First of all, I am a little bit late to the discussion, I know. However, when I first heard about this book that Rob Bell was writing, called 'Love Wins', it was after reading a blog post somewhere on the topic. Shortly afterwords people all over the web were giving their opinions of Rob Bell, the book, and his ministry. Many people were stating that you can't judge the book based off of a short video – especially before you have read the book! Those same people said that the video was just a promotional video and that Bell knows how to stir the pot to drum up sales for his book. Many others claimed that what Bell was presenting was clear, he was preaching Universalism, and they weren't going to stand for that.
This subject became a very emotional and heated discussion. After all, would a good God really send people to hell? I spent a lot of time reading what people where saying – especially those defending Bell. Many people who read the book were people who were defending him, and I wanted to hear what they had to say. Here is the promo video for you to watch it yourself, from the site, RobBell.com/LoveWins.
There are many immediate thoughts that go through a person's mind, whether they agree with Rob Bell or not. Shortly afterwords Bell did an interview with a guy who clearly disagree's with Universalism, and claims that Rob Bell is spreading this kind of belief. While Rob Bell clearly denies several of the points that the interviewer makes, he also leaves many people wondering what he does actually believe.
I have had several conversations with people who are fan's of Rob Bell and his work. I have read blogs by his supporters, and I have come to conclude that I disagree with both Rob Bell and his supporters. One of the best articles that I have read on this topic is by Kevin-DeYoung, a small town pastor in Michigan. DeYoung is both fair and balanced, and he tries to keep his opinion out of the equation and only base his article on what the Word says vs. what Love Wins says (he did read the book).
I also really appreciate the perspective that Francis Chan provides. I am also looking forward to his book coming out, as I think it will bring balance to the discussion on Heaven and Hell. Chan goes through not only what the Bible says, but why it's important that we accept what scripture says.
Throughout this whole debate, the one thing that I have a problem with more than any other is simple. Rob Bell has a VERY large amount of people that he teaches and ministers too through his books, Nooma video's, and church – Mars Hill. As a teacher, if Rob Bell is wrong, he is going to be held responsible (James 3:1) for what he has taught millions of people! I don't have a problem with Rob Bell questioning what he believes or even what is true. My fear is that as Bell goes through this journey, there will be those who accept his questioning without researching for themselves what they believe. This may lead them to accepting a theology that prevents them from living the life Christ died for, or even worse yet, keeping them out of Heaven! That is why I really love what Francis Chan has done. He was gone back to the Word of God and searched for what the Word says. For all of the people who follow Bell but don't come back around to the truth, what will happen to them? And at what level will Rob Bell be held responsible? What do you believe on the subject? And more importantly, do you know what you believe for yourself or did you get it out of a book?