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Author Topic:   Love Wins - Rob Bell
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 1 of 30 (608836)
03-14-2011 11:55 AM


This book hasn't been released yet but it is apparently stirring up a great deal of discussion. The obvious thing that it points out is that there is considerable disagreement within Christianity about the nature of hell and how you wind up getting there.

For whatever my view is worth I think that he is on the right track. His views reminds me of the book by CS Lewis called "The Great Divorce".

Here is an article from USA Today on the book.

Love Wins by Rob Bell


Replies to this message:
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slevesque
Member (Idle past 2049 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 2 of 30 (608843)
03-14-2011 1:46 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by GDR
03-14-2011 11:55 AM


I see what his intentions are, but I think that he misunderstands the theology of Hell and God, at least in that small video in the usa today article.

Damn Hippsters!


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GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 3 of 30 (608900)
03-15-2011 2:40 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by slevesque
03-14-2011 1:46 PM


I think his view is becoming more mainstream. The view that in the end people choose between love of self and love of God. Nobody should be forced into an eternity with God against their wishes. His view is along the same lines as C S Lewis, Tim Keller and N T (Tom) Wright.
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Marked
Junior Member (Idle past 2168 days)
Posts: 1
From: Eastwood, UK
Joined: 03-17-2011


Message 4 of 30 (609271)
03-17-2011 9:40 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by GDR
03-15-2011 2:40 AM


Hi.

in the end people choose between love of self and love of God.

Does the book say whether or not Jesus has a role to play in any of this?

I don't think the book is out yet, so perhaps we don't know yet. But I liked the intro vid.


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GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 5 of 30 (609286)
03-18-2011 2:02 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Marked
03-17-2011 9:40 PM


He does. This is from beliefnet:

quote:

(RNS) Talk about hellfire! One of the nation's rock-star-popular young pastors, Rob Bell, 40, has stuck a pitchfork in how Christians talk about damnation.

Pastor Bell's Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, arrived in stores Tuesday (March 15).

Critics pounced before the book was even published, provoking weeks of fierce infighting among pastors, theologians and anyone else who scans the Christian blogosphere.

In Love Wins, Bell claims:

ēHeaven and hell are choices we make and live with right now. "God gives us what we want," including the freedom to live apart from God (hell) or turn God's way (heaven).
ēDeath doesn't cut off the ability to repent. In his Bible, Bell sees no "infinite, eternal torment for things (people) did in their few finite years of life."
ēJesus makes salvation possible even for people who never know his name. "We have to allow for mystery," for people who "drink from the rock" of faith "without knowing who or what it was."
ēChurches that don't allow for this are "misguided and toxic."
Small wonder that traditionalists call him a false teacher of a Jesus-optional gospel, leading innocents to damnation and a traitor to the evangelical label.

In an interview with USA TODAY, Bell jokes: "I am not aware that labels are the highest form of goodness and truth." He rebuffs critics who say he presents a Jesus-optional Christianity: "Jesus spoke of the renewal of all things. He said, 'I have sheep who are not of this flock.' Through him, extraordinary things are happening in the world."

Bell's view is "that God is love, that he sent Jesus to show us that love, that love demands freedom. So making definitive judgments about other people's destiny is not interesting to me. The heart of God is to rescue everyone from everything we need to be rescued from."

It's a mercy that Bell doesn't read his press or social networks.

Justin Taylor of the Gospel Coalition, a network of traditionalist scholars and pastors, says Bell's views are "dangerous and contrary to the word of God. ... If Bell doesn't believe in eternal punishment, then he doesn't think sin is an offense against a holy God."

It was Taylor's critique last month, based on reading a few chapters, that triggered explosive arguments radiating from Christian sites to CNN. Now that he has read all 200 pages, Taylor is even more convinced of Bell's errors.

"Whether you like it or not, the Bible presents true teaching and warns against false teachers, even those who look like great people," says Taylor, digging at Bell's highly stylized videos circulating online and among churches coast to coast."

But Richard Mouw, president of the world's largest Protestant seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary based in Pasadena, Calif., calls Love Wins "a great book," well within the bounds of orthodox Christianity and passionate about Jesus.

The real hellacious fight, says Mouw, a friend of Bell, a Fuller graduate, is between "generous orthodoxy and stingy orthodoxy. There are stingy people who just want to consign many others to hell and only a few to heaven and take delight in the idea. But Rob Bell allows for a lot of mystery in how Jesus reaches people."

(Cathy Lynn Grossman writes for USA Today.)


http://blog.beliefnet.com/...tics-heated-up-by-bells-hel.php


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GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 6 of 30 (609358)
03-18-2011 3:09 PM


Newsweek Interview
Here is a link to a Newsweek interview with Rob Bell on the interview. If you move the cursor to the 13 minute point you'll miss the introduction.

Newsweek Interview of Rob Bell about his book Love Wins


    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 7 of 30 (609402)
03-19-2011 11:00 AM


CNN on Rob Bell
I have ordered the book from amazon but won't have it for another couple of weeks. It is certainly stirring up a great deal of controversy. Here is CNN's report on Bell and his book.

CNN on Rob Bell


    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 8 of 30 (612755)
04-18-2011 2:34 PM


I have finished reading the book. I found it very interesting. It isn't the typical evangelical point of view and he certainly has upset a number of his fellow evangelicals.

Personally I think that he is on the right track, (which of course assumes that I am ), but the only problem I had with the book is that I would like tohave heard more about what he specifically believes about his Christian faith.

Here is a Time article on the book.

Is Hell Dead

Actually I don't think the Time article accurately reflects Bell's beliefs about hell. Bell claims that he is not a universalist and I would agree with that. He does however assert, as do many others, that in the end those that wind up in hell choose it.

This Time article mentions that he is a huge devotee of N T Wright as am I. I believe that his views on the subject are consistent with Wright's and for that matter Timothy Keller

I see all three as being traditionally orthodox in their approach to scripture, Christ's bodily resurrection and the coming together of heaven and earth at the end of time as we know it. They all preach moral responsibility and that what we do in regard to our planet and the life on it matters eternally.

Bottom line it does depart from the distorted Christian view that what matters is getting our theology right. As Rob Bell succinctly puts it "Love Wins"

Edited by GDR, : No reason given.

Edited by GDR, : Messed up the link


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
Replies to this message:
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 Message 10 by Stile, posted 04-18-2011 3:08 PM GDR has responded

    
Aware Wolf
Member
Posts: 154
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 02-13-2009


Message 9 of 30 (612756)
04-18-2011 2:57 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by GDR
04-18-2011 2:34 PM


quote:
He does however assert, as do many others, that in the end those that wind up in hell choose it.

I don't see how it makes sense that anyone in their right mind chooses hell. Not unless hell really isn't all that bad, or they don't have all the information.

I supposed someone suffering from depression or feeling very guilty over something they did may choose it, but that would be tragic and silly.


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 Message 8 by GDR, posted 04-18-2011 2:34 PM GDR has responded

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Stile
Member
Posts: 2870
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 10 of 30 (612758)
04-18-2011 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by GDR
04-18-2011 2:34 PM


GDR writes:

...the only problem I had with the book is that I would like tohave heard more about what he specifically believes about his Christian faith

I only briefly read some of your links and such, but from what I can gather this is on purpose. That is, Rob Bell doesn't talk specifically about his beliefs because he doesn't think such things are important:

quote:
Bell's view is "that God is love, that he sent Jesus to show us that love, that love demands freedom. So making definitive judgments about other people's destiny is not interesting to me. The heart of God is to rescue everyone from everything we need to be rescued from."

This "freedom" that the love demands would encompass many of the specifics I would guess that you want to know. So, I would guess that even if you asked him directly, his answer would not be so much a specific answer as more of a general "let's not get hung up on details" dismissal anyway.

Actually I don't think the Time article accurately reflects Bell's beliefs about hell. Bell claims that he is not a universalist and I would agree with that. He does however assert, as do many others, that in the end those that wind up in hell choose it.

The Hell Rob talks about is just 'separation from God,' yes? Not necessarily eternal torment in the generally direct fire/painful sense? In this way, I can see some folk choosing to be away from God... and therefore "choosing Hell."

Bottom line it does depart from the distorted Christian view that what matters is getting our theology right.

I agree. I'm no Bible-scholar, but isn't that one of Jesus' main messages to the Pharisees? Not to focus on getting the theology right, but to focus on being a good person?


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GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 11 of 30 (612759)
04-18-2011 3:12 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Aware Wolf
04-18-2011 2:57 PM


Aware Wolf writes:

I don't see how it makes sense that anyone in their right mind chooses hell. Not unless hell really isn't all that bad, or they don't have all the information.

Rather than looking for a quote from Bell or the others I'll try it in my own words. In the 60's a couple of phrases that were popular was "looking out for number one" or "if it feels good do it". The point of these phrases that was that it was all about "me".

In the end, and I believe that is very scriptural, (read Matthew 25 with the separating of the sheep and the goats), we choose between selfish love and unselfish love. If at the end we choose to hang on to our love of self and we reject a world that is characterized by unselfish love then we will have chosen hell whatever that looks like.

C S Lewis wrote the book "The Great Divorce" which I think does a great job in a metaphorical way of making sense of this.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
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GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 12 of 30 (612761)
04-18-2011 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Stile
04-18-2011 3:08 PM


Stile writes:

This "freedom" that the love demands would encompass many of the specifics I would guess that you want to know. So, I would guess that even if you asked him directly, his answer would not be so much a specific answer as more of a general "let's not get hung up on details" dismissal anyway.

I guess my point was that there has to be a foundation on which to build your case, and I would like to have present more detail on that. However, I understand what you're getting at and you are likely correct.

Stile writes:

The Hell Rob talks about is just 'separation from God,' yes? Not necessarily eternal torment in the generally direct fire/painful sense? In this way, I can see some folk choosing to be away from God... and therefore "choosing Hell."

I think it is pretty much like that. I think it is very hard to let go the of the traits that we pick up along the way in this life.

Stile writes:

I'm no Bible-scholar, but isn't that one of Jesus' main messages to the Pharisees? Not to focus on getting the theology right, but to focus on being a good person?

Largely yes. The Pharisees believed that they would be rewarded for "religiously" following a complex list of laws, (not totally unlike some churches today). MInd you, in their mind the reward would be God returning and establishing Israel as kingdom that would rule militarily over its neighbours.

Jesus presented a very different picture.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
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Stile
Member
Posts: 2870
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 13 of 30 (612764)
04-18-2011 3:41 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by GDR
04-18-2011 3:12 PM


Lots of questions, just curious
GDR writes:

In the end, and I believe that is very scriptural, (read Matthew 25 with the separating of the sheep and the goats), we choose between selfish love and unselfish love. If at the end we choose to hang on to our love of self and we reject a world that is characterized by unselfish love then we will have chosen hell whatever that looks like.

Is faith important at all? If so, which has priority?

It's certainly possible for someone to experience and choose unselfish love over selfish love without using faith in Jesus (or faith in much of anything, really). Therefore, faith is irrelevant to one's eternal life placement?
(Maybe this apathy towards faith is why so many are calling Rob Bell a heretic?)

Where do you think faith fits into all this?
Just a useful tool for some to find the path to unselfish love?
Or something that's more... required for some other important message?


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Aware Wolf
Member
Posts: 154
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 02-13-2009


Message 14 of 30 (612765)
04-18-2011 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by GDR
04-18-2011 3:12 PM


quote:
In the 60's a couple of phrases that were popular was "looking out for number one" or "if it feels good do it". The point of these phrases that was that it was all about "me".

Wouldn't the folks who are "overly" interested in themselves be even more likely to choose paradise over torment for themselves?


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 Message 11 by GDR, posted 04-18-2011 3:12 PM GDR has responded

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GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 15 of 30 (612809)
04-19-2011 12:21 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Stile
04-18-2011 3:41 PM


Re: Lots of questions, just curious
Stiles writes:

Is faith important at all? If so, which has priority?

It's certainly possible for someone to experience and choose unselfish love over selfish love without using faith in Jesus (or faith in much of anything, really). Therefore, faith is irrelevant to one's eternal life placement?
(Maybe this apathy towards faith is why so many are calling Rob Bell a heretic?)

Where do you think faith fits into all this?
Just a useful tool for some to find the path to unselfish love?
Or something that's more... required for some other important message?

I think that faith is crucial. The question is faith in what and for what reason. If we are talking about where we spend eternity then it is a matter of having faith in the Christís message of love, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, justice etc. I donít see anywhere in the scriptures that those attributes will only be found amongst those that call themselves Christian. I suggest that scripture makes the case that not all followers of Jesus have it right either.

quote:
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles ?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.

Incidentally, scripture does indicate that the choices that we make in this life do have eternal consequences, so maybe itís more than just a matter of either spending eternity with God in the new creation or being separated from Him for eternity whatever that looks like. Maybe our lives now will impact what our lives will look like in the next life whether we are in or out.

Here is another verse in Matthew 7 that I think a number of people who call themselves Christian should ponder.

quote:
1 "Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 "For in the way you judge, you will be judged ; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

Having said that I also believe that Christian faith is crucial. I believe that when an individual comes to believe in Jesus Christ and all that goes with that, then something changes. First off, when I say believe, I am not talking about just intellectual assent, but more importantly belief meaning that we trust in what Jesus taught and in what Jesus did for us on the cross. I contend that when someone makes that decision with both mind, and more importantly heart, that there is a change in that personís life that is assisted by the Holy Spirit of God.

I suggest that this change of heart that is experienced does bring about the change of heart in the direction that God desires of all of us. However, it is not just about salvation, but, and very importantly, it is about vocation. The Christian vocation is to be reflectors of Christís love, mercy, forgiveness, justice etc to the world and for the world, with the idea that the world gradually over time becomes a reflection of the one who created us. Christians are called to follow the example of Christ and be servants to and for the world. From personal experience I would agree that as often as not we do a miserable job of it, but still, that is the job we have been given to do.

Iíd add the note that becoming a Christian does not necessarily make me more Christ-like than my atheistic neighbour but it should make me more Christ-like than I had been previously.

So yes,I believe that faith does play a crucial role in all of this.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
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