Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Is it Wrong to ask questions like Rob Bell?

Unless you have been living out in the woods, where I sometimes wish I did, then you are aware of the immense attention whether negative or positive that Rob Bell has been receiving, specifically in regards to his new book coming out: Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. Now, I want to clarify upfront that this is not necessarily a post on Bell himself or on the book. In part because I have not read the book and prefer to save both for a later post, but also because there are people with much more recognition and articulation than I can even begin to do justice to. Rather this is a post about the overall conversation that is taking place.

Based off the video for the book that features Bell himself, it does tend to lean towards Universalism. Is it okay for me to say that before I read the book? Yes, because as I stated it does toward to lean towards Universalism and until proved otherwise, I am going to take him at his own words. Some may be wondering, are you even going to take the time to read the book? Yes, and given the appropriate time I will read the book and do a review that is based off the book in its entirety.

What I find interesting is that those more in line with Bell are in some ways attempting to turn this into an issue of not being allowed to question things based off tweets by people like John Piper, which is frankly a load of crap. Rachel Held Evans captures this view on her blog by saying, "The message was clear: Ask questions about heaven and hell and you will be cast out." The issue here is not asking questions, in fact I would go as far to say that pastors like Piper are prepared to answer questions so they have no issue with questions.

The issue is not asking the questions, the hard questions, the issue lies wherein the answer is coming from for those questions. Based on the video alone Bell is reading his own answer, what he would like to see in Scripture into the answer. Believe me, there is a huge part of me and most followers of Christ for that matter that would love Bell's answer to these answers to be accurate, but that is just not what I see in the Scripture. 

Another issue here is that those in line with Bell's thinking have no problem with asking questions of God and the Bible, but apparently it is wrong to question Bell himself. Why is this? Bell is a mere man, fallen as we all are, and is in need of others to keep him accountable to the Word. This is one reason I see the plurality of elders as the best model for church leadership. J.D. Greear recently said in a sermon, "We are arrogant to ask God a detailed explanation for everything. If God explained everything He would merely be our advisor."  

So has Bell gone off the deep end to never return? We shall see, but for the time being I, like others I know will be praying for Bell as he is a great communicator with a large following and wish to see the best for him.


  1. I want to see a Rob Bell vs. Marc Driscoll MMA match.

  2. I personally would like to see them in a claymation celebrity deathmatch.