Rob Bell and Heresy: Do we have the right to use the “H” word today?

I really would love to finish reading this book Love Wins, but some very thoughtful Christian leaders have already done so like this one and others. What makes a heretic? I am a creative and love to ask questions, so Rob Bell is a cool cat in how he operates. He is obviously one of the best communicators out there. But, is he selling something very wrong with his new book? The following interview on MSNBC exposes how Bell thinks. I love the interviewer, a Christian, in that he is asking legitimate questions any pastor should be able to answer.

How does Rob Bell do in your opinion. Is he the “H” word–a heretic? Or, is he a historically orthodox Christian in his responses?

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

180 comments

  1. Totally agree that the interviewer asks some good questions, but also notice that Rob does answer one question directly twice and the interviewer ignores his answer and asks the same question again. So I’d give Rob and the interviewer a C-. Also there a lot of other thoughtful people who have blogged in support of Rob the GC blog is a witch hunt from the beginning and Shawn just parrots back what the GC is saying so some more perspectives might be good.

    1. I give the interviewer a C and Bell a D+, so we are close… the book, which I am reading truly leans to Universalism, which should have been asked more intensely if I was the interviewer. You read it yet?

      1. Yes. Was at the book release Monday night in NYC. The book is disjointed and at times poorly written. It also engages important questions WITHOUT committing to a universal soteriology. Those that are reviewing Rob this way are demonstrating a lack of charity that we should all be ashamed of. I also really have a problem with bloggers who are followed recommending reviews without first reading the book and asking for the Holy Spirits input as He interacts with the bloggers personal knowledge of Scripture.

        1. Kevin, we bloggers are left to catch up and respond to the buzz and question the public statements like this video. So, I think that it is fair and charitable for people to express opinions of public statements. Bell has basically asked for this and from a marketing stand point it is genius!
          Please do not assume the Holy Spirit is not giving discernment to some of us even based on Bell’s statements in public as well as his book. Is that what you are claiming? Because that would be far less charitable than simply stating different theological opinions about an author’s statements or writings. The first is not charity, the latter is the expectation.

          1. I don’t think you have to read the book in order to exercise discernment, but it does seem like willingness to parrot others views including the use of heavy words like “heresy” and “unorthodox” merit caution and careful readings of the materials in question.
            On another note congrats on your sons baptism!

          2. Thanks. It was cool to be part of that moment in my son’s faith journey.
            Well, Kevin, are you saying that I am parroting views and not cautious and that my motives are suspect in asking the question that I did?

            You never offered other reviewers to my readers here or myself–just mentioned that they exist. Who said I was not open to reading or seeing those? In fact, that is the whole point of this post. I am confused on why asking for this and how people view his known statements is not a helpful thing?

  2. Totally agree that the interviewer asks some good questions, but also notice that Rob does answer one question directly twice and the interviewer ignores his answer and asks the same question again. So I’d give Rob and the interviewer a C-. Also there a lot of other thoughtful people who have blogged in support of Rob the GC blog is a witch hunt from the beginning and Shawn just parrots back what the GC is saying so some more perspectives might be good.

    1. I give the interviewer a C and Bell a D+, so we are close… the book, which I am reading truly leans to Universalism, which should have been asked more intensely if I was the interviewer. You read it yet?

      1. Yes. Was at the book release Monday night in NYC. The book is disjointed and at times poorly written. It also engages important questions WITHOUT committing to a universal soteriology. Those that are reviewing Rob this way are demonstrating a lack of charity that we should all be ashamed of. I also really have a problem with bloggers who are followed recommending reviews without first reading the book and asking for the Holy Spirits input as He interacts with the bloggers personal knowledge of Scripture.

        1. Kevin, we bloggers are left to catch up and respond to the buzz and question the public statements like this video. So, I think that it is fair and charitable for people to express opinions of public statements. Bell has basically asked for this and from a marketing stand point it is genius!
          Please do not assume the Holy Spirit is not giving discernment to some of us even based on Bell’s statements in public as well as his book. Is that what you are claiming? Because that would be far less charitable than simply stating different theological opinions about an author’s statements or writings. The first is not charity, the latter is the expectation.

          1. I don’t think you have to read the book in order to exercise discernment, but it does seem like willingness to parrot others views including the use of heavy words like “heresy” and “unorthodox” merit caution and careful readings of the materials in question.
            On another note congrats on your sons baptism!

          2. Thanks. It was cool to be part of that moment in my son’s faith journey.
            Well, Kevin, are you saying that I am parroting views and not cautious and that my motives are suspect in asking the question that I did?
            You never offered other reviewers to my readers here or myself–just mentioned that they exist. Who said I was not open to reading or seeing those? In fact, that is the whole point of this post. I am confused on why asking for this and how people view his known statements is not a helpful thing?

  3. Totally agree that the interviewer asks some good questions, but also notice that Rob does answer one question directly twice and the interviewer ignores his answer and asks the same question again. So I’d give Rob and the interviewer a C-. Also there a lot of other thoughtful people who have blogged in support of Rob the GC blog is a witch hunt from the beginning and Shawn just parrots back what the GC is saying so some more perspectives might be good.

    1. I give the interviewer a C and Bell a D+, so we are close… the book, which I am reading truly leans to Universalism, which should have been asked more intensely if I was the interviewer. You read it yet?

      1. Yes. Was at the book release Monday night in NYC. The book is disjointed and at times poorly written. It also engages important questions WITHOUT committing to a universal soteriology. Those that are reviewing Rob this way are demonstrating a lack of charity that we should all be ashamed of. I also really have a problem with bloggers who are followed recommending reviews without first reading the book and asking for the Holy Spirits input as He interacts with the bloggers personal knowledge of Scripture.

        1. Kevin, we bloggers are left to catch up and respond to the buzz and question the public statements like this video. So, I think that it is fair and charitable for people to express opinions of public statements. Bell has basically asked for this and from a marketing stand point it is genius!
          Please do not assume the Holy Spirit is not giving discernment to some of us even based on Bell’s statements in public as well as his book. Is that what you are claiming? Because that would be far less charitable than simply stating different theological opinions about an author’s statements or writings. The first is not charity, the latter is the expectation.

          1. I don’t think you have to read the book in order to exercise discernment, but it does seem like willingness to parrot others views including the use of heavy words like “heresy” and “unorthodox” merit caution and careful readings of the materials in question.
            On another note congrats on your sons baptism!

          2. Thanks. It was cool to be part of that moment in my son’s faith journey.
            Well, Kevin, are you saying that I am parroting views and not cautious and that my motives are suspect in asking the question that I did?

            You never offered other reviewers to my readers here or myself–just mentioned that they exist. Who said I was not open to reading or seeing those? In fact, that is the whole point of this post. I am confused on why asking for this and how people view his known statements is not a helpful thing?

  4. Totally agree that the interviewer asks some good questions, but also notice that Rob does answer one question directly twice and the interviewer ignores his answer and asks the same question again. So I’d give Rob and the interviewer a C-. Also there a lot of other thoughtful people who have blogged in support of Rob the GC blog is a witch hunt from the beginning and Shawn just parrots back what the GC is saying so some more perspectives might be good.

    1. I give the interviewer a C and Bell a D+, so we are close… the book, which I am reading truly leans to Universalism, which should have been asked more intensely if I was the interviewer. You read it yet?

      1. Yes. Was at the book release Monday night in NYC. The book is disjointed and at times poorly written. It also engages important questions WITHOUT committing to a universal soteriology. Those that are reviewing Rob this way are demonstrating a lack of charity that we should all be ashamed of. I also really have a problem with bloggers who are followed recommending reviews without first reading the book and asking for the Holy Spirits input as He interacts with the bloggers personal knowledge of Scripture.

        1. Kevin, we bloggers are left to catch up and respond to the buzz and question the public statements like this video. So, I think that it is fair and charitable for people to express opinions of public statements. Bell has basically asked for this and from a marketing stand point it is genius!
          Please do not assume the Holy Spirit is not giving discernment to some of us even based on Bell’s statements in public as well as his book. Is that what you are claiming? Because that would be far less charitable than simply stating different theological opinions about an author’s statements or writings. The first is not charity, the latter is the expectation.

          1. I don’t think you have to read the book in order to exercise discernment, but it does seem like willingness to parrot others views including the use of heavy words like “heresy” and “unorthodox” merit caution and careful readings of the materials in question.
            On another note congrats on your sons baptism!

          2. Thanks. It was cool to be part of that moment in my son’s faith journey.
            Well, Kevin, are you saying that I am parroting views and not cautious and that my motives are suspect in asking the question that I did?

            You never offered other reviewers to my readers here or myself–just mentioned that they exist. Who said I was not open to reading or seeing those? In fact, that is the whole point of this post. I am confused on why asking for this and how people view his known statements is not a helpful thing?

  5. Totally agree that the interviewer asks some good questions, but also notice that Rob does answer one question directly twice and the interviewer ignores his answer and asks the same question again. So I’d give Rob and the interviewer a C-. Also there a lot of other thoughtful people who have blogged in support of Rob the GC blog is a witch hunt from the beginning and Shawn just parrots back what the GC is saying so some more perspectives might be good.

    1. I give the interviewer a C and Bell a D+, so we are close… the book, which I am reading truly leans to Universalism, which should have been asked more intensely if I was the interviewer. You read it yet?

      1. Yes. Was at the book release Monday night in NYC. The book is disjointed and at times poorly written. It also engages important questions WITHOUT committing to a universal soteriology. Those that are reviewing Rob this way are demonstrating a lack of charity that we should all be ashamed of. I also really have a problem with bloggers who are followed recommending reviews without first reading the book and asking for the Holy Spirits input as He interacts with the bloggers personal knowledge of Scripture.

        1. Kevin, we bloggers are left to catch up and respond to the buzz and question the public statements like this video. So, I think that it is fair and charitable for people to express opinions of public statements. Bell has basically asked for this and from a marketing stand point it is genius!
          Please do not assume the Holy Spirit is not giving discernment to some of us even based on Bell’s statements in public as well as his book. Is that what you are claiming? Because that would be far less charitable than simply stating different theological opinions about an author’s statements or writings. The first is not charity, the latter is the expectation.

          1. I don’t think you have to read the book in order to exercise discernment, but it does seem like willingness to parrot others views including the use of heavy words like “heresy” and “unorthodox” merit caution and careful readings of the materials in question.
            On another note congrats on your sons baptism!

          2. Thanks. It was cool to be part of that moment in my son’s faith journey.
            Well, Kevin, are you saying that I am parroting views and not cautious and that my motives are suspect in asking the question that I did?

            You never offered other reviewers to my readers here or myself–just mentioned that they exist. Who said I was not open to reading or seeing those? In fact, that is the whole point of this post. I am confused on why asking for this and how people view his known statements is not a helpful thing?

  6. Jesus was a heretic. Martin Luther was a heretic.
    “Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma.” -Wikipedia

    If the established dogma needs to be challenged, being a heretic can be a good thing. If we’ve made dogma of non-essentials, it should be questions. If he is a heretic, he could be in good company.

    That being said, I don’t think he is. I’ve heard nothing from him that constitutes heresy. Opinions that differ, maybe. But so far, nothing that excludes him as a Christ follower or undermines Christ and salvation, in my opinion.

    1. OK, heretic vote no from you.
      Now, is he being orthodox? I think he leans to Universalism from his statements in his book and public, but I am just getting through the whole book to conclude. I just think its a liberal post-evangelicalism. Nothing really new being said so far. 🙂

  7. Jesus was a heretic. Martin Luther was a heretic.
    “Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma.” -Wikipedia
    If the established dogma needs to be challenged, being a heretic can be a good thing. If we’ve made dogma of non-essentials, it should be questions. If he is a heretic, he could be in good company.
    That being said, I don’t think he is. I’ve heard nothing from him that constitutes heresy. Opinions that differ, maybe. But so far, nothing that excludes him as a Christ follower or undermines Christ and salvation, in my opinion.

    1. OK, heretic vote no from you.
      Now, is he being orthodox? I think he leans to Universalism from his statements in his book and public, but I am just getting through the whole book to conclude. I just think its a liberal post-evangelicalism. Nothing really new being said so far. 🙂

  8. Jesus was a heretic. Martin Luther was a heretic.
    “Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma.” -Wikipedia

    If the established dogma needs to be challenged, being a heretic can be a good thing. If we’ve made dogma of non-essentials, it should be questions. If he is a heretic, he could be in good company.

    That being said, I don’t think he is. I’ve heard nothing from him that constitutes heresy. Opinions that differ, maybe. But so far, nothing that excludes him as a Christ follower or undermines Christ and salvation, in my opinion.

    1. OK, heretic vote no from you.
      Now, is he being orthodox? I think he leans to Universalism from his statements in his book and public, but I am just getting through the whole book to conclude. I just think its a liberal post-evangelicalism. Nothing really new being said so far. 🙂

  9. Jesus was a heretic. Martin Luther was a heretic.
    “Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma.” -Wikipedia

    If the established dogma needs to be challenged, being a heretic can be a good thing. If we’ve made dogma of non-essentials, it should be questions. If he is a heretic, he could be in good company.

    That being said, I don’t think he is. I’ve heard nothing from him that constitutes heresy. Opinions that differ, maybe. But so far, nothing that excludes him as a Christ follower or undermines Christ and salvation, in my opinion.

    1. OK, heretic vote no from you.
      Now, is he being orthodox? I think he leans to Universalism from his statements in his book and public, but I am just getting through the whole book to conclude. I just think its a liberal post-evangelicalism. Nothing really new being said so far. 🙂

  10. Jesus was a heretic. Martin Luther was a heretic.
    “Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma.” -Wikipedia

    If the established dogma needs to be challenged, being a heretic can be a good thing. If we’ve made dogma of non-essentials, it should be questions. If he is a heretic, he could be in good company.

    That being said, I don’t think he is. I’ve heard nothing from him that constitutes heresy. Opinions that differ, maybe. But so far, nothing that excludes him as a Christ follower or undermines Christ and salvation, in my opinion.

    1. OK, heretic vote no from you.
      Now, is he being orthodox? I think he leans to Universalism from his statements in his book and public, but I am just getting through the whole book to conclude. I just think its a liberal post-evangelicalism. Nothing really new being said so far. 🙂

    1. I did listen to that. Thanks for the link so others can as well.

      1. Gladly. I thought it was extremely helpful in clarifying why he repeated himself and why he didn’t seem “courteous” to Rob.

    1. I did listen to that. Thanks for the link so others can as well.

      1. Gladly. I thought it was extremely helpful in clarifying why he repeated himself and why he didn’t seem “courteous” to Rob.

    1. I did listen to that. Thanks for the link so others can as well.

      1. Gladly. I thought it was extremely helpful in clarifying why he repeated himself and why he didn’t seem “courteous” to Rob.

    1. I did listen to that. Thanks for the link so others can as well.

      1. Gladly. I thought it was extremely helpful in clarifying why he repeated himself and why he didn’t seem “courteous” to Rob.

    1. I did listen to that. Thanks for the link so others can as well.

      1. Gladly. I thought it was extremely helpful in clarifying why he repeated himself and why he didn’t seem “courteous” to Rob.

  11. BTW… just for the record, I am not supporting in entirety the Gospel Coalition stance, since I am still reading the book. I am trying to assess simply what this interviewer is asking. Now, once I finish the book and digest it honestly, you will see a review here on RKWeblog.

  12. BTW… just for the record, I am not supporting in entirety the Gospel Coalition stance, since I am still reading the book. I am trying to assess simply what this interviewer is asking. Now, once I finish the book and digest it honestly, you will see a review here on RKWeblog.

  13. BTW… just for the record, I am not supporting in entirety the Gospel Coalition stance, since I am still reading the book. I am trying to assess simply what this interviewer is asking. Now, once I finish the book and digest it honestly, you will see a review here on RKWeblog.

  14. BTW… just for the record, I am not supporting in entirety the Gospel Coalition stance, since I am still reading the book. I am trying to assess simply what this interviewer is asking. Now, once I finish the book and digest it honestly, you will see a review here on RKWeblog.

  15. BTW… just for the record, I am not supporting in entirety the Gospel Coalition stance, since I am still reading the book. I am trying to assess simply what this interviewer is asking. Now, once I finish the book and digest it honestly, you will see a review here on RKWeblog.

  16. I’ve never read his stuff before and probably wouldn’t have this one save the hullabaloo. I have the book to read, am a few pages in, and have some concerns already.
    If heresy includes “…a novel change to a system of beliefs” and a thorough read of the book shows that he is promoting a significant change to what the Bible teaches…then possibly that could be a label assigned him. In his Relevant Mag interview, he seems OK with it. Why are we afraid to call people out – it seems that Paul and Peter were fine with it…as long as it is IAW scripture and to ensure wrong teaching is exposed.

    While I understand the need to sell books, the thing that frustrates me – having read the pre-reviews and his video and blog/print interviews – is the unending “what if” and rabbit trail questions/statements. Just come out and answer the direct questions. Sure, that type of response was used by Jesus, but c’mon!

    As an aside – even if I were not a Christian, his type of writing and evasive answers would tick me off.

  17. I’ve never read his stuff before and probably wouldn’t have this one save the hullabaloo. I have the book to read, am a few pages in, and have some concerns already.
    If heresy includes “…a novel change to a system of beliefs” and a thorough read of the book shows that he is promoting a significant change to what the Bible teaches…then possibly that could be a label assigned him. In his Relevant Mag interview, he seems OK with it. Why are we afraid to call people out – it seems that Paul and Peter were fine with it…as long as it is IAW scripture and to ensure wrong teaching is exposed.
    While I understand the need to sell books, the thing that frustrates me – having read the pre-reviews and his video and blog/print interviews – is the unending “what if” and rabbit trail questions/statements. Just come out and answer the direct questions. Sure, that type of response was used by Jesus, but c’mon!
    As an aside – even if I were not a Christian, his type of writing and evasive answers would tick me off.

  18. I’ve never read his stuff before and probably wouldn’t have this one save the hullabaloo. I have the book to read, am a few pages in, and have some concerns already.
    If heresy includes “…a novel change to a system of beliefs” and a thorough read of the book shows that he is promoting a significant change to what the Bible teaches…then possibly that could be a label assigned him. In his Relevant Mag interview, he seems OK with it. Why are we afraid to call people out – it seems that Paul and Peter were fine with it…as long as it is IAW scripture and to ensure wrong teaching is exposed.

    While I understand the need to sell books, the thing that frustrates me – having read the pre-reviews and his video and blog/print interviews – is the unending “what if” and rabbit trail questions/statements. Just come out and answer the direct questions. Sure, that type of response was used by Jesus, but c’mon!

    As an aside – even if I were not a Christian, his type of writing and evasive answers would tick me off.

  19. I’ve never read his stuff before and probably wouldn’t have this one save the hullabaloo. I have the book to read, am a few pages in, and have some concerns already.
    If heresy includes “…a novel change to a system of beliefs” and a thorough read of the book shows that he is promoting a significant change to what the Bible teaches…then possibly that could be a label assigned him. In his Relevant Mag interview, he seems OK with it. Why are we afraid to call people out – it seems that Paul and Peter were fine with it…as long as it is IAW scripture and to ensure wrong teaching is exposed.

    While I understand the need to sell books, the thing that frustrates me – having read the pre-reviews and his video and blog/print interviews – is the unending “what if” and rabbit trail questions/statements. Just come out and answer the direct questions. Sure, that type of response was used by Jesus, but c’mon!

    As an aside – even if I were not a Christian, his type of writing and evasive answers would tick me off.

  20. I’ve never read his stuff before and probably wouldn’t have this one save the hullabaloo. I have the book to read, am a few pages in, and have some concerns already.
    If heresy includes “…a novel change to a system of beliefs” and a thorough read of the book shows that he is promoting a significant change to what the Bible teaches…then possibly that could be a label assigned him. In his Relevant Mag interview, he seems OK with it. Why are we afraid to call people out – it seems that Paul and Peter were fine with it…as long as it is IAW scripture and to ensure wrong teaching is exposed.

    While I understand the need to sell books, the thing that frustrates me – having read the pre-reviews and his video and blog/print interviews – is the unending “what if” and rabbit trail questions/statements. Just come out and answer the direct questions. Sure, that type of response was used by Jesus, but c’mon!

    As an aside – even if I were not a Christian, his type of writing and evasive answers would tick me off.

  21. Admittedly, I have not read Bell’s book. I am assuming Bashir and/or his research staff have done their homework.
    Bashir quotes Bell as writing, “Ultimately all people will be saved, even those who have rejected the claims of Christianity… People eventually will be persuaded by God’s love, post-mortem, in the life to come.”

    Bell also writes is his book: “If we have the freedom to choose these things now, that Jesus came to offer us and show us, then I assume that when you die, you can continue to choose these realities because love cannot co-opt the human heart’s ability to decide,” Bell said. “But after you die, we are firmly in the realm of speculation.”

    Rob Bell must have a Bible that is missing the last few verses of Rev. 20. Or maybe he believes that after being in the lake of fire for ever and ever – some time after that people will be persuaded. Oh wait… for ever and ever is, like, forever.

    Or maybe Bell believes that Rev. 20 is merely speculation – that John was a bit muddied about this part of his divine Revelation and he just made it up.

    Is he a heretic? That’s debatable.

    I would rather answer a different question. Since the Bible does not contain the word “heresy” or “heretic” or “heretical,” let’s use the phrase the Bible uses to describe a teacher who has strayed from orthodox (ortho=straight; dox=true) teaching. That phrase is “false teacher.”

    So is Rob Bell unorthodox about his teaching and beliefs on last things? Yes. Does that – at least in this area – make him a false teacher? In my opinion… yes.

    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

    1. I am not sure you could go that far, Pat. But, I am asking for opinions here. Thanks.

  22. Admittedly, I have not read Bell’s book. I am assuming Bashir and/or his research staff have done their homework.
    Bashir quotes Bell as writing, “Ultimately all people will be saved, even those who have rejected the claims of Christianity… People eventually will be persuaded by God’s love, post-mortem, in the life to come.”
    Bell also writes is his book: “If we have the freedom to choose these things now, that Jesus came to offer us and show us, then I assume that when you die, you can continue to choose these realities because love cannot co-opt the human heart’s ability to decide,” Bell said. “But after you die, we are firmly in the realm of speculation.”
    Rob Bell must have a Bible that is missing the last few verses of Rev. 20. Or maybe he believes that after being in the lake of fire for ever and ever – some time after that people will be persuaded. Oh wait… for ever and ever is, like, forever.
    Or maybe Bell believes that Rev. 20 is merely speculation – that John was a bit muddied about this part of his divine Revelation and he just made it up.
    Is he a heretic? That’s debatable.
    I would rather answer a different question. Since the Bible does not contain the word “heresy” or “heretic” or “heretical,” let’s use the phrase the Bible uses to describe a teacher who has strayed from orthodox (ortho=straight; dox=true) teaching. That phrase is “false teacher.”
    So is Rob Bell unorthodox about his teaching and beliefs on last things? Yes. Does that – at least in this area – make him a false teacher? In my opinion… yes.
    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

    1. I am not sure you could go that far, Pat. But, I am asking for opinions here. Thanks.

  23. Admittedly, I have not read Bell’s book. I am assuming Bashir and/or his research staff have done their homework.
    Bashir quotes Bell as writing, “Ultimately all people will be saved, even those who have rejected the claims of Christianity… People eventually will be persuaded by God’s love, post-mortem, in the life to come.”

    Bell also writes is his book: “If we have the freedom to choose these things now, that Jesus came to offer us and show us, then I assume that when you die, you can continue to choose these realities because love cannot co-opt the human heart’s ability to decide,” Bell said. “But after you die, we are firmly in the realm of speculation.”

    Rob Bell must have a Bible that is missing the last few verses of Rev. 20. Or maybe he believes that after being in the lake of fire for ever and ever – some time after that people will be persuaded. Oh wait… for ever and ever is, like, forever.

    Or maybe Bell believes that Rev. 20 is merely speculation – that John was a bit muddied about this part of his divine Revelation and he just made it up.

    Is he a heretic? That’s debatable.

    I would rather answer a different question. Since the Bible does not contain the word “heresy” or “heretic” or “heretical,” let’s use the phrase the Bible uses to describe a teacher who has strayed from orthodox (ortho=straight; dox=true) teaching. That phrase is “false teacher.”

    So is Rob Bell unorthodox about his teaching and beliefs on last things? Yes. Does that – at least in this area – make him a false teacher? In my opinion… yes.

    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

    1. I am not sure you could go that far, Pat. But, I am asking for opinions here. Thanks.

  24. Admittedly, I have not read Bell’s book. I am assuming Bashir and/or his research staff have done their homework.
    Bashir quotes Bell as writing, “Ultimately all people will be saved, even those who have rejected the claims of Christianity… People eventually will be persuaded by God’s love, post-mortem, in the life to come.”

    Bell also writes is his book: “If we have the freedom to choose these things now, that Jesus came to offer us and show us, then I assume that when you die, you can continue to choose these realities because love cannot co-opt the human heart’s ability to decide,” Bell said. “But after you die, we are firmly in the realm of speculation.”

    Rob Bell must have a Bible that is missing the last few verses of Rev. 20. Or maybe he believes that after being in the lake of fire for ever and ever – some time after that people will be persuaded. Oh wait… for ever and ever is, like, forever.

    Or maybe Bell believes that Rev. 20 is merely speculation – that John was a bit muddied about this part of his divine Revelation and he just made it up.

    Is he a heretic? That’s debatable.

    I would rather answer a different question. Since the Bible does not contain the word “heresy” or “heretic” or “heretical,” let’s use the phrase the Bible uses to describe a teacher who has strayed from orthodox (ortho=straight; dox=true) teaching. That phrase is “false teacher.”

    So is Rob Bell unorthodox about his teaching and beliefs on last things? Yes. Does that – at least in this area – make him a false teacher? In my opinion… yes.

    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

    1. I am not sure you could go that far, Pat. But, I am asking for opinions here. Thanks.

  25. Admittedly, I have not read Bell’s book. I am assuming Bashir and/or his research staff have done their homework.
    Bashir quotes Bell as writing, “Ultimately all people will be saved, even those who have rejected the claims of Christianity… People eventually will be persuaded by God’s love, post-mortem, in the life to come.”

    Bell also writes is his book: “If we have the freedom to choose these things now, that Jesus came to offer us and show us, then I assume that when you die, you can continue to choose these realities because love cannot co-opt the human heart’s ability to decide,” Bell said. “But after you die, we are firmly in the realm of speculation.”

    Rob Bell must have a Bible that is missing the last few verses of Rev. 20. Or maybe he believes that after being in the lake of fire for ever and ever – some time after that people will be persuaded. Oh wait… for ever and ever is, like, forever.

    Or maybe Bell believes that Rev. 20 is merely speculation – that John was a bit muddied about this part of his divine Revelation and he just made it up.

    Is he a heretic? That’s debatable.

    I would rather answer a different question. Since the Bible does not contain the word “heresy” or “heretic” or “heretical,” let’s use the phrase the Bible uses to describe a teacher who has strayed from orthodox (ortho=straight; dox=true) teaching. That phrase is “false teacher.”

    So is Rob Bell unorthodox about his teaching and beliefs on last things? Yes. Does that – at least in this area – make him a false teacher? In my opinion… yes.

    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

    1. I am not sure you could go that far, Pat. But, I am asking for opinions here. Thanks.

  26. I would hardly call the Gospel Coalition ‘thoughtful,’ more like ‘rabid.’ I love them when they are talking about culture, obedience, the glory of God, and the cost of discipleship. But when they start talking about theology, orthodoxy, or other streams of Christian thought and praxis…
    …it seems like they can barely manage to stay coherent.

    Why is it that people can accuse Bell and others of not reading scripture, and actually get away with it without being challenged? It is because the GC folks read scripture with special glasses that only let certain verses actually make it through to their brains…

    I don’t completely agree with Bell. But at least I can understand where he is coming from, and track with the exegesis he is performing. GC folks can’t even understand him (which we must admit, makes actual critique impossible!), they have no idea if what he is saying is unorthodox, they are just angry. So they just parrot John Piper parroting John Calvin; refusing to actually read the text at hand!

    And Rich, ‘liberal,’ come on brother! First of all, that word is a chameleon, not helpful. Second, it is intended as a personal attack, not a substantive critique. Thirdly, what exactly is wrong with being ‘liberal.’ If you come to my City you had better BE liberal, or else everyone will think you are a racist and want nothing to do with your patriarchal, oppressive, anti-intellectual, fascist, Jesus! Context is important! Nuance is important!

    Instead of throwing rocks, try understanding first. I challenge all of you to try and synthesize and summarize Rob Bell’s goals for the book, and the specific arguments he makes with regard to Scripture THEN you might actually understand him well enough to disagree with him. Until you do that, you just end up looking like the proverbial English speaker in a foreign country, angry that the locals are so ‘backwards’ because they don’t speak your language, and making no attempt to understand what they are saying…

    1. “Instead of throwing rocks”
      Bro, get real here. Who is throwing rocks? Me? All I am doing is asking a question about his recent public statements–heresy or orthodoxy? That is a valid question to ask!

      BTW..you never even looked at the question I posed! Is he orthodox with his statements or not? A simple question. You had a chance to educate me and others. Sigh.

      1. Well, maybe I misread you. Maybe when you called his work ‘liberal’ you meant that as a compliment? I was assuming, based on our past conversations, that you did not think of that word in a positive light and were using it as a pejorative, but I apologize if I read into your words…
        So to clarify, if you meant ‘liberal boogeyman,’ then yes, you were throwing rocks. If you meant ‘liberal-just-like-Jesus’ then, I apologize…

        As to the ‘educating’ you part…

        I don’t think you can answer that question based on what he says in that video, or what he wrote in the book…

        Which is why it is so frustrating to see people hanging onto the old paradigm and try to force Bell and others to answer questions that just don’t fit.

        The main points of Bell’s book are IMO as follows.

        1) There is a quite vast diversity of opinion in the (orthodox) Christian tradition on the question of what happens after we die.

        2) This diversity is due to the ambiguity of Scripture itself on the topic.

        3) Scripture actually has some important things to say that we haven’t done a good job of saying. The main reason we don’t understand what Scripture does affirm, is because of the hermeneutical lenses we have inherited. The problem is we read scripture eisegetically instead of exegetically. (I know that this is what everyone claims on all sides of every issue, so instead of getting angry, try tracking with Bell’s reading of Scripture, and then do a compare contrast with your own attempt)

        4) The world, and even much of the Church, has been turned off to Jesus by the answer a particular stream of Christian thinkers gives to this question. A big part of the problem is that this one stream has tried to co-opt the whole stream. They have claimed that there version of the answer is the only version. Which means people are forced to choose the neo-reformed version of Jesus, or nothing.

        Which means… tuh-duh… Bell doesn’t actually even directly answer the question! I know you saw that coming. But are you okay with someone writing a book about the afterlife without answering that question? My question is, can you take the book for what it is, and not try to make it what it is not? It is emphatically not Rob Bell’s take on the afterlife, rather, it is Bell trying to get people to actually have a dialogue instead of either accepting a particular and peculiar version of the answer, or walk away altogether.

        Again. Read the book and understand it first. Then ask questions of it. Too much of the critique of Bell has amounted to Bell saying “we should have a better understanding of how we perceived based on our presentation of certain teachings ,” to which people respond, “AHA! so you’re saying Jesus is unimportant!” Bell then says, “No, Jesus is central, I just think we have misinterpreted him from time to time, and here is what I think Jesus actually means,” again people say, “AHA! So you think Jesus was wrong when he said there was a hell, see you DO think he is unimportant…” Round and round…

        1. Thanks for actually making an attempt to share your ideas. I am not angry, Steve. Are you??

          1. I actually am a little angry (enough to comment)…
            …I think this whole episode is a little absurd. It distresses me to see people (much less Christians) be so dismissive of someone who dares to even question the validity of neo-reformed dogma.

            The worldwide church thinks we are bizarre, and the non-christian population only sees these episodes as ample evidence that they were right to stay away from us.

            Disagree with Rob Bell! I do! But for God’s sake (literally!) take the time to actually understand first! And when you do disagree, don’t do it in a way that dismisses the heartfelt questions and tensions of half of our culture, alienating both Christians and non-Christians in the process.

            Perhaps you aren’t angry, perhaps you aren’t throwing rocks (you still haven’t fessed up one way or the other) but you should be angry at the way people have thrown rocks at someone who they have yet to actually take the time to understand, instead of offering a careful and gracious disagreement.

  27. I would hardly call the Gospel Coalition ‘thoughtful,’ more like ‘rabid.’ I love them when they are talking about culture, obedience, the glory of God, and the cost of discipleship. But when they start talking about theology, orthodoxy, or other streams of Christian thought and praxis…
    …it seems like they can barely manage to stay coherent.
    Why is it that people can accuse Bell and others of not reading scripture, and actually get away with it without being challenged? It is because the GC folks read scripture with special glasses that only let certain verses actually make it through to their brains…
    I don’t completely agree with Bell. But at least I can understand where he is coming from, and track with the exegesis he is performing. GC folks can’t even understand him (which we must admit, makes actual critique impossible!), they have no idea if what he is saying is unorthodox, they are just angry. So they just parrot John Piper parroting John Calvin; refusing to actually read the text at hand!
    And Rich, ‘liberal,’ come on brother! First of all, that word is a chameleon, not helpful. Second, it is intended as a personal attack, not a substantive critique. Thirdly, what exactly is wrong with being ‘liberal.’ If you come to my City you had better BE liberal, or else everyone will think you are a racist and want nothing to do with your patriarchal, oppressive, anti-intellectual, fascist, Jesus! Context is important! Nuance is important!
    Instead of throwing rocks, try understanding first. I challenge all of you to try and synthesize and summarize Rob Bell’s goals for the book, and the specific arguments he makes with regard to Scripture THEN you might actually understand him well enough to disagree with him. Until you do that, you just end up looking like the proverbial English speaker in a foreign country, angry that the locals are so ‘backwards’ because they don’t speak your language, and making no attempt to understand what they are saying…

    1. “Instead of throwing rocks”
      Bro, get real here. Who is throwing rocks? Me? All I am doing is asking a question about his recent public statements–heresy or orthodoxy? That is a valid question to ask!
      BTW..you never even looked at the question I posed! Is he orthodox with his statements or not? A simple question. You had a chance to educate me and others. Sigh.

      1. Well, maybe I misread you. Maybe when you called his work ‘liberal’ you meant that as a compliment? I was assuming, based on our past conversations, that you did not think of that word in a positive light and were using it as a pejorative, but I apologize if I read into your words…
        So to clarify, if you meant ‘liberal boogeyman,’ then yes, you were throwing rocks. If you meant ‘liberal-just-like-Jesus’ then, I apologize…
        As to the ‘educating’ you part…
        I don’t think you can answer that question based on what he says in that video, or what he wrote in the book…
        Which is why it is so frustrating to see people hanging onto the old paradigm and try to force Bell and others to answer questions that just don’t fit.
        The main points of Bell’s book are IMO as follows.
        1) There is a quite vast diversity of opinion in the (orthodox) Christian tradition on the question of what happens after we die.
        2) This diversity is due to the ambiguity of Scripture itself on the topic.
        3) Scripture actually has some important things to say that we haven’t done a good job of saying. The main reason we don’t understand what Scripture does affirm, is because of the hermeneutical lenses we have inherited. The problem is we read scripture eisegetically instead of exegetically. (I know that this is what everyone claims on all sides of every issue, so instead of getting angry, try tracking with Bell’s reading of Scripture, and then do a compare contrast with your own attempt)
        4) The world, and even much of the Church, has been turned off to Jesus by the answer a particular stream of Christian thinkers gives to this question. A big part of the problem is that this one stream has tried to co-opt the whole stream. They have claimed that there version of the answer is the only version. Which means people are forced to choose the neo-reformed version of Jesus, or nothing.
        Which means… tuh-duh… Bell doesn’t actually even directly answer the question! I know you saw that coming. But are you okay with someone writing a book about the afterlife without answering that question? My question is, can you take the book for what it is, and not try to make it what it is not? It is emphatically not Rob Bell’s take on the afterlife, rather, it is Bell trying to get people to actually have a dialogue instead of either accepting a particular and peculiar version of the answer, or walk away altogether.
        Again. Read the book and understand it first. Then ask questions of it. Too much of the critique of Bell has amounted to Bell saying “we should have a better understanding of how we perceived based on our presentation of certain teachings ,” to which people respond, “AHA! so you’re saying Jesus is unimportant!” Bell then says, “No, Jesus is central, I just think we have misinterpreted him from time to time, and here is what I think Jesus actually means,” again people say, “AHA! So you think Jesus was wrong when he said there was a hell, see you DO think he is unimportant…” Round and round…

        1. Thanks for actually making an attempt to share your ideas. I am not angry, Steve. Are you??

          1. I actually am a little angry (enough to comment)…
            …I think this whole episode is a little absurd. It distresses me to see people (much less Christians) be so dismissive of someone who dares to even question the validity of neo-reformed dogma.
            The worldwide church thinks we are bizarre, and the non-christian population only sees these episodes as ample evidence that they were right to stay away from us.
            Disagree with Rob Bell! I do! But for God’s sake (literally!) take the time to actually understand first! And when you do disagree, don’t do it in a way that dismisses the heartfelt questions and tensions of half of our culture, alienating both Christians and non-Christians in the process.
            Perhaps you aren’t angry, perhaps you aren’t throwing rocks (you still haven’t fessed up one way or the other) but you should be angry at the way people have thrown rocks at someone who they have yet to actually take the time to understand, instead of offering a careful and gracious disagreement.

  28. I would hardly call the Gospel Coalition ‘thoughtful,’ more like ‘rabid.’ I love them when they are talking about culture, obedience, the glory of God, and the cost of discipleship. But when they start talking about theology, orthodoxy, or other streams of Christian thought and praxis…
    …it seems like they can barely manage to stay coherent.

    Why is it that people can accuse Bell and others of not reading scripture, and actually get away with it without being challenged? It is because the GC folks read scripture with special glasses that only let certain verses actually make it through to their brains…

    I don’t completely agree with Bell. But at least I can understand where he is coming from, and track with the exegesis he is performing. GC folks can’t even understand him (which we must admit, makes actual critique impossible!), they have no idea if what he is saying is unorthodox, they are just angry. So they just parrot John Piper parroting John Calvin; refusing to actually read the text at hand!

    And Rich, ‘liberal,’ come on brother! First of all, that word is a chameleon, not helpful. Second, it is intended as a personal attack, not a substantive critique. Thirdly, what exactly is wrong with being ‘liberal.’ If you come to my City you had better BE liberal, or else everyone will think you are a racist and want nothing to do with your patriarchal, oppressive, anti-intellectual, fascist, Jesus! Context is important! Nuance is important!

    Instead of throwing rocks, try understanding first. I challenge all of you to try and synthesize and summarize Rob Bell’s goals for the book, and the specific arguments he makes with regard to Scripture THEN you might actually understand him well enough to disagree with him. Until you do that, you just end up looking like the proverbial English speaker in a foreign country, angry that the locals are so ‘backwards’ because they don’t speak your language, and making no attempt to understand what they are saying…

    1. “Instead of throwing rocks”
      Bro, get real here. Who is throwing rocks? Me? All I am doing is asking a question about his recent public statements–heresy or orthodoxy? That is a valid question to ask!

      BTW..you never even looked at the question I posed! Is he orthodox with his statements or not? A simple question. You had a chance to educate me and others. Sigh.

      1. Well, maybe I misread you. Maybe when you called his work ‘liberal’ you meant that as a compliment? I was assuming, based on our past conversations, that you did not think of that word in a positive light and were using it as a pejorative, but I apologize if I read into your words…
        So to clarify, if you meant ‘liberal boogeyman,’ then yes, you were throwing rocks. If you meant ‘liberal-just-like-Jesus’ then, I apologize…

        As to the ‘educating’ you part…

        I don’t think you can answer that question based on what he says in that video, or what he wrote in the book…

        Which is why it is so frustrating to see people hanging onto the old paradigm and try to force Bell and others to answer questions that just don’t fit.

        The main points of Bell’s book are IMO as follows.

        1) There is a quite vast diversity of opinion in the (orthodox) Christian tradition on the question of what happens after we die.

        2) This diversity is due to the ambiguity of Scripture itself on the topic.

        3) Scripture actually has some important things to say that we haven’t done a good job of saying. The main reason we don’t understand what Scripture does affirm, is because of the hermeneutical lenses we have inherited. The problem is we read scripture eisegetically instead of exegetically. (I know that this is what everyone claims on all sides of every issue, so instead of getting angry, try tracking with Bell’s reading of Scripture, and then do a compare contrast with your own attempt)

        4) The world, and even much of the Church, has been turned off to Jesus by the answer a particular stream of Christian thinkers gives to this question. A big part of the problem is that this one stream has tried to co-opt the whole stream. They have claimed that there version of the answer is the only version. Which means people are forced to choose the neo-reformed version of Jesus, or nothing.

        Which means… tuh-duh… Bell doesn’t actually even directly answer the question! I know you saw that coming. But are you okay with someone writing a book about the afterlife without answering that question? My question is, can you take the book for what it is, and not try to make it what it is not? It is emphatically not Rob Bell’s take on the afterlife, rather, it is Bell trying to get people to actually have a dialogue instead of either accepting a particular and peculiar version of the answer, or walk away altogether.

        Again. Read the book and understand it first. Then ask questions of it. Too much of the critique of Bell has amounted to Bell saying “we should have a better understanding of how we perceived based on our presentation of certain teachings ,” to which people respond, “AHA! so you’re saying Jesus is unimportant!” Bell then says, “No, Jesus is central, I just think we have misinterpreted him from time to time, and here is what I think Jesus actually means,” again people say, “AHA! So you think Jesus was wrong when he said there was a hell, see you DO think he is unimportant…” Round and round…

        1. Thanks for actually making an attempt to share your ideas. I am not angry, Steve. Are you??

          1. I actually am a little angry (enough to comment)…
            …I think this whole episode is a little absurd. It distresses me to see people (much less Christians) be so dismissive of someone who dares to even question the validity of neo-reformed dogma.

            The worldwide church thinks we are bizarre, and the non-christian population only sees these episodes as ample evidence that they were right to stay away from us.

            Disagree with Rob Bell! I do! But for God’s sake (literally!) take the time to actually understand first! And when you do disagree, don’t do it in a way that dismisses the heartfelt questions and tensions of half of our culture, alienating both Christians and non-Christians in the process.

            Perhaps you aren’t angry, perhaps you aren’t throwing rocks (you still haven’t fessed up one way or the other) but you should be angry at the way people have thrown rocks at someone who they have yet to actually take the time to understand, instead of offering a careful and gracious disagreement.

  29. I would hardly call the Gospel Coalition ‘thoughtful,’ more like ‘rabid.’ I love them when they are talking about culture, obedience, the glory of God, and the cost of discipleship. But when they start talking about theology, orthodoxy, or other streams of Christian thought and praxis…
    …it seems like they can barely manage to stay coherent.

    Why is it that people can accuse Bell and others of not reading scripture, and actually get away with it without being challenged? It is because the GC folks read scripture with special glasses that only let certain verses actually make it through to their brains…

    I don’t completely agree with Bell. But at least I can understand where he is coming from, and track with the exegesis he is performing. GC folks can’t even understand him (which we must admit, makes actual critique impossible!), they have no idea if what he is saying is unorthodox, they are just angry. So they just parrot John Piper parroting John Calvin; refusing to actually read the text at hand!

    And Rich, ‘liberal,’ come on brother! First of all, that word is a chameleon, not helpful. Second, it is intended as a personal attack, not a substantive critique. Thirdly, what exactly is wrong with being ‘liberal.’ If you come to my City you had better BE liberal, or else everyone will think you are a racist and want nothing to do with your patriarchal, oppressive, anti-intellectual, fascist, Jesus! Context is important! Nuance is important!

    Instead of throwing rocks, try understanding first. I challenge all of you to try and synthesize and summarize Rob Bell’s goals for the book, and the specific arguments he makes with regard to Scripture THEN you might actually understand him well enough to disagree with him. Until you do that, you just end up looking like the proverbial English speaker in a foreign country, angry that the locals are so ‘backwards’ because they don’t speak your language, and making no attempt to understand what they are saying…

    1. “Instead of throwing rocks”
      Bro, get real here. Who is throwing rocks? Me? All I am doing is asking a question about his recent public statements–heresy or orthodoxy? That is a valid question to ask!

      BTW..you never even looked at the question I posed! Is he orthodox with his statements or not? A simple question. You had a chance to educate me and others. Sigh.

      1. Well, maybe I misread you. Maybe when you called his work ‘liberal’ you meant that as a compliment? I was assuming, based on our past conversations, that you did not think of that word in a positive light and were using it as a pejorative, but I apologize if I read into your words…
        So to clarify, if you meant ‘liberal boogeyman,’ then yes, you were throwing rocks. If you meant ‘liberal-just-like-Jesus’ then, I apologize…

        As to the ‘educating’ you part…

        I don’t think you can answer that question based on what he says in that video, or what he wrote in the book…

        Which is why it is so frustrating to see people hanging onto the old paradigm and try to force Bell and others to answer questions that just don’t fit.

        The main points of Bell’s book are IMO as follows.

        1) There is a quite vast diversity of opinion in the (orthodox) Christian tradition on the question of what happens after we die.

        2) This diversity is due to the ambiguity of Scripture itself on the topic.

        3) Scripture actually has some important things to say that we haven’t done a good job of saying. The main reason we don’t understand what Scripture does affirm, is because of the hermeneutical lenses we have inherited. The problem is we read scripture eisegetically instead of exegetically. (I know that this is what everyone claims on all sides of every issue, so instead of getting angry, try tracking with Bell’s reading of Scripture, and then do a compare contrast with your own attempt)

        4) The world, and even much of the Church, has been turned off to Jesus by the answer a particular stream of Christian thinkers gives to this question. A big part of the problem is that this one stream has tried to co-opt the whole stream. They have claimed that there version of the answer is the only version. Which means people are forced to choose the neo-reformed version of Jesus, or nothing.

        Which means… tuh-duh… Bell doesn’t actually even directly answer the question! I know you saw that coming. But are you okay with someone writing a book about the afterlife without answering that question? My question is, can you take the book for what it is, and not try to make it what it is not? It is emphatically not Rob Bell’s take on the afterlife, rather, it is Bell trying to get people to actually have a dialogue instead of either accepting a particular and peculiar version of the answer, or walk away altogether.

        Again. Read the book and understand it first. Then ask questions of it. Too much of the critique of Bell has amounted to Bell saying “we should have a better understanding of how we perceived based on our presentation of certain teachings ,” to which people respond, “AHA! so you’re saying Jesus is unimportant!” Bell then says, “No, Jesus is central, I just think we have misinterpreted him from time to time, and here is what I think Jesus actually means,” again people say, “AHA! So you think Jesus was wrong when he said there was a hell, see you DO think he is unimportant…” Round and round…

        1. Thanks for actually making an attempt to share your ideas. I am not angry, Steve. Are you??

          1. I actually am a little angry (enough to comment)…
            …I think this whole episode is a little absurd. It distresses me to see people (much less Christians) be so dismissive of someone who dares to even question the validity of neo-reformed dogma.

            The worldwide church thinks we are bizarre, and the non-christian population only sees these episodes as ample evidence that they were right to stay away from us.

            Disagree with Rob Bell! I do! But for God’s sake (literally!) take the time to actually understand first! And when you do disagree, don’t do it in a way that dismisses the heartfelt questions and tensions of half of our culture, alienating both Christians and non-Christians in the process.

            Perhaps you aren’t angry, perhaps you aren’t throwing rocks (you still haven’t fessed up one way or the other) but you should be angry at the way people have thrown rocks at someone who they have yet to actually take the time to understand, instead of offering a careful and gracious disagreement.

  30. I would hardly call the Gospel Coalition ‘thoughtful,’ more like ‘rabid.’ I love them when they are talking about culture, obedience, the glory of God, and the cost of discipleship. But when they start talking about theology, orthodoxy, or other streams of Christian thought and praxis…
    …it seems like they can barely manage to stay coherent.

    Why is it that people can accuse Bell and others of not reading scripture, and actually get away with it without being challenged? It is because the GC folks read scripture with special glasses that only let certain verses actually make it through to their brains…

    I don’t completely agree with Bell. But at least I can understand where he is coming from, and track with the exegesis he is performing. GC folks can’t even understand him (which we must admit, makes actual critique impossible!), they have no idea if what he is saying is unorthodox, they are just angry. So they just parrot John Piper parroting John Calvin; refusing to actually read the text at hand!

    And Rich, ‘liberal,’ come on brother! First of all, that word is a chameleon, not helpful. Second, it is intended as a personal attack, not a substantive critique. Thirdly, what exactly is wrong with being ‘liberal.’ If you come to my City you had better BE liberal, or else everyone will think you are a racist and want nothing to do with your patriarchal, oppressive, anti-intellectual, fascist, Jesus! Context is important! Nuance is important!

    Instead of throwing rocks, try understanding first. I challenge all of you to try and synthesize and summarize Rob Bell’s goals for the book, and the specific arguments he makes with regard to Scripture THEN you might actually understand him well enough to disagree with him. Until you do that, you just end up looking like the proverbial English speaker in a foreign country, angry that the locals are so ‘backwards’ because they don’t speak your language, and making no attempt to understand what they are saying…

    1. “Instead of throwing rocks”
      Bro, get real here. Who is throwing rocks? Me? All I am doing is asking a question about his recent public statements–heresy or orthodoxy? That is a valid question to ask!

      BTW..you never even looked at the question I posed! Is he orthodox with his statements or not? A simple question. You had a chance to educate me and others. Sigh.

      1. Well, maybe I misread you. Maybe when you called his work ‘liberal’ you meant that as a compliment? I was assuming, based on our past conversations, that you did not think of that word in a positive light and were using it as a pejorative, but I apologize if I read into your words…
        So to clarify, if you meant ‘liberal boogeyman,’ then yes, you were throwing rocks. If you meant ‘liberal-just-like-Jesus’ then, I apologize…

        As to the ‘educating’ you part…

        I don’t think you can answer that question based on what he says in that video, or what he wrote in the book…

        Which is why it is so frustrating to see people hanging onto the old paradigm and try to force Bell and others to answer questions that just don’t fit.

        The main points of Bell’s book are IMO as follows.

        1) There is a quite vast diversity of opinion in the (orthodox) Christian tradition on the question of what happens after we die.

        2) This diversity is due to the ambiguity of Scripture itself on the topic.

        3) Scripture actually has some important things to say that we haven’t done a good job of saying. The main reason we don’t understand what Scripture does affirm, is because of the hermeneutical lenses we have inherited. The problem is we read scripture eisegetically instead of exegetically. (I know that this is what everyone claims on all sides of every issue, so instead of getting angry, try tracking with Bell’s reading of Scripture, and then do a compare contrast with your own attempt)

        4) The world, and even much of the Church, has been turned off to Jesus by the answer a particular stream of Christian thinkers gives to this question. A big part of the problem is that this one stream has tried to co-opt the whole stream. They have claimed that there version of the answer is the only version. Which means people are forced to choose the neo-reformed version of Jesus, or nothing.

        Which means… tuh-duh… Bell doesn’t actually even directly answer the question! I know you saw that coming. But are you okay with someone writing a book about the afterlife without answering that question? My question is, can you take the book for what it is, and not try to make it what it is not? It is emphatically not Rob Bell’s take on the afterlife, rather, it is Bell trying to get people to actually have a dialogue instead of either accepting a particular and peculiar version of the answer, or walk away altogether.

        Again. Read the book and understand it first. Then ask questions of it. Too much of the critique of Bell has amounted to Bell saying “we should have a better understanding of how we perceived based on our presentation of certain teachings ,” to which people respond, “AHA! so you’re saying Jesus is unimportant!” Bell then says, “No, Jesus is central, I just think we have misinterpreted him from time to time, and here is what I think Jesus actually means,” again people say, “AHA! So you think Jesus was wrong when he said there was a hell, see you DO think he is unimportant…” Round and round…

        1. Thanks for actually making an attempt to share your ideas. I am not angry, Steve. Are you??

          1. I actually am a little angry (enough to comment)…
            …I think this whole episode is a little absurd. It distresses me to see people (much less Christians) be so dismissive of someone who dares to even question the validity of neo-reformed dogma.

            The worldwide church thinks we are bizarre, and the non-christian population only sees these episodes as ample evidence that they were right to stay away from us.

            Disagree with Rob Bell! I do! But for God’s sake (literally!) take the time to actually understand first! And when you do disagree, don’t do it in a way that dismisses the heartfelt questions and tensions of half of our culture, alienating both Christians and non-Christians in the process.

            Perhaps you aren’t angry, perhaps you aren’t throwing rocks (you still haven’t fessed up one way or the other) but you should be angry at the way people have thrown rocks at someone who they have yet to actually take the time to understand, instead of offering a careful and gracious disagreement.

    1. Thanks for chiming in. I take it you read it? I have. Gonna sort through how to express that before I share if I think Bell is the “H” word or as orthodox as the Apostle Peter.

  31. It is simply not Biblical and “yes” I get to call him a heretic.

    1. Thanks for chiming in. I take it you read it? I have. Gonna sort through how to express that before I share if I think Bell is the “H” word or as orthodox as the Apostle Peter.

    1. Thanks for chiming in. I take it you read it? I have. Gonna sort through how to express that before I share if I think Bell is the “H” word or as orthodox as the Apostle Peter.

    1. Thanks for chiming in. I take it you read it? I have. Gonna sort through how to express that before I share if I think Bell is the “H” word or as orthodox as the Apostle Peter.

    1. Thanks for chiming in. I take it you read it? I have. Gonna sort through how to express that before I share if I think Bell is the “H” word or as orthodox as the Apostle Peter.

  32. “How does Rob Bell do in your opinion. Is he the “H” word–a heretic?”Confession: I’ve not read the book. I’ve not been able to get my hands on it yet.

    This said, the quotes that people are pulling out of this book, including respectable pastors, are quite stunning. I’ll be the first to admit that Bell can be difficult to quote and keep his context – but I think that if that was the case here, people would be treating this book fairly and none of this mess would be before us.

    I think people are doing a good job in pushing Bell up against a wall and trying to get him to clarify – which he does not. This isn’t good for a pastor to do. If the audience who reads this book doesn’t get it (and for the sake of this thought, let’s say that they simply don’t get it, that Rob is preaching orthodox Christianity), it is the teacher’s responsibility to correct his students. Bell just doesn’t seem to do that at all. One interview that I read (I think it was on the Huffington Post), he noted that it isn’t his job to defend. That’s not right, in my opinion.

    “Or, is he a historically orthodox Christian in his responses?”
    Historically, Bell seems to be quite orthodox in his views, but his approach to teaching those views is very unorthodox. This ticks a lot of people off because we live in a culture that views method as important (or more important) than theology. Just look at the worship debate…

  33. “How does Rob Bell do in your opinion. Is he the “H” word–a heretic?”Confession: I’ve not read the book. I’ve not been able to get my hands on it yet.
    This said, the quotes that people are pulling out of this book, including respectable pastors, are quite stunning. I’ll be the first to admit that Bell can be difficult to quote and keep his context – but I think that if that was the case here, people would be treating this book fairly and none of this mess would be before us.
    I think people are doing a good job in pushing Bell up against a wall and trying to get him to clarify – which he does not. This isn’t good for a pastor to do. If the audience who reads this book doesn’t get it (and for the sake of this thought, let’s say that they simply don’t get it, that Rob is preaching orthodox Christianity), it is the teacher’s responsibility to correct his students. Bell just doesn’t seem to do that at all. One interview that I read (I think it was on the Huffington Post), he noted that it isn’t his job to defend. That’s not right, in my opinion.
    “Or, is he a historically orthodox Christian in his responses?”
    Historically, Bell seems to be quite orthodox in his views, but his approach to teaching those views is very unorthodox. This ticks a lot of people off because we live in a culture that views method as important (or more important) than theology. Just look at the worship debate…

  34. “How does Rob Bell do in your opinion. Is he the “H” word–a heretic?”Confession: I’ve not read the book. I’ve not been able to get my hands on it yet.

    This said, the quotes that people are pulling out of this book, including respectable pastors, are quite stunning. I’ll be the first to admit that Bell can be difficult to quote and keep his context – but I think that if that was the case here, people would be treating this book fairly and none of this mess would be before us.

    I think people are doing a good job in pushing Bell up against a wall and trying to get him to clarify – which he does not. This isn’t good for a pastor to do. If the audience who reads this book doesn’t get it (and for the sake of this thought, let’s say that they simply don’t get it, that Rob is preaching orthodox Christianity), it is the teacher’s responsibility to correct his students. Bell just doesn’t seem to do that at all. One interview that I read (I think it was on the Huffington Post), he noted that it isn’t his job to defend. That’s not right, in my opinion.

    “Or, is he a historically orthodox Christian in his responses?”
    Historically, Bell seems to be quite orthodox in his views, but his approach to teaching those views is very unorthodox. This ticks a lot of people off because we live in a culture that views method as important (or more important) than theology. Just look at the worship debate…

  35. “How does Rob Bell do in your opinion. Is he the “H” word–a heretic?”Confession: I’ve not read the book. I’ve not been able to get my hands on it yet.

    This said, the quotes that people are pulling out of this book, including respectable pastors, are quite stunning. I’ll be the first to admit that Bell can be difficult to quote and keep his context – but I think that if that was the case here, people would be treating this book fairly and none of this mess would be before us.

    I think people are doing a good job in pushing Bell up against a wall and trying to get him to clarify – which he does not. This isn’t good for a pastor to do. If the audience who reads this book doesn’t get it (and for the sake of this thought, let’s say that they simply don’t get it, that Rob is preaching orthodox Christianity), it is the teacher’s responsibility to correct his students. Bell just doesn’t seem to do that at all. One interview that I read (I think it was on the Huffington Post), he noted that it isn’t his job to defend. That’s not right, in my opinion.

    “Or, is he a historically orthodox Christian in his responses?”
    Historically, Bell seems to be quite orthodox in his views, but his approach to teaching those views is very unorthodox. This ticks a lot of people off because we live in a culture that views method as important (or more important) than theology. Just look at the worship debate…

  36. “How does Rob Bell do in your opinion. Is he the “H” word–a heretic?”Confession: I’ve not read the book. I’ve not been able to get my hands on it yet.

    This said, the quotes that people are pulling out of this book, including respectable pastors, are quite stunning. I’ll be the first to admit that Bell can be difficult to quote and keep his context – but I think that if that was the case here, people would be treating this book fairly and none of this mess would be before us.

    I think people are doing a good job in pushing Bell up against a wall and trying to get him to clarify – which he does not. This isn’t good for a pastor to do. If the audience who reads this book doesn’t get it (and for the sake of this thought, let’s say that they simply don’t get it, that Rob is preaching orthodox Christianity), it is the teacher’s responsibility to correct his students. Bell just doesn’t seem to do that at all. One interview that I read (I think it was on the Huffington Post), he noted that it isn’t his job to defend. That’s not right, in my opinion.

    “Or, is he a historically orthodox Christian in his responses?”
    Historically, Bell seems to be quite orthodox in his views, but his approach to teaching those views is very unorthodox. This ticks a lot of people off because we live in a culture that views method as important (or more important) than theology. Just look at the worship debate…

  37. The blindness of it all, the illusion of it all, disturbs me greatly.People are so gullible, fed lies at an early age and you’ll believe it’s true your whole life.

    1. I used to believe in Santa. I am not so sure you speak something that can be proven here. Did you believe in things as a child and change your mind from experience, research and knowledge? I did.

      1. Wait… are you saying that Santa isn’t real?!

  38. The blindness of it all, the illusion of it all, disturbs me greatly.People are so gullible, fed lies at an early age and you’ll believe it’s true your whole life.

    1. I used to believe in Santa. I am not so sure you speak something that can be proven here. Did you believe in things as a child and change your mind from experience, research and knowledge? I did.

      1. Wait… are you saying that Santa isn’t real?!

  39. The blindness of it all, the illusion of it all, disturbs me greatly.People are so gullible, fed lies at an early age and you’ll believe it’s true your whole life.

    1. I used to believe in Santa. I am not so sure you speak something that can be proven here. Did you believe in things as a child and change your mind from experience, research and knowledge? I did.

      1. Wait… are you saying that Santa isn’t real?!

  40. The blindness of it all, the illusion of it all, disturbs me greatly.People are so gullible, fed lies at an early age and you’ll believe it’s true your whole life.

    1. I used to believe in Santa. I am not so sure you speak something that can be proven here. Did you believe in things as a child and change your mind from experience, research and knowledge? I did.

      1. Wait… are you saying that Santa isn’t real?!

  41. The blindness of it all, the illusion of it all, disturbs me greatly.People are so gullible, fed lies at an early age and you’ll believe it’s true your whole life.

    1. I used to believe in Santa. I am not so sure you speak something that can be proven here. Did you believe in things as a child and change your mind from experience, research and knowledge? I did.

      1. Wait… are you saying that Santa isn’t real?!

  42. wow, Rich, sorry I just don’t get how you can say Bashir asks “legitimate questions any pastor should be able to answer.” His questions are designed to inflame, not to get at any real understanding. Yet Bell DOES answer them, and he answers them well, as well as time allows before Bashir cuts him off with another irrelevant, misleading attack.
    If he cared at all about what Bell believes, or what his book says, he could simply have asked “what do you really believe about hell and the afterlife?” But instead he asks questions like “you’re a heretic, aren’t you?” What a jerk.

    Odd that I’m in the position of defending Rob Bell, as I’m really not a fan of his.

    Reminds me of the election, when all kinds of ridiculous lies about Obama were being circulated BY CHRISTIANS by email. There were enough REAL reasons not to vote for him, why make up stuff that’s not true? And this perpetrated by those who claim to be messengers of truth…

    Even your question Rich is slanted and misleading: “is he historically orthodox in his responses?” – Bashir never asked him anything about “historical orthodoxy”. And why is “historical orthodoxy” relevant? Historical orthodoxy tells us that most people end up in purgatory (yes, the Roman Catholic church owns the lion’s share of any “orthodoxy” that can be considered “historical”)

    But at the risk of being regarded a heretic myself, I ask: considering the numerous things the so-called church has lied to us about for nearly 2000 years, why do we give a rat’s butt about their “orthodoxy”?

    1. Hi Kyle. You should really read the newer post and full review I didof Bell’s book. I am so sad that you seem angry. Really, should we not
      be able to discuss this?

      Did you read the book? I did, and discussed it in private before
      sharing my thoughts. What are you really being against or for here? I
      am just asking questions and sharing my opinion. Is that not what Rob
      Bell was doing? What is your angle here? Surely, you can make a
      difference more by having a conversation rather than assuming you
      really know what I think! That is what a conversation is all about, my
      friend.

      RK

      1. Sorry I didn’t see your more recent post, I followed a link to this one – I’ll look for the newer one.
        Also I apologize for venting my accumulated frustration on you. Yes we SHOULD be able to discuss this – what I’m frustrated with is how so many bloggers, newspeople, and especially ‘church people’ are slanting, distorting, and suppressing conversation with inflammatory rhetoric, misleading questions and verbal bullying. I’m not saying you’re doing all these things, but I do feel your questions are misleading.

        I noticed you did not respond to my first challenge regarding Bashir’s supposed “legitimate” questions. Maybe I need to watch the interview again, but I don’t remember him asking a single question that was not offensive. I do appreciate his faith-journey (raised Muslim, transformed by his experience with Christ), and do not doubt that he is a genuine believer, but in this interview he presents himself as a sensationalist ratings-grabber rather than an honest truth-seeker. THAT’s what I’m against.

        Your question of whether he should be considered a heretic is valid, I suppose, as are both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers depending on one’s point of reference. A better question, I think, is whether words like “heresy” have any value in this conversation.

  43. wow, Rich, sorry I just don’t get how you can say Bashir asks “legitimate questions any pastor should be able to answer.” His questions are designed to inflame, not to get at any real understanding. Yet Bell DOES answer them, and he answers them well, as well as time allows before Bashir cuts him off with another irrelevant, misleading attack.
    If he cared at all about what Bell believes, or what his book says, he could simply have asked “what do you really believe about hell and the afterlife?” But instead he asks questions like “you’re a heretic, aren’t you?” What a jerk.
    Odd that I’m in the position of defending Rob Bell, as I’m really not a fan of his.
    Reminds me of the election, when all kinds of ridiculous lies about Obama were being circulated BY CHRISTIANS by email. There were enough REAL reasons not to vote for him, why make up stuff that’s not true? And this perpetrated by those who claim to be messengers of truth…
    Even your question Rich is slanted and misleading: “is he historically orthodox in his responses?” – Bashir never asked him anything about “historical orthodoxy”. And why is “historical orthodoxy” relevant? Historical orthodoxy tells us that most people end up in purgatory (yes, the Roman Catholic church owns the lion’s share of any “orthodoxy” that can be considered “historical”)
    But at the risk of being regarded a heretic myself, I ask: considering the numerous things the so-called church has lied to us about for nearly 2000 years, why do we give a rat’s butt about their “orthodoxy”?

    1. Hi Kyle. You should really read the newer post and full review I didof Bell’s book. I am so sad that you seem angry. Really, should we not
      be able to discuss this?
      Did you read the book? I did, and discussed it in private before
      sharing my thoughts. What are you really being against or for here? I
      am just asking questions and sharing my opinion. Is that not what Rob
      Bell was doing? What is your angle here? Surely, you can make a
      difference more by having a conversation rather than assuming you
      really know what I think! That is what a conversation is all about, my
      friend.
      RK

      1. Sorry I didn’t see your more recent post, I followed a link to this one – I’ll look for the newer one.
        Also I apologize for venting my accumulated frustration on you. Yes we SHOULD be able to discuss this – what I’m frustrated with is how so many bloggers, newspeople, and especially ‘church people’ are slanting, distorting, and suppressing conversation with inflammatory rhetoric, misleading questions and verbal bullying. I’m not saying you’re doing all these things, but I do feel your questions are misleading.
        I noticed you did not respond to my first challenge regarding Bashir’s supposed “legitimate” questions. Maybe I need to watch the interview again, but I don’t remember him asking a single question that was not offensive. I do appreciate his faith-journey (raised Muslim, transformed by his experience with Christ), and do not doubt that he is a genuine believer, but in this interview he presents himself as a sensationalist ratings-grabber rather than an honest truth-seeker. THAT’s what I’m against.
        Your question of whether he should be considered a heretic is valid, I suppose, as are both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers depending on one’s point of reference. A better question, I think, is whether words like “heresy” have any value in this conversation.

  44. wow, Rich, sorry I just don’t get how you can say Bashir asks “legitimate questions any pastor should be able to answer.” His questions are designed to inflame, not to get at any real understanding. Yet Bell DOES answer them, and he answers them well, as well as time allows before Bashir cuts him off with another irrelevant, misleading attack.
    If he cared at all about what Bell believes, or what his book says, he could simply have asked “what do you really believe about hell and the afterlife?” But instead he asks questions like “you’re a heretic, aren’t you?” What a jerk.

    Odd that I’m in the position of defending Rob Bell, as I’m really not a fan of his.

    Reminds me of the election, when all kinds of ridiculous lies about Obama were being circulated BY CHRISTIANS by email. There were enough REAL reasons not to vote for him, why make up stuff that’s not true? And this perpetrated by those who claim to be messengers of truth…

    Even your question Rich is slanted and misleading: “is he historically orthodox in his responses?” – Bashir never asked him anything about “historical orthodoxy”. And why is “historical orthodoxy” relevant? Historical orthodoxy tells us that most people end up in purgatory (yes, the Roman Catholic church owns the lion’s share of any “orthodoxy” that can be considered “historical”)

    But at the risk of being regarded a heretic myself, I ask: considering the numerous things the so-called church has lied to us about for nearly 2000 years, why do we give a rat’s butt about their “orthodoxy”?

    1. Hi Kyle. You should really read the newer post and full review I didof Bell’s book. I am so sad that you seem angry. Really, should we not
      be able to discuss this?

      Did you read the book? I did, and discussed it in private before
      sharing my thoughts. What are you really being against or for here? I
      am just asking questions and sharing my opinion. Is that not what Rob
      Bell was doing? What is your angle here? Surely, you can make a
      difference more by having a conversation rather than assuming you
      really know what I think! That is what a conversation is all about, my
      friend.

      RK

      1. Sorry I didn’t see your more recent post, I followed a link to this one – I’ll look for the newer one.
        Also I apologize for venting my accumulated frustration on you. Yes we SHOULD be able to discuss this – what I’m frustrated with is how so many bloggers, newspeople, and especially ‘church people’ are slanting, distorting, and suppressing conversation with inflammatory rhetoric, misleading questions and verbal bullying. I’m not saying you’re doing all these things, but I do feel your questions are misleading.

        I noticed you did not respond to my first challenge regarding Bashir’s supposed “legitimate” questions. Maybe I need to watch the interview again, but I don’t remember him asking a single question that was not offensive. I do appreciate his faith-journey (raised Muslim, transformed by his experience with Christ), and do not doubt that he is a genuine believer, but in this interview he presents himself as a sensationalist ratings-grabber rather than an honest truth-seeker. THAT’s what I’m against.

        Your question of whether he should be considered a heretic is valid, I suppose, as are both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers depending on one’s point of reference. A better question, I think, is whether words like “heresy” have any value in this conversation.

  45. wow, Rich, sorry I just don’t get how you can say Bashir asks “legitimate questions any pastor should be able to answer.” His questions are designed to inflame, not to get at any real understanding. Yet Bell DOES answer them, and he answers them well, as well as time allows before Bashir cuts him off with another irrelevant, misleading attack.
    If he cared at all about what Bell believes, or what his book says, he could simply have asked “what do you really believe about hell and the afterlife?” But instead he asks questions like “you’re a heretic, aren’t you?” What a jerk.

    Odd that I’m in the position of defending Rob Bell, as I’m really not a fan of his.

    Reminds me of the election, when all kinds of ridiculous lies about Obama were being circulated BY CHRISTIANS by email. There were enough REAL reasons not to vote for him, why make up stuff that’s not true? And this perpetrated by those who claim to be messengers of truth…

    Even your question Rich is slanted and misleading: “is he historically orthodox in his responses?” – Bashir never asked him anything about “historical orthodoxy”. And why is “historical orthodoxy” relevant? Historical orthodoxy tells us that most people end up in purgatory (yes, the Roman Catholic church owns the lion’s share of any “orthodoxy” that can be considered “historical”)

    But at the risk of being regarded a heretic myself, I ask: considering the numerous things the so-called church has lied to us about for nearly 2000 years, why do we give a rat’s butt about their “orthodoxy”?

    1. Hi Kyle. You should really read the newer post and full review I didof Bell’s book. I am so sad that you seem angry. Really, should we not
      be able to discuss this?

      Did you read the book? I did, and discussed it in private before
      sharing my thoughts. What are you really being against or for here? I
      am just asking questions and sharing my opinion. Is that not what Rob
      Bell was doing? What is your angle here? Surely, you can make a
      difference more by having a conversation rather than assuming you
      really know what I think! That is what a conversation is all about, my
      friend.

      RK

      1. Sorry I didn’t see your more recent post, I followed a link to this one – I’ll look for the newer one.
        Also I apologize for venting my accumulated frustration on you. Yes we SHOULD be able to discuss this – what I’m frustrated with is how so many bloggers, newspeople, and especially ‘church people’ are slanting, distorting, and suppressing conversation with inflammatory rhetoric, misleading questions and verbal bullying. I’m not saying you’re doing all these things, but I do feel your questions are misleading.

        I noticed you did not respond to my first challenge regarding Bashir’s supposed “legitimate” questions. Maybe I need to watch the interview again, but I don’t remember him asking a single question that was not offensive. I do appreciate his faith-journey (raised Muslim, transformed by his experience with Christ), and do not doubt that he is a genuine believer, but in this interview he presents himself as a sensationalist ratings-grabber rather than an honest truth-seeker. THAT’s what I’m against.

        Your question of whether he should be considered a heretic is valid, I suppose, as are both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers depending on one’s point of reference. A better question, I think, is whether words like “heresy” have any value in this conversation.

  46. wow, Rich, sorry I just don’t get how you can say Bashir asks “legitimate questions any pastor should be able to answer.” His questions are designed to inflame, not to get at any real understanding. Yet Bell DOES answer them, and he answers them well, as well as time allows before Bashir cuts him off with another irrelevant, misleading attack.
    If he cared at all about what Bell believes, or what his book says, he could simply have asked “what do you really believe about hell and the afterlife?” But instead he asks questions like “you’re a heretic, aren’t you?” What a jerk.

    Odd that I’m in the position of defending Rob Bell, as I’m really not a fan of his.

    Reminds me of the election, when all kinds of ridiculous lies about Obama were being circulated BY CHRISTIANS by email. There were enough REAL reasons not to vote for him, why make up stuff that’s not true? And this perpetrated by those who claim to be messengers of truth…

    Even your question Rich is slanted and misleading: “is he historically orthodox in his responses?” – Bashir never asked him anything about “historical orthodoxy”. And why is “historical orthodoxy” relevant? Historical orthodoxy tells us that most people end up in purgatory (yes, the Roman Catholic church owns the lion’s share of any “orthodoxy” that can be considered “historical”)

    But at the risk of being regarded a heretic myself, I ask: considering the numerous things the so-called church has lied to us about for nearly 2000 years, why do we give a rat’s butt about their “orthodoxy”?

    1. Hi Kyle. You should really read the newer post and full review I didof Bell’s book. I am so sad that you seem angry. Really, should we not
      be able to discuss this?

      Did you read the book? I did, and discussed it in private before
      sharing my thoughts. What are you really being against or for here? I
      am just asking questions and sharing my opinion. Is that not what Rob
      Bell was doing? What is your angle here? Surely, you can make a
      difference more by having a conversation rather than assuming you
      really know what I think! That is what a conversation is all about, my
      friend.

      RK

      1. Sorry I didn’t see your more recent post, I followed a link to this one – I’ll look for the newer one.
        Also I apologize for venting my accumulated frustration on you. Yes we SHOULD be able to discuss this – what I’m frustrated with is how so many bloggers, newspeople, and especially ‘church people’ are slanting, distorting, and suppressing conversation with inflammatory rhetoric, misleading questions and verbal bullying. I’m not saying you’re doing all these things, but I do feel your questions are misleading.

        I noticed you did not respond to my first challenge regarding Bashir’s supposed “legitimate” questions. Maybe I need to watch the interview again, but I don’t remember him asking a single question that was not offensive. I do appreciate his faith-journey (raised Muslim, transformed by his experience with Christ), and do not doubt that he is a genuine believer, but in this interview he presents himself as a sensationalist ratings-grabber rather than an honest truth-seeker. THAT’s what I’m against.

        Your question of whether he should be considered a heretic is valid, I suppose, as are both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers depending on one’s point of reference. A better question, I think, is whether words like “heresy” have any value in this conversation.

  47. How can anyone (even a talented communicator like Bell) cram the glory of God into ten second responses to questions posed by a hostile interviewer? This is the Reformation all over again. Bell is the new Luther. Protestant Evangelicals are the new Roman Catholic Church. The internet is the new printing press. This holy fire will not be put out. If God is for us, who can be against us? I love how Bell just smiles and chuckles to himself throughout – people can and do recognize the tactics of the press, you know. “…God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” 1 Corinthians 1:27

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope you read my review of Bell’sbook which is posted on this blog, too.

      I do not think he is a heretic, but surely he is no Luther! He is
      indeed is a heart-felt pastor who has incredible marketing savvy. More
      power to him to sell many books and create a buzz.

      Now, Bell is not naive. He knows the platform of a news show and the
      views of his interviewers. He knew this all was coming, and counted on
      it to sell books. He is no hero, but not a bad guy either. Even those
      who are far more progressive than he who are friendly to his views do
      not think this book says much or has much weight. I am not too
      bothered by it. The buzz will not last. It already is yesterdays news.
      And, in fact the news channels are yesterdays news as well.

      RK

  48. How can anyone (even a talented communicator like Bell) cram the glory of God into ten second responses to questions posed by a hostile interviewer? This is the Reformation all over again. Bell is the new Luther. Protestant Evangelicals are the new Roman Catholic Church. The internet is the new printing press. This holy fire will not be put out. If God is for us, who can be against us? I love how Bell just smiles and chuckles to himself throughout – people can and do recognize the tactics of the press, you know. “…God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” 1 Corinthians 1:27

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope you read my review of Bell’sbook which is posted on this blog, too.
      I do not think he is a heretic, but surely he is no Luther! He is
      indeed is a heart-felt pastor who has incredible marketing savvy. More
      power to him to sell many books and create a buzz.
      Now, Bell is not naive. He knows the platform of a news show and the
      views of his interviewers. He knew this all was coming, and counted on
      it to sell books. He is no hero, but not a bad guy either. Even those
      who are far more progressive than he who are friendly to his views do
      not think this book says much or has much weight. I am not too
      bothered by it. The buzz will not last. It already is yesterdays news.
      And, in fact the news channels are yesterdays news as well.
      RK

  49. How can anyone (even a talented communicator like Bell) cram the glory of God into ten second responses to questions posed by a hostile interviewer? This is the Reformation all over again. Bell is the new Luther. Protestant Evangelicals are the new Roman Catholic Church. The internet is the new printing press. This holy fire will not be put out. If God is for us, who can be against us? I love how Bell just smiles and chuckles to himself throughout – people can and do recognize the tactics of the press, you know. “…God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” 1 Corinthians 1:27

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope you read my review of Bell’sbook which is posted on this blog, too.

      I do not think he is a heretic, but surely he is no Luther! He is
      indeed is a heart-felt pastor who has incredible marketing savvy. More
      power to him to sell many books and create a buzz.

      Now, Bell is not naive. He knows the platform of a news show and the
      views of his interviewers. He knew this all was coming, and counted on
      it to sell books. He is no hero, but not a bad guy either. Even those
      who are far more progressive than he who are friendly to his views do
      not think this book says much or has much weight. I am not too
      bothered by it. The buzz will not last. It already is yesterdays news.
      And, in fact the news channels are yesterdays news as well.

      RK

  50. How can anyone (even a talented communicator like Bell) cram the glory of God into ten second responses to questions posed by a hostile interviewer? This is the Reformation all over again. Bell is the new Luther. Protestant Evangelicals are the new Roman Catholic Church. The internet is the new printing press. This holy fire will not be put out. If God is for us, who can be against us? I love how Bell just smiles and chuckles to himself throughout – people can and do recognize the tactics of the press, you know. “…God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” 1 Corinthians 1:27

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope you read my review of Bell’sbook which is posted on this blog, too.

      I do not think he is a heretic, but surely he is no Luther! He is
      indeed is a heart-felt pastor who has incredible marketing savvy. More
      power to him to sell many books and create a buzz.

      Now, Bell is not naive. He knows the platform of a news show and the
      views of his interviewers. He knew this all was coming, and counted on
      it to sell books. He is no hero, but not a bad guy either. Even those
      who are far more progressive than he who are friendly to his views do
      not think this book says much or has much weight. I am not too
      bothered by it. The buzz will not last. It already is yesterdays news.
      And, in fact the news channels are yesterdays news as well.

      RK

  51. How can anyone (even a talented communicator like Bell) cram the glory of God into ten second responses to questions posed by a hostile interviewer? This is the Reformation all over again. Bell is the new Luther. Protestant Evangelicals are the new Roman Catholic Church. The internet is the new printing press. This holy fire will not be put out. If God is for us, who can be against us? I love how Bell just smiles and chuckles to himself throughout – people can and do recognize the tactics of the press, you know. “…God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” 1 Corinthians 1:27

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope you read my review of Bell’sbook which is posted on this blog, too.

      I do not think he is a heretic, but surely he is no Luther! He is
      indeed is a heart-felt pastor who has incredible marketing savvy. More
      power to him to sell many books and create a buzz.

      Now, Bell is not naive. He knows the platform of a news show and the
      views of his interviewers. He knew this all was coming, and counted on
      it to sell books. He is no hero, but not a bad guy either. Even those
      who are far more progressive than he who are friendly to his views do
      not think this book says much or has much weight. I am not too
      bothered by it. The buzz will not last. It already is yesterdays news.
      And, in fact the news channels are yesterdays news as well.

      RK

  52. […] of the World, died and rose again so that we might live?”  If so, what right do we have to accuse him or her, using words like heretic, wolf in sheep’s clothing, or say he or she is causing division, […]

  53. […] of the World, died and rose again so that we might live?”  If so, what right do we have to accuse him or her, using words like heretic, wolf in sheep’s clothing, or say he or she is causing division, […]

  54. […] of the World, died and rose again so that we might live?”  If so, what right do we have to accuse him or her, using words like heretic, wolf in sheep’s clothing, or say he or she is causing division, […]

  55. […] of the World, died and rose again so that we might live?”  If so, what right do we have to accuse him or her, using words like heretic, wolf in sheep’s clothing, or say he or she is causing division, […]

  56. […] of the World, died and rose again so that we might live?”  If so, what right do we have to accuse him or her, using words like heretic, wolf in sheep’s clothing, or say he or she is causing division, […]

  57. I was discouraged by this interview, but when I saw him speak in person earlier this week. The bottom line: who knows if he’s the H-word. It’s not his intention for you to know.

    1. exactly… a marketing genius I think…controlled the buzz like amaster! I call that out in my review of the book.

  58. I was discouraged by this interview, but when I saw him speak in person earlier this week. The bottom line: who knows if he’s the H-word. It’s not his intention for you to know.

    1. exactly… a marketing genius I think…controlled the buzz like amaster! I call that out in my review of the book.

      1. er, i meant that i was much more impressed when i saw him in person.

  59. I was discouraged by this interview, but when I saw him speak in person earlier this week. The bottom line: who knows if he’s the H-word. It’s not his intention for you to know.

    1. exactly… a marketing genius I think…controlled the buzz like amaster! I call that out in my review of the book.

  60. I was discouraged by this interview, but when I saw him speak in person earlier this week. The bottom line: who knows if he’s the H-word. It’s not his intention for you to know.

    1. exactly… a marketing genius I think…controlled the buzz like amaster! I call that out in my review of the book.

  61. I was discouraged by this interview, but when I saw him speak in person earlier this week. The bottom line: who knows if he’s the H-word. It’s not his intention for you to know.

    1. exactly… a marketing genius I think…controlled the buzz like amaster! I call that out in my review of the book.

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