Posted by: Mark | March 16, 2011

Rob Bell on one page

I know that some of you guys are Rob Bell fans as we have talked in the past or I have read your facebook status and blog posts. I personally don’t know the guy but wanted to put here some resources on his latest book and the controversy that surrounds it. I would love to hear your views on some of the following.

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, Rob Bell recently (in the last day or two) published a new book called Love Wins: Heaven, Hell and the Future of all Mankind. It has created a high level of controversy, even in the secular news world because some say Rob Bell is advocating Universalism. If universalism is what is being pushed here then that ain’t good. Universalism is a dangerous thought line that portrays a God who is defined only by love and not by justice and honesty. That is not a biblical God. Rob describes himself as a pastor first but I don’t understand how a pastor could remove the reality of hell and still be loving to those who attend his church. I also don’t understand his splitting of hairs by saying he is not a universalist but that he thinks that eventually God’s love will win everyone over and everyone will go to heaven.

As I said I don’t know the guy but after watching the following video I wonder if he walks like a cowboy after sitting on the fence so much. I have not heard anyone before use so many words to say nothing.

The following extract is from here and gives a good overview, for those who don’t have a clue what I am on about, of some of the blog posts and articles online that cover the story so far. For those who are interested in what the emerging church is and how Rob Bell fits in, there is one mans explanation here.

Justin Taylor Responds First

Justin Taylor responded to this video on his blog on the Gospel Coalition’s website. Until then the debate sat motionless, but this was the push the controversy needed to get it rolling full-force downhill.

CNN Covers the Heated Debate

CNN decided to jump in and cover what was going on between the two sides as arguments grew more heated (for lack of a better word) .

CNN – Zondervan Splits with Bell

Another article appeared on CNN which went into more depth with the Rob Bell controversy while also discussing his previous publisher’s (Zondervan) split with him.

Relevant Magazine on Universalism and Bell

Scot McKnight breaks down the different types of universalism and notes that we will be seeing nothing new here than in centuries past.

Challies – The First Review of the Book

Tim Challies received one of the first copies of the book and quickly got the review out.

Al Mohler’s Two Part Series

Part 1 + Part 2 ~ In this 2-part series, Al Mohler addressed “Doing Away with Hell?” and the attention it demands.

Kevin DeYoung Reviews the Book

Kevin DeYoung of the Gospel Coalition spent a good amount of time with the book and hammered out a 20-page review.

Christianity Today Reviews the Book

Mark Galli reviewed the book for Christianity Today, examining the answers Bell gives and how it might sabotage his goals.

USA Today – Pastor’s Book Kindles Firestorm

The debate made enough noise to get picked up by USA Today yesterday morning.

“Mars Hell” by Doug Wilson

Douglas Wilson points to the present effects of what happens when we deny things about eternity.

“To Hell With Hell?” by Mark Driscoll

Yesterday, we released this post from Pastor Mark that was adapted from a chapter of his book Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe.



  1. mark , i could only listen to him for a minute (if even, there on that link)…man had gone mad…and is leading so many others astray. Not Good!!

    • Hello. I am really disappointed to see all the negatives on Rob Bell. I have been listening to Rob before he had his church, when we would meet in the home-schooled building gym. Rob is truely a man of God. I then moved to Chicago, then back to Grand Rapids, and now in Pontiac, MI. Every chance I can get, I will hear Rob deliver his message. I wish everyone could listen to him for a few messages. I can see where people who listen to him on a interview cannot understand his style of talking. One has to hear him. In my head, I recall so many messages of his, which are profound. Like Rob says, these truths of the gospel are the same, he just presents them in a 21st century style. That I feel is what causes so much controversary. He would never complain about other leaders of faith. It’s all where one is in their walk, sytle of worship. The first time I went to his church (GYM) I loved his messages, but had to get used to a new style of worship. As the spirit speaks truth during his message, the new insight begins to peel away at the old and brings in the new spiritual truths of this century. I agree with Rob, why would a loving God throw us away by ways where we have lost our way? Humans CREATE there own Hell. Love always wins.

      • Sally, I am sorry that you view what I have written and shared as anti-Rob Bell as a person. I do not know the man as a person and also view it as non-Christian to judge a person. I am therefore not judging him personally and I am sorry if I have come across that way. Also style and method are two things that are variable and there is not a real point in judging these things.
        I am however, and would encourage you, to question the content of what he says against the absolute truth of the Bible. It doesn’t really matter what Rob bell THINKS or what I THINK or what anyone THINKS – it only matter what actually is. And as a Christian I believe that God has laid out what actually is in the Bible. I would encourage you to have the Berean attitude that we read about in the Bible ( where these Godly people questioned even what the apostle Paul taught and measured it against the scripture.
        Although sincerity can be an admirable quality it is possible to be sincerely wrong. A person, while being sincerely wrong can guide other people into an awful place the whole time thinking and believing that he is acting lovingly. By saying I think Rob Bell is wrong on this matter I am not slighting him but merely trying to do my duty as a loving thinking Christian in correcting and refining wrong thinking.
        If I am right and Rob Bell is wrong I would be doing a huge disservice to everyone if I didn’t point it out – because Rob Bells teaching could lead to eternal punishment for people who follow it. And let me be clear that is what I think will happen if this teaching spreads. The logical conclusion to draw from what I have heard Rob Bell say is that it doesn’t matter what I do in this life because I will end up in heaven anyways – this is not true and ultimately not loving teaching.
        Finally, Rob Bell by his nature is someone who is questioning beliefs of others. It would seem somewhat hypocritical if his ideas were above question.
        My hope through putting all this information out there is for people to fully read up on this topic and for the Holy Spirit to help us all realize what really is true.

  2. Heard about this last night from Harris.. How does he think what he’s saying is biblical even in the smallest sense? And he has the perfect opportunity to share the Gospel with millions of MSNBC viewers and doesn’t?

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