MacArthur Wrings Bell

April 15, 2011

John MacArthur has begun a series focused on the theology of Rob Bell.  This article is the first in the series.  You can find subsequent installments at the right side of the MacArthur article under “Recent Posts”.  It appears that each will begin with “Rob Bell” in the title and the most recent will be closest to the top of the list.

True to MacArthur’s usual form, he pulls no punches in his fact and (importantly) scripturally supported arguments against Bell’s brand of liberal theology.


Martin Bashir on his interview of Rob Bell

March 18, 2011

Earlier this week, I posted a video interview of Rob Bell, conducted by Martin Bashir from MSNBC.  Apparently some have complained that Bashir’s interview tactics were in some way unfair.  I have not heard or read those complaints, but it does not take much imagination to figure out who might be levelling them.

In any case, Bashir agreed to be interviewed by a Detroit radio host yesterday, I believe.  In that interview, Bashir gives some excellent background on how and why he conducted the interview as he did.

Hear it in his own voice.  A little long, but enlightening nevertheless.

Witness, the art of asking, and not answering questions.

March 16, 2011

Martin Bashir has scored some big interviews in the course of his career. His interview of the stranger-than-strange late Michael Jackson around the time of the investigations of Jackson’s perverted relationships with young boys, is a case in point. Among Bashir’s interviews I have seen, he seems to NOT shy away from tough questions that really demand honest answers, and attempts to evade become extraordinarily obvious.

Such is the case in this interview that Bashir conducts with Rob Bell about his new book Love Wins.

Wondering where all the “waiting and see” Bell defenders are now.

March 14, 2011

The big day for the general release of Rob Bell’s new book Love Wins (not linked on purpose) is tomorrow(3/15/2011).  However, a number of respected pastors, authors and bloggers have been reviewing advanced reader copies over the last couple of weeks.  The reviews generally support the concerns and cautions that exploded on the scene a few weeks back when Bell released a promotion video in support of the new book.  And those concerns dealt with the suspicion that Bell is a universalist.  Well, it seems that those suspicions were well founded.  There are a  number of reviews out now, and I readily acknowledge that I have read but a very few.  Still this ONE is the most comprehensive that I have seen. And it is comprehensive. 21 pdf pages, comprehensive.

What I am now waiting for are the voices of those who demanded that it would be the prudent and charitable thing to do, to wait until the book was available to suggest that Bell’s theology is WAY outside the bounds of historic Christianity. 

Would love to hear how they defend against his unorthodoxy now that the book has been reviewed and we have gone beyond mere speculation from a promo video.

A short lesson in universalism

February 26, 2011

For those who know me, it will come as no surprise to you that I am no fan of Rob Bell.  In fact, I think it is a settled fact, based on his preaching, and writings that he teaches a gospel that bears very little if any resemblance to the Gospel of Jesus Christ found in the Christian scriptures.

Case in point would be his apparent belief in universalism, the notion that through some means, not spoken of in the Bible, all, no make that ALL people will wind up in heaven.  While I suppose there is a certain appeal to that sort of belief system, it would seem that if also falls well outside the bounds of historically orthodox Christian doctrine.

Click HERE to watch the video touting his upcoming book.

More gibberish from Rob Bell

May 2, 2009

Rob Bell, the man that the Chicago Sun Times has referred to as the “heir to Billy Graham” was interviewed for an article that appeared in the April 22, 2009 issue of Christianity Today.

Here are a few thoughts from the man who is influencing the post-modern mind though his pulpit ministry and his books.  Rob Bell speaks:

“I practice miltant mysticism”

“I am really absolutely sure of some things that I don’t quite know.”

“My Dad is a U.S. Federal District Judge and gets lots of death threats.  On Father’s Day a couple of years ago, there were bodyguards in our driveway at our house.  And I am okay with that.”

“We are in this very unusual convergence of power and church and religion and Jesus, where a Christian pastor is saying a prayer at the [President’s] inauguration.  I mean, what?”

Oh boy.  And this man apparently has credibility in some quarters.  As I was reading the CT interview, I wondered what is militant mysticism?  If it is anything like miltant Islamists, militant feminists, militant right-wing extremists, militant homosexuals or essentially any other noun I can think of, modified by the term “militant,” I’m relatively certain I don’t want to have anything to do with it.  I am not even sure that the term “militant Christian” would be all that flattering.  In fact, I’ll correct that, it is NOT flattering.

The second quote sounds like it might have come from Alice in Wonderland or perhaps some confessional mantra from an eastern religion of enlightenment.  As for the third, the context for this quote is his lamentation over the violence in our culture.  So, am I to take it that he is okay with his father getting death threats, so long as there are bodyguards? 

With respect to that forth quote, well, I think it speaks for itself.  Here is a man who is pastor of a sort-of Christian church, yet he evidently is bewildered or perhaps even offended by a Christian praying at the inauguration of the President.

But if you think those were strange, here is Rob Bell’s summary of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“I would say that history is headed somewhere. The thousands of little ways in which you are tempted to believe that hope might actually be a legitimate response to the insanity of the world actually can be trusted. And the Christian story is that a tomb is empty, and a movement has actually begun that has been present in a sense all along in creation. And all those times when your cynicism was at odds with an impulse within you that said that this little thing might be about something bigger—those tiny little slivers may in fact be connected to something really, really big.”

A summary of the gospel.  Thus sayeth the “heir to Billy Graham.” 

Welcome to the new and improved Christ-less Christianity,…Rob Bell Style.  No perfect Creator, no disobedience by man, no judgment, no substitutionary atonement, no redemption, no regeneration, no eternity.  No worries!  Just tiny little slivers!

And my response…Come, Lord Jesus!

Nooma – without the nuance

February 13, 2008

Those who know me are familiar with my skepticism and in some cases outright criticism of certain aspects of the Emergent Church Movement.  (NOTE: I said Emergent, not simply emerging as that is something related, but decidedly different)  Additionally, readers of this site may have seen my comments regarding Emergent Village leaders Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones.  And in my role as “pastor” to the college-aged staff at the youth camp that I serve on the board of, I have taught about the diminished view of scripture and the dismissal of orthodox doctrine that seems to characterize much of the teaching that is present in the Emergent churches.  And until they provide evidence to the contrary, I will remain skeptical of their authenticity and caution against anything other than a critical engagement with their fellowships.

I have also written about Rob Bell.  Bell is a pastor in Michigan, who claims no specific affiliation with Emergent Village.  But theologically, his “non-member” status is a distinction without a difference.  He preaches much the same message, which I will call a “partial Gospel.”  Bell has become well known outside the Emergent circles through his Nooma video series.  I have also written a less than complimentary article about one particular Nooma video titled Bullhorn.

Greg Gilbert, who is director of research for Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, has written three articles on the subject of Rob Bell’s Nooma videos.  Gilbert’s articles are thoughtful assessments of Nooma and well worth the time spent reading, particularly if you have any contact with the audience to whom these videos are aimed.  Use the links below to Greg’s articles.  Be informed!

The Scoop’a on Nooma

Part 1          Part 2          Part 3