Weekend Musings (updated 5/2/2011)
I have followed the Rob Bell / Hell / Universalism debate with sadness. Rob Bell is one of the most gifted communicators in the country. He is a creative, passionate, thoughtful, technologically savvy and a deep lover of people. Some of his nouma video’s are outstanding. And yet, there has always been a caution in my spirit about him. I have admired him and yet kept him at arms length. The reason? From the beginning of my introduction to Rob Bell, I have noticed a tendency to play fast and loose with history (both church history and philosophical / cultural history).*
I have also noticed a lack of thoroughness in his Hebrew and Greek word studies that often yields strange interpretations that seem to fit the direction of his mind but not the confines of the Scriptures’ teachings.
So in the interest of protecting the flock, I offer some links that I think are fair and respectful of Rob but which show some of the problems with his latest offering Love Wins.
The Gospel Coalition had a panel discussion on the book with Kevin DeYoung, Tim Keller, D.A. Carson, Crawford Loritts, and Stephen Um. I thought their comments were very insightful. Please check it out here. (Tim Keller makes a number of comments but it is the one that he makes at about 30 minutes in that resonated with my spirit with regard to the level of ridicule that Rob Bell heaps on to those who disagree with him.)
Finally, I want to ask you to pray for Rob Bell. He is wrong, but I believe he is a brother. Pray that he might abandon his teaching and respond to the correction of the body of Christ.
*I was an undergraduate major in Ancient History, with a minor in Greek and a season with a philosophy emphasis so I have a little bit of background to make this statement.