Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What the . . Bell?

If you follow Christian blogs, you've heard all about it (unless of course your computer has crashed or your internet is out or you're lost on an unwired island!). But if you don't pay attention to some things, you may be blissfully unaware of the big brouhaha over Rob Bell's new book, "Love Wins" (a title which wins my heart!). Now before you run over to Amazon to check out the new book, I have to warn you that the book has not yet been released. However, the fact that very few people have actually read the book has not kept them from making all sorts of claims about Bell's theology and even his eternal destination.

While we don't know exactly what Bell will claim in his book, the trailer and blurbs describing it have lead many to claim that Bell is a universalist (that is someone who believes that everyone will end up in heaven). That's yet to be seen and as you'll discover as you read some of the responses to this controversy, there are even different kinds of universalists.

Sadly, this is the kind of controversy that makes many folks (and especially younger ones) dismiss the church and Christians as judgmental and non-thinking. However, this is also an opportunity for all of us to explore our own beliefs about God's love and God's judgment and what Jesus has to do with both of them.

Now most of you don't comment on this blog, but here is an invitation to engage in this important discussion. So here are some links to get you thinking and feel free to chime in!

Rob Bell--Universalist?
Thoughts About Rob Bell, John Piper, and Justin Taylor
An Open Letter to Justin Taylor
What the Hell?
yet another Rob Bell-Universalist?
The Battle Over Hell
Who Gets Into Heaven?
Brian McLaren--Rob Bell--Giving Us All A Wonderful Opportunity (Shameless plug--McLaren will be the speaker at this year's North Alabama Conference!)
Ben Witherington's thoughts on Love Wins
Scott McKnight is Waiting on Rob Bell
To Hell with Hell
Farewell Rob Bell (or John Piper's Inferno)
Christianity Today Chimes in
Young Evangelical's Prayer for John Piper and Rob Bell
What I Lost Losing Hell
Chad Gibbs on Bell, Bartman, and my fears

So what do you think?


Rachel K said...

The bickering is dumb, and probably the opposite of how Jesus would want his church to act. I also think I'm gonna write a blog about it. ;)

You forgot this link:

Sherill said...

I can't believe I missed one! (Actually not too surprised there were so many!)

Kim said...

McLaren @ Conference?! Woot! I just finished buying (not yet reading) all his books!

Rob says, "Who knows?" There are scriptures on every side of this argument, so strict dogmatism is confusing to me.

Jim Freeman said...

Sherill, thanks for educating me. Had heard none of this. There are days when being a Christian makes me so weary, and for all the wrong reasons.

Sherill said...

Me too Jim!