Highway to Bell!

In case you missed it, Rob Bell has written a book! ‘No, really!’ I hear you exclaim in mock amazement. It seems that there isn’t a Christian in the world who hasn’t got an opinion on it. Some have read the book, most (I suspect) have not and never will. But that won’t stop them from having an opinion. For my part I am going to get the book – I wasn’t before but I am now. My reasons are twofold.

First, I want to see what Rob is actually saying for myself. If he is advocating something controversial then I want to understand what it is and how/why he says it. Where is he coming from? What evidence does he have?

Secondly, there are far too many opinions out there that begin with ‘I haven’t read the book and never will, but here is what I think….’ I reckon that’s just about the dumbest thing I have heard, and its unworthy of anything Christian. Uninformed comment is just that… uninformed! And it carries about as much weight as a feather duster. I’m tired of hearing it, I’m tired of Christians saying it.

I’m not going to defend the guy, if he is wrong then he is wrong. For the record here is where I stand on this whole universalism idea.

Question: Is there a heaven and a hell?

Answer: Yes I believe there is, Jesus spoke of these places as realities that await all of us, depending on the choices we make in this life.

Question: Does God want to save all people?

Answer: Yes. I believe it was/is always God’s intent that people should enter into a relationship with Him through Jesus, and therefore their current life and future destiny are changed forever.

Question: Does God send people to Hell?

Answer: No. God does not, His desire is for people to be restored and reconciled with Him. But people can and will choose to reject His offer – in which case they have chosen for hell. Choices can, and do, have consequences.

Question: Will God eventually save everyone?

Answer: No (and this is where I think it gets tricky with Rob Bell). My reading of the texts of the bible leads me to the view that Hell is eternal – there is no going back. But my other reason is that God has given us a free will, and it is rare for Him to act against that free will. We are Christian because (among other things) we chose to listen and follow Him. We took God up on His offer. Right from the days of creation it seems to me that humanity has always had a choice. God lays out the consequences for each choice – but we still have to make our own minds up.

Now all of this is set out rather simply I know, and there are added complexities to the argument. But this is a blog, not a masters thesis; and I’ll wait until I’ve read the book before making any further comment.

About andy63

Auditorium/Facilities Manager at Kennedy Baptist College. Family man, Dockers Supporter, NFL and NBA tragic who loves the Red Bull Air Race and a good meal. A Christian who is grateful for grace and forgiveness and the fact that Jesus is alive.

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