syncretist who loves to blend “progressive” and politically correct dogmas with eastern mysticism, humanistic jargon, and Christian terminology. His teaching is full of barren ideas borrowed directly from old liberalism, sometimes rephrased in postmodern jargon but still reeking of stale Socinianism. What Bell is peddling is nothing like New Testament Christianity. It is a man-centered religion totally devoid of both clarity and biblical authority. - John Macarthur

One critique of your book says this, there are dozens of problems with love wins. the history is inaccurate, the use of scripture indefensible. that’s true, isn’t it . . . you’ve indicated one of the problems with the book, you’re creating a Christian message that’s warm, kind, and popular, for contemporary culture but it’s, frankly, according to this critic, un-biblical and historically unreliable. that’s true, isn’t it . . . you’re amending the gospel so that it’s palatable to contemporary people who find, for example the idea of hell and heaven very difficult to stomach. so here comes Rob Bell, he’s made a Christian gospel for you and it’s perfectly palatable, it’s easy to swallow - Martin Bashir (interviewing Rob Bell)

If that doesn't clear it up then this video will (here is the video it is a response to) . . .

Robbed Hell - C.A.S.T. Pearls Presents from Canon Wired on Vimeo.


blindsay said...

What are the "bounds of orthodox Christianity", and who sets them? In other words, where / how are the limits for disagreement set? What can we disagree about and what can we not and who determine that?

These were questions that were raised when reading this post, and I'd love to see your perspective on these questions.

Randy said...

Man I love you. Thanks for sharing the endorsements and condemnations so we can know where leaders stand. Al Mohler has done a great job addressing this book I think quite farily and knowledgably. The vid, what can I say? I wanted to laugh but cry at the same time. Here is what is driving me crazy. Bell is making the talking head circuit and telling all these folks "I didn't mean to stir up controversy. I never knew this would cause such heated argument." Really? You think attacking a doctrine with hundreds of years of orthodox support might just be swallowed without any choking? You think people don't know their Bibles well enough to see through your paper thin veil of deception? Sadly...more people will read Love Wins this year than the Bible. Sadly more people will vehemently defend Rob Bell more than they do the Lord Jesus Christ this year.

David Ford said...

I like Washer's posture toward these fellas - he says they (like Joel Osteen) are the judgement of God on those that follow them, because they want what their leaders want, and that is not the God of the bible. So in a sense what they are doing is fine with God - because he has abandoned them to their own devices due to iniquity and their own transgression. This may seem like tough cheese, but we gotta remember its our fathers and ourselves that sinned against a Holy God - he owes us nothing but judgement in reality. If one of these guys rocked up to a real christian fellowship and prattled on about this wayward stuff then they should be reproved, rebuked and instructed in righteousness, but one wonders if its worthwhile bothering with him otherwise given his views are so off the track its laughable?. Now I'm waiting for the hyper-calvinist accusations...

Mike Monrogue said...

Dude, I don't know how old you are...I'm guessing you're still in your 20s...Calling out fellow men of faith publicly is childish. Have you ever tried to speak with Rob Bell personally? To spend so much of your time criticising the teachings of a fellow Christian is foolish. Teach the Word how you believe God would like it taught and don't worry so much about how others are. I mean, does anyone lose any minutes pondering how a moron like Pat Robertson can still have a thriving ministry? I would suggest you learn to accept some things and move on. I don't believe God has appointed anyone to be Supreme Authoritative Critic. You're setting a bad example for others who may now feel their time is well spent being hyper critical. Many spcriptural passages are still unclear, even for those who seek the Holy Spirit's guidence in interpretation. I tend to believe we aren't supposed to have all the answers. You've revealed yourself to be petty and jealous. Better work on that and stop worrying about Rob Bell.

Anonymous said...

Amen, We are lucky to have a merciful God. Until that day when we all will be judged, we have been commanded to LOVE him and eachother.

Anonymous said...

God is the Great I Am. Don't know why we always have to tear each other part as Christians. Remember when Paul and Peter disagreed....God came through and revealed the truth to Peter in a dream. Let us remember to pray for each other as Paul advised as to. Paul plants, Apollos waters...BUT Christ makes it grow. Christ knows His sheep and His sheep know Him. Nothing can separate us from His love and no one can snatch us from the palm of His hands. Christ lives and He is watching and He will do His will in His good time. The rest of you pray and do His will....LOVE AND FEED HIS SHEEP!