Perhaps you heard the news. The word is Rob Bell has gone off the reservation and gone public as a Universalist.
Supposedly, the evidence of this self-outing is found in Bell’s new book, Love Wins: Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.
The book will not be officially released until later this month, but HarperCollins’s description of the book and Bell’s promotional video seem to warrant the accusations. I’m still hoping both are merely an attempt at provocative marketing.
I have not read the book. I have seen some of Bell’s video teachings and liked what I saw. If the accusations are true, my guess is that in his desire to reach those outside the church, Bell stretched so far he let go of the truths which had set him out after the lost in the first place.
If Rob Bell is now a Universalist or some flavor thereof, I’m confident he didn’t arrive at that view from a rigorous study of the Bible. Universalists rarely do. They get there by elevating their own sense of justice or empathy or reason over the authority of the Bible. “How could a loving God send people to Hell?,” they ask.
Or, they get there by wanting to appeal to those outside the church. And, make no mistake about it, Universalism is trendy. It fits well into the Post-Modern worldview of the younger generation.
Of course, it does no good to appeal to the lost if all you are selling them is a placebo. It does no good to go so far to the other side to find the lost that you lose your way back.
Those who are tempted to taint their theology trends would be wise to heed the advise of Solomon: “It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them.” (Ecclesiastes 7:18). GS