Books and Authors, New Testament

Love Wins: Controversy in Christianity

Taking Away Linus’ Blanket

Christian Pastor, Rob Bell, is the “Founding Pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church. He graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.”  Bell has a new book coming out in a few days, which hasn’t even been released, yet the book has thrown gas on the kindling for many evangelical Christians, who just happen to have lighters in-hand.  I’d guess it was the same people criticizing Steven Hawking’s newest book before they opened it, and will probably never entertain idea of actually reading it.  Bell has my attention.  I might just have to pick up a copy for myself.  Here are a few key-words floating around the shamayim: “Heresy”, “False Teaching” and even “Universalism”.  *Home Alone Face*  Lions and tigers and bears, oh my !! (Christian Fear Tactic #001, oldest trick in the book, just ask Paul)

First let’s see what Bell has to say, then we’ll look at what a few evangelical Christian mouthpieces are saying about him and his yet unreleased book:

From CBN News:

CBN chaplain and Regent University theology professor Joel Palser says Bell’s book compromises what’s taught in the Bible.

“Apparently this is a pastor who has written a book who has grown uncomfortable contending for the faith,” Palser argued. “He is no longer able to defend what the Bible says and has endeavored to make that more palatable to modern culture.”

“It may be trendy and it might sell a lot of books, but in fact Jesus speaks very clearly about heaven and hell,” Palser added.


Mars Hill pastor Rob Bell drew significant attention on Twitter and blogs today after Justin Taylor penned a blog post titled “Rob Bell: Universalist?” on Bell’s upcoming book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.

Taylor, vice president of editorial at Crossway, has not seen Bell’s book (though he read some chapters that were sent to him), but he expressed concern with a video. “[T]his video from Bell himself shows that he is moving farther and farther away from anything resembling biblical Christianity,” Taylor wrote.


Taylor’s claim ─ based on a description of the book released by publisher HarperOne and a promotional video ─ ignited a wave of criticism against, and a counter-wave of support for, Bell. Some critics went so far as to label Bell a heretic. Prominent evangelical pastors on both the right and left rushed to condemn or defend the Michigan pastor.

Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, called the promotion of the book the “sad equivalent of a theological striptease.” Brian McLaren, who has also been branded a heretic in the past, marveled at the fact people would throw around the “h” word “without actually grappling with the issues and questions the books raised.”

It’s gonna be fun !

Kudos to Bell.  Give ’em Hell.



9 thoughts on “Love Wins: Controversy in Christianity

  1. My friend Eugene writes on this topic as well:

    Look around his blog when you have time. Eugene’s a really good guy and one of the few Christians I have nothing but respect for.

    Posted by Cosmic Snark | March 17, 2011, 6:31 pm
  2. “…who just happen to have lighters in-hand.” Priceless! :D

    Posted by Carisa | March 17, 2011, 12:54 pm
  3. It’ll be interesting to see how this pastor-written book differs from traditional teachings of Christianity. Of course, disagreement on even the most basic tenets has been around since Christianity became the latest religion dreamed up by the imaginations of men….and ripped from various ancient pagan mythologies.

    Posted by Fish | March 16, 2011, 9:21 pm
    • Yo Fish,

      Still trying to spawn against the current, eh? Religions are dreamed up in the imaginations of men? Christianity borrowed from pagan mythologies?

      Say it ain’t so !!

      It’s great to see you, hope all is fantastic.

      Ah, the ole “traditional teachings of Christianity” ploy. Such a funny phrase, when one stops to think about it for a moment. The teachings of “Bible believing” churches today differs from the “traditional teachings of Christianity”, John Nelson Darby’s teachings differed from “traditional teachings of Christianity”, Augustine’s teachings differed from “traditional teachings of Christianity”. Hell, technically, Paul’s teachings differed from the “traditional teachings of Christianity”.

      Learning a little more about Rob Bell, I found this video on the interwebs, titled “You” Nooma #15. It is wonderful to see a Christian pastor talking about the history and development of Christianity, rather than mindlessly perpetuating the mythology of Christianity. I think it’s worth a look, even though I don’t agree with all of Bell’s conclusions.

      Posted by Xcntrik | March 17, 2011, 2:21 pm
      • Heya X, my comment about “traditional teachings of Christianity” was a tad tongue-in-cheek as I felt all kinds of funny when I typed it….for the same reasons you cited! It’s great to see you. Not posting on the debate threads on Topix at this time. One can only take so much of the same tired, recycled comments from the trolls and stalkers. Anyway, it’s great to see you. The website is looking terrific. I’m gonna check out the latest video you posted, so please excuse me while I whip this out!

        Posted by Fish | March 18, 2011, 11:00 pm
    • FISH!!!!!

      Heya Fish it’s Beavis!!! How ya doin’ my scaly friend?

      Posted by Cosmic Snark | March 17, 2011, 6:31 pm
  4. I remember seeing a video about the lost books of the Bible and in one of them, The Apocalypse of St Peter, the angel leading Peter on a guided tour of Hell says to Peter, obviously distressed by the suffering of all those in Hell, “Eventually, they will ALL get out.”

    Looks like Bob Bell is another one who can’t abide by the traditional Christian doctrine of a select few being saved, who get to look down upon the scene of Hell with immense schadenfreude, as billions suffer in the flames. If that be the case, and if you have to get your Christianity right to be a True Christian (TM), then everybody’s going to Hell thanks to that criminal Constantine who called a conference at Nicaea in 325 CE and reinvented Christianity!

    Posted by Ed-M | March 9, 2011, 5:55 pm


  1. Pingback: Not Many Should Presume to Blog | The Good News - March 13, 2011

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