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May
31

Erasing Hell – by Francis Chan (Response to Rob Bell’s “Love Wins”)

Francis Chan is writing a new book about hell. As the book won’t be out until July 5th, I have not yet read it and therefore can’t endorse it. However, I was impressed with what he had to say on this video, and I would encourage you to hear his thoughts. As he says, we can’t afford to get this issue wrong....
May
20

“Love Wins” by Rob Bell (a critique by Matt Slick of CARM)

Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry talks about Rob Bell‘s new book, Love Wins, and discusses the disturbing theological implications of Rob’s views on eternal hell: Universalism (and all of its cousins) is one of the most troubling aspects of Postmodern Theology. We must stand on the Word of God, and not on the shifting sand of public...
May
18

Is There Anything Wrong With Rob Bell’s Gospel? – by J. Lee Grady

Is There Anything Wrong With Rob Bell’s Gospel? Wednesday, 18 May 2011 07:38 AM EDT J. Lee Grady Newsletters – Fire In My Bones The popular author’s controversial book Love Wins celebrates God’s love but drifts dangerously into Universalism. I’m usually quick to speak my mind. But in the case of Rob Bell’s controversial book Love Wins, I’ve withheld comment until now because (1) I don’t think Christians should judge books before reading them; (2) the theological issues addressed require careful analysis; and (3) I have many young friends who are fans of Bell’s books, and they may write me off if I don’t treat him fairly. So I’ll begin with a compliment. Bell is a masterful writer whose prose is poetic. As pastor of the 7,000-member Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan, Bell has gained a following because of his casual style, his ultra-cool Nooma videos and the previous books he’s released with Christian publisher Zondervan (especially Velvet Elvis). With Love Wins, he’s taking his message mainstream. HarperCollins published it, and Time magazine featured a cover story in April about the firestorm Bell has triggered among conservative Christian leaders who have accused him of heresy. So what’s all the fuss about? Bell’s core theme is that Christians have been too narrow in their view of God and His mercy. He argues that God loves people too much to banish them to hell. In the end, he says, after this life is over, everybody will find ultimate reconciliation in Christ. Bell claims this is what the Bible teaches, and he suggests that Christian theologians have promoted the idea for centuries. He writes: “At the center of the Christian tradition … have been a number who insist that history is not tragic, hell is not forever and love, in the end, wins and all will be reconciled to God.” That sounds a lot like Universalism, the idea that all spiritual paths ultimately lead to heaven. But pinning the Universalist label on Bell isn’t easy because he doesn’t write authoritatively. He muses, hints, speculates and suggests his views, so not to offend. Rather than preach with conviction, he invites his readers to a “conversation.” It feels friendly and non-confrontational. Near the end of the book Bell sounds solidly evangelical when he emphasizes that people must receive the grace God has offered to us. But he sounds more like Oprah when he asks: “Has God created millions of people over tens of...
Apr
11

Four Ways Our Culture is Brainwashing Us, by J. Lee Grady

Forces in our culture want to rip the foundations of Christian faith right out from under America. Here are four lies we must challenge. This past week I spent four days preaching at Emmanuel College, a Christian liberal arts school in northeast Georgia. I love speaking to college students because they are spiritually hungry, they love passionate worship and I don’t have to wear a tie. On the third night (after a young man got saved and delivered of drug addiction—yeah God!) I told the kids I needed to get brutally honest. They gave me permission to shoot straight. Because I genuinely care about them—and because they will be spiritual leaders before too long—I warned them about four lies they must confront. Every Christian in this country must learn to dissect these lies using the Word of God. The devil is working overtime today to gain control of our nation’s soul. We are in a life-and-death struggle. This is not a time for Christians to be squishy in their faith or spineless in their convictions. We must plant our feet on the bedrock principles of the Bible and oppose each of these lies: “We must start preaching about hell again instead of worrying about who might leave our church or how it might affect our TV ratings.” 1. Hell does not exist. Jesus preached about hell more than anyone in the Bible. His words dripped with love, but He didn’t soft-pedal when addressing the eternal consequences of sin. When He began His ministry, he read from the book of Isaiah, announcing that He had come not only to “proclaim the favorable year of the Lord” but also “the day of vengeance of our God” (Is. 61:2, NASB). The real gospel is a double-edged sword that offers both the “kindness and severity of God” (Rom. 11:22, emphasis added). That’s why hell is one four-letter word we should use more often—not to condemn people in mean-spirited judgment but to warn them that mercy has a time limit. The world rejects the concept of hell because it’s too exclusive. Our Oprah-ized culture insists that everyone deserves a warm and fuzzy life free of consequences. “How can a loving God send anyone to hell?” people ask. If we truly love them we will explain that hell is not a metaphor—it is a real place of dreadful separation from God that sinners choose when they reject Him. We must start preaching about hell again...

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© Israel Wayne.