Tag Archives: Rob Bell

To Hell With Marriage… Oh Wait, There Is No Hell

On Sunday, former pastor and author Rob Bell expressed his support for gay “marriage” during a forum at Grace Cathedral, the Episcopal Cathedral of the Diocese of California.

“I am for marriage,” he said. “I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think … we need to affirm people wherever they are.” Continue reading —>

Frankly, I’m only surprised it didn’t happen sooner. Anyone who has paid any attention to Bell’s career over the past couple of years will hardly be flabbergasted at this latest bit of funny business. He’s been retreating from orthodoxy for some time now, with the steadiness of Aesop’s tortoise – only quite a bit faster.

The word ‘love’ holds a prominent place in his vocabulary, yet it lacks any kind of biblical mooring. It’s merely the sentimentalism of postmodern times, weak-kneed and nauseatingly vapid: the kind of love that “affirms” you where you are, even if where you are is on the road to hell.

But of course, I have forgotten: Bell isn’t so sure about the whole hell thing. And if there is no hell, no place of eternal punishment for unrepentant sinners, then why is repentance such a big deal anyway? Love wins, don’t you know.

So I’ll hang with Jesus, and you hang with sin, ’cause we’ll all wind up in heaven in the end.

Bell talks a lot about God’s love. But what about God’s holiness? What about His justice? What about His fierce and eternal wrath again sin? God’s attributes are not, to borrow the words of Timothy Tennent, “like separate petals on a flower. God’s love is a just love. God’s mercy is a holy mercy, and so forth.” You cannot proclaim them in isolation. You cannot tell me of God’s love without also telling me of His wrath. The one has no meaning without the other.

The evangelical perspective, says Bell, is “narrow, politically intertwined, [and] culturally ghettoized.” We need to turn away from such “destructive” policies. We need to “die or adapt.”

Die or adapt. This, in rank opposition to the words of St. Paul: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

We are not called to adapt, Mr. Bell. We are called to stand fast (Philippians 4:1). Nor are we called to die, at least not in the way that you mean it. Christ’s Church will endure. He will have His Bride, and she will be spotless.

You would have us abandon Scripture, Mr. Bell, for the sake of cultural Brownie points. God and His Word must bend at the behest of our postmodern whim. “Cast your Bibles to the wind and wed the spirit of the age!”

But then, as Chesterton would say, “He who weds the spirit of the age soon finds himself a widower.”

Humility In the Wrong Place

 In Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton writes,

What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert – himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt – the Divine Reason… 
We are on the road to producing a race of man too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.

Is not this one of the defining spirits of our age?

Secular culture delights in relativistic thinking and revels in questioning fundamental truths. Really, such a trend shouldn’t be all that shocking. Can anything else possibly be expected of fallen man?

What’s truly unsettling is the way many Christians are following suite. Knowingly or unknowingly, they are abandoning conviction in favor of this false humility, this predilection to doubt and question anything and everything, even the most basic doctrines of their faith.

But truth – specifically God’s truth – is not negotiable. If it was, it wouldn’t be truth.

Apparently, some people didn’t get the memo.

I know we’re all pretty much sick and tired of hearing about Rob Bell, but is he not a perfect illustration of this? He wrote a 230 page book questioning the biblical doctrine of Hell. Funny thing is, his questions had already been answered. Definitively. By God Himself. In the Bible.

“Has God indeed said?”  Many Christians today would rather ponder that question instead of firmly avowing that, yes, God has indeed said. Why? Because to them, a thousand shallow questions are preferrable to a single, substantial answer.

However (and as I said in an earlier post), here’s the thing: questions are not the answer. Answers are the answer. And not  just any answers – the right answers. God’s answers. Because His are the only ones that matter.

Whether people like it or not, that’s how it is.

Questions Are Not the Answer

In case you missed it in Monday’s F&J, a group called C.A.S.T. Productions recently pulled together a brilliant parody of Rob Bell’s book trailer for Love Wins. See below:

It’s straightforward, it’s funny, but it also calls to light a sad trend in today’s culture: people would rather ponder shallow questions than consider solid answers. Bell is a perfect example of this: he wrote a 230 page book focusing on questions that have already been definitively answered by another, greater Author – God.

Questions are not the answer. Answers are the answer. And not just any answers – the right answers. God’s answers. Because His are the only ones that matter.