Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rob Bell on Hell

Bell on Hell:

He says that scary preaching about hellfire is “misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus’s message of love, peace, forgiveness, and joy that our world desperately needs to hear.”

I agree.

American Evangelicals on the other hand....
some of them....
perhaps the loudest of them
aren't so pleased.
But these faithful folks are rarely
pleased about much!

Bell on Hell:

...a loving God would never sentence human souls to eternal suffering. With searing insight, Bell puts hell on trial, and his message is decidedly optimistic – eternal life doesn’t start when we die; it starts right now. And ultimately, Love Wins.

Bell on Hell:

I haven't yet read his book.
I will.
I did here him speak last week
in a basketball arena
here in Nashville
with 1,110 other

When asked about the criticism
Bell said,

"I still believe in Heaven and Hell.
What I have to say is nothing new.
Other preachers,
like Billy Graham
have already said
what I am saying.
God loves all people.
God has power to save all people.
I still believe in Heaven and Hell.
I believe there will be a time
when each person makes a choice."

These words
don't sound as if
Bell has given up on Hell
or even tweaked the definition
for that matter.
If Hell isn't eternal
then what is this
great and sovereign
human choice
thing all about?

"There comes that time when we choose."
That's what he said.
That's what many say.
And if he says it and they say it...
then what is all the fervor about what he says?
Maybe his book says something else.

"There comes that time
when we choose
and the choice
is final."
That is what is said, over
and over by American

I don't accept this
belief in human
final choice.

I am a Reformed Christian
and believe in God's sovereignty.

God's sovereign choice to create.
God's sovereign grace to love.
God's sovereign love to save.

I believe in God's sovereignty....
not the sovereignty of human
freedom, or choice!

We humans have freedom.
We do not have sovereign freedom...
that would make us God...
you and I are not God.

I am a Reformed Christian
and believe God has power enough and
grace enough
to love when
and how God wants to love.

I also believe the Bible
tells much about how God
that God does love....

and that love does win.

I am a Reformed Christian
and believe God's love
does not give up...

that God's love

gives us courage and
wisdom enough

to dig deep into our beings and
deal with the truth of who we are
and who we aren't.

I believe "hell" exists.
I wrote about that yesterday.
I do not believe hell is eternal...
nor do I believe hell has the last word...
nor do I believe hell will win.

God's love
has the last word.
God's love wins.

To Say God's love wins
doesn't mean anything goes.
That is cheap grace.

To say God's love is
a condition of our choice...
well that's cheap grace too.

Grace is not cheap.

God's grace does everything

necessary to heal and make whole.

Everything necessary
to heal
and loving
those who persecute you.

Everything necessary
to heal...
this is exactly why
God's love wins

Hell does not!

It's just what I believe.
It's ok if you don't.
God's love can handle
our differences...
because you
and I are not
only God is.

I worship God.
I do not worship
my power
to ultimately choose.


Jared said...

Long story short:

Bell says there is a time (and many times) when we make a choice.

But he also insists that we never stop choosing and that God never stops pursuing.

And he uses the word never to mean NEVER.

laughing pastor said...

Jared this is good to hear. And I do repeat that I have not read his book but only heard him speak. I am sorry that he did not make clear his affirmation that God never stops pursuing, nor did he clarify his use of choice. It was as if he was pandering to his critics in his verbal presentation. He's not one to pander usually....perhaps he was just tired. I find it good news that some evangelical leaders were outraged with is work. He is in good company and has the ability to make a difference in the evangelical world. I like Rob. I was disappointed in his presentation at Belmont University here in Nashville.