Rob Bell’s Book “Love Wins” and NT Wright on Universalism

Rob Bell’s book “Love Wins: Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived” was released on March 15, 2011.

Some people think he might be flirting with universalism. Some think he may deny hell. If the latter is true, he’d be going against a New Testament scholar he seems to admire more than any other: NT Wright. In this Youtube video Wright affirms and explains his view on hell. He ends with this:

“The choices you make here really do matter. There’s part of me that would love to be a Universalist and say, ‘It’ll be all right, everyone will get there [heaven] in the end.’ I actually think the choices you make in the present are more important than that.”

If Bell’s view in “Love Wins” is far from Wright’s he may lose a number of supporters who heretofore have largely considered him to be Evangelical.

Related:

Tim Keller: Salvation's Purpose = Make This World Great

keller

“I’m trying to overcome a typical, wrong, unbiblical attitude on the part of Christians, particularly evangelical Christians, toward this material world.

There’s a tendency for many Christians to think of this material world – the world we’re in now – as a temporary theater for getting saved so that some day you can escape this material world and live happily in heaven forever.  An awful lot of Christians say, ‘this world is going to die, it’s going to burn up, and while we’re here basically the only thing that’s important is to get people saved, and if they get saved eventually they’ll be able to leave this world.’  So it’s a temporary theater for salvation.

Instead, let’s start at the end.  At the end of time when we actually see what the triune God has been doing in creation and redemption through Jesus Christ, when we get to the very end of the Bible we see not human beings individually rising out of the material world and going to heaven forever.  Instead we see heaven, the power of God, coming down and renewing this material world.  That the whole purpose of everything God is doing in redemption is to create a material world that’s clean, that’s right, that’s pure.  A material world in which there’s no disease and there’s no death and no injustice, there’s no unraveling, there’s no decay.  The whole purpose of salvation is to cleanse and purify this material world.

Jews and Christians believe that this material world is permanent – it’s a good thing in itself.  That an eagle’s flying and great music and the ocean pounding on the shore and a great cup of wine are good things in themselves, because God is not temporarily ‘God is here so someday we’re going to live in heaven’ but the whole purpose of salvation is to make this world a great place.

God sees this world as not a temporary means to an end of salvation, but actually salvation is a temporary means to an end – to the renewal of creation.

Saving souls is a means to an end of cultural renewal.  Does the Christian church understand that?  I’m not sure.”

Tim Keller: Salvation’s Purpose = Make This World Great

keller

“I’m trying to overcome a typical, wrong, unbiblical attitude on the part of Christians, particularly evangelical Christians, toward this material world.

There’s a tendency for many Christians to think of this material world – the world we’re in now – as a temporary theater for getting saved so that some day you can escape this material world and live happily in heaven forever.  An awful lot of Christians say, ‘this world is going to die, it’s going to burn up, and while we’re here basically the only thing that’s important is to get people saved, and if they get saved eventually they’ll be able to leave this world.’  So it’s a temporary theater for salvation.

Instead, let’s start at the end.  At the end of time when we actually see what the triune God has been doing in creation and redemption through Jesus Christ, when we get to the very end of the Bible we see not human beings individually rising out of the material world and going to heaven forever.  Instead we see heaven, the power of God, coming down and renewing this material world.  That the whole purpose of everything God is doing in redemption is to create a material world that’s clean, that’s right, that’s pure.  A material world in which there’s no disease and there’s no death and no injustice, there’s no unraveling, there’s no decay.  The whole purpose of salvation is to cleanse and purify this material world.

Jews and Christians believe that this material world is permanent – it’s a good thing in itself.  That an eagle’s flying and great music and the ocean pounding on the shore and a great cup of wine are good things in themselves, because God is not temporarily ‘God is here so someday we’re going to live in heaven’ but the whole purpose of salvation is to make this world a great place.

God sees this world as not a temporary means to an end of salvation, but actually salvation is a temporary means to an end – to the renewal of creation.

Saving souls is a means to an end of cultural renewal.  Does the Christian church understand that?  I’m not sure.”

Rob Bell is a Heretic

apprisingheader

Just wanted to take a minute to point everybody to a great satire site.  The author specializes in Rob Bell (pastor of Mars Hill) heresy posts, I imagine because more traffic comes to the site by mentioning his name, which is a great idea.  It’s called “Apprising Ministries.”  They’ve been going for a couple years and they’ve written some really funny posts.  If you like Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert, you’ll love this site!  (Slice of Laodicea and Christian Research Network often have the same posts.)

Some other good Christian satire sites:

Article on Mark Driscoll’s Sex Sermons

mark

Mark Driscoll is controversial.

In other news, water is wet.

Examiner.com did an article on Mark Driscoll’s sermons on sex titled “Pastor Preaches Oral Sex is Biblical”.  The author of the article, Karen McCracken, warns readers that the article contains “adult content.”

So in McCracken’s article on Driscoll’s poor choice of topics and language in the pulpit, she uses language risque enough to preface her article with a warning.  (Don’t miss the irony there)

The piece ends with this paragraph, citing Driscoll’s inclusion in a Top 50 most influential Christians list:

Despite the controversy surrounding Driscoll he was named one of the top 50 most influential Christians in America by Zondervan this past year. For those unaware, the word influential means ‘to influence’ and according to Miriam Webster is defined as: an emanation of spiritual or moral force; corrupt interference with authority for personal gain.

So according to the general tone of the article, Driscoll should not be using adult language to discuss adult topics in an adult setting, while the author of the article does the very same thing.

Plus he’s influential, which means, naturally, he’s a corrupt spiritual force interfering with authority for personal gain.


Article on Mark Driscoll’s Sex Sermons

mark

Mark Driscoll is controversial.

In other news, water is wet.

Examiner.com did an article on Mark Driscoll’s sermons on sex titled “Pastor Preaches Oral Sex is Biblical”.  The author of the article, Karen McCracken, warns readers that the article contains “adult content.”

So in McCracken’s article on Driscoll’s poor choice of topics and language in the pulpit, she uses language risque enough to preface her article with a warning.  (Don’t miss the irony there)

The piece ends with this paragraph, citing Driscoll’s inclusion in a Top 50 most influential Christians list:

Despite the controversy surrounding Driscoll he was named one of the top 50 most influential Christians in America by Zondervan this past year. For those unaware, the word influential means ‘to influence’ and according to Miriam Webster is defined as: an emanation of spiritual or moral force; corrupt interference with authority for personal gain.

So according to the general tone of the article, Driscoll should not be using adult language to discuss adult topics in an adult setting, while the author of the article does the very same thing.

Plus he’s influential, which means, naturally, he’s a corrupt spiritual force interfering with authority for personal gain.


American Patriot's Bible, Greg Boyd, Perspective

Patriot's Bible

Greg Boyd reviewed The Patriot’s Bible at Christianity Today’s blog Out of Ur.

These days what’s been on my mind is how people’s perspective shapes their thoughts, which shapes what they produce, like blog posts or sermons.  Greg Boyd is going to say certain things about The Patriot’s Bible (if you haven’t guessed, he detests it) based on his own perspective — unfortunately this isn’t as obvious to some — and therefore his sermons/blogs/conversations are going to have a certain bent to them.

It seems to me that we’re all looking for the one right answer to an issue, as if every issue in life were either this or that, black or white, and so when we read a review on one of many Bibles available, we’re looking to give it our stamp of approval or our stamp of heretical.greg boyd

These days what I think of when I read blogs or hear sermons is not, “Is this true or not true,” but “Why has this person come to this conclusion on this text when others have come to completely different conclusions?  What’s at the bottom of this person’s view of the world?”

And most of the time it clears things right up.  Of course Mark Driscoll is going to say that about women in ministry – look at who he reads and the people he associates most closely with.  Of course Hugh Heffner is going to have that opinion about nudity – look at how he’s spent the past 50 years of his life.  Of course Greg Boyd is going to have that perspective on The Patriot’s Bible – listen to his sermons or read his books.

It all goes down to your fundamental views on how life works.

I know this doesn’t solve the issue, and I’m not advocating not debating or blogging about issues, I’m simply saying if we take a few steps back we might save ourselves a lot of energy by first taking a look at everybody’s starting point.