Rob Bell: I'm not a universalist

Rob BellSome words of Rob Bell:

I believe in heaven, and I believe in hell. …

I’m not a universalist, because I believe God’s love is so great God lets you decide. …

I believe it’s best to only discuss books you’ve actually read.

Taken from this YouTube video:

As I haven’t read Love Wins, I will not discuss it here.

Thanks for the video link to Phil Ritchie, who is now Team Rector of the parish whose electoral roll I have been on for more than 30 years, and is based at the church building where I was married in 2009.

9 thoughts on “Rob Bell: I'm not a universalist

  1. Disciple, if you really want to address Rob Bell, you will have to find some other way to do so.

    Anyway, I’m not sure what you mean. Are you suggesting that he should replace his book by one which states his position less ambiguously? Or are you saying that he should repent of the position behind his book, not universalist and believing in hell? Neither of these suggestions seems consistent with what you have written on your blog about hell.

    By the way, have you read his book? Or are you relying on the opinions of people like John Piper who wrote the book off without reading it?

  2. He believes in salvation but no mention of salvation by faith. After reading his stuff on how we are to be saved in Love Wins this does not surprise me. The mockery and terrible use of Scripture when he attacks the doctrine of salvation by faith in that book is unreal.

  3. Joel, I don’t understand the issue, having not read the book. Are you saying that Bell believes in salvation by works? Or are you suggesting that he says people will be saved anyway despite not having any faith at all? The latter seems improbable because I don’t see how one can decide to accept salvation without having some kind of faith – and Bell makes it clear that “God lets you decide”.

  4. I really appreciated this clip when it was first released in May….and specifically appreciated his last comment “I believe it’s best to only discuss books you’ve actually read.

    There have been far far too many people writing reviews and commentary about his book that have in fact never read it. I have not yet read it, but I am really looking forward to it. Anything that motivates me to think about what I believe is a good thing…and like Socrates – asking “why” is one of the best questions I can ask about my faith.

    I have my suspicions about what he has written in Love Wins – but I will not discredit it just becuase so many have already stated their dismissal of the book and of Mr Bell. There is a good chance that they either haven’t read it entirely or at all. While I do not agree with the assumed premise or conclusion of the book; I wonder, knowing what I know about Bell, if he does actually draw a conclusion or simply leave the reader to ponder and seek truth for themselves…that which, in my opinion, is a far greater result.

  5. Thanks, Chris. The problem, I think, is that some people can’t handle open-ended books. They think Rob Bell must have come to some conclusions. So they imagine what those conclusions are, from the book or perhaps just from the publicity material. They then use their imagined conclusions as a stick to beat Bell with.

  6. I’ve read the book. It paints a scripturally-based picture of an abundant God, crazy in love with us. I don’t know why it’s so important for much of the Christian right that Gandhi be in Hell. I suspect that their religion, and mine, too for that matter, is a defense against eternal night, death and all that is so frightening that it is felt rather than named. Maybe it’s pride. The enemies of Bell certainly seem to need a heretic.

  7. Thank you, King Cake. I think there are some Christians who consider it their life’s mission to smoke out heretics based on even the smallest hint of false teaching. How sad!

  8. Pingback: All will be saved, not just the elect - Gentle Wisdom

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