Back in April, I posted an update on The Gospel Coalition conference held in Chicago and made a promise about about a conversation I had with Matt Chandler (Check the Link here). At that time, much of the buzz in the culture, both Christian and secular culture was Rob Bell’s book, its universalistic tendencies and its dismissal of hell.
Since then, a number of other books have been written and Rob’s book and perspective have been almost monolithically rejected as not reflective of what the Bible actually teaches by most evangelical scholars, though the consensus is that Rob Bell’s book did ask some important questions.
Anyway, while Matt Chandler and I were talking the subject came up of Rob Bell and his book and Matt drew near and said, “Here’s my prediction. Within six months, Bell will leave his church and go the same route as Brian McLaren.” The gist of our conversation was that Rob would leave his church because he wouldn’t need it anymore and wound become a speaker and writer and continue to drift away from the gospel.
Today I learned that last week Rob Bell announced last week that he will be leaving Mars Hill, Grand Rapids and moving his family to Los Angeles to work on a TV project and continuing his book/speaking tour. Matt doesn’t claim to be a prophet as far as I know, but he was spot on with his prediction. My hope and prayer is that Rob will not continue his slide away from the gospel and the gospel’s Christ.
Is this where the era of celebrity pastors has taken us? Men using their communication abilities to launch themselves into new careers independent of the Church and opposed to its mission and teaching? God forgive us and cleanse us from the exaltation of personality over truth.