In Black and White

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Rob Bell stirred up a hornet’s nest with the release of his latest book, “Love Wins“.  The book asks questions about the nature of salvation and Heaven and Hell.  Before it was even available, some people were up in arms about it due to a video in which Rob asks some provocative questions, causing these folks to brand him a universalist.  This isn’t a new charge being thrown at Bell; or anyone else, for that matter.   To some folks, if you aren’t a hard-core, 5 point Calvinist, you’re a universalist.  Which is a code word for heretic, false teacher and any other evil thing they can think of.  Bell has also been accused of obfuscation and evasion because he asks questions he doesn’t necessarily answer.  Many of his critics wonder loudly what, exactly, he believes.  In this video (actually audio) clip, he lays it out.  Rob Bell believes in

  • Jesus
  • that Jesus is the way
  • heaven and hell
  • that the Bible is God’s word
  • that he’s not a universalist because God’s love is so great He let’s you decide.
  • the communion of the saints
  • the new heaven and the new earth
  • the resurrection…,

Well, you get the picture.  Evidently, even this isn’t plain enough.  Love might win, but it seems Rob Bell can’t.

If you look at the comments on this video (and on other sites talking about this video), you’ll see people continuing to ask the same questions and cast the same accusations at Bell as they did before he did exactly what some of them had been clamoring for.  In one of the early posts about Bell and his book, Tony Jones said Rob wouldn’t rise to the bait of his detractors.  And, he didn’t for quite a while.  Looking at what’s happened now that he has, I’m wondering if that wouldn’t have been wiser.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last year and (almost) a half of blogging, it’s that you’ll never make everyone happy.  And, if you do, you’re not doing something right.  The best thing to do is say what you believe and let the chips fall where they may.  And, realize that being a heretic isn’t such a bad thing;  you’re in very good company.