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Scot McKnight on Rob Bell's View of Hell: A Disappointing Critique (UPDATED)

I have a great deal of respect for Scot McKnight. I think he is a highly qualified NT scholar and I have been blessed by his writing. I have to be honest though, I'm disappointed in Scot due to his latest post on Love Wins.

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Guess Who's Getting Into Heaven: A Review of Love Wins by Rob Bell

Author: Rob Bell

Format: eBook

Publisher: HarperCollins (2011)

Language: English

ISBN: 9780062049636




Background on Love Wins: The Tweet Heard Round the Internet 
(well, by American Evangelicals at least)

In case you haven't heard, Rob Bell (@realrobbell) made some waves recently with the release of a new book entitled Love Wins. His name even trended momentarily on Twitter thanks in part to a blogger by the name of Justin Taylor who wrote a scathing indictment of Bell and the book on a blog called "The Gospel Coalition." Normally, I'd say Taylor is entitled to his opinion, no matter how biased it is. But this post by Taylor wasn’t simply biased, it was outright alarmist. He didn't just accuse Bell of teaching false doctrine and heresy, he had NOT READ THE BOOK!!! Shortly thereafter, and also without bothering to read the book, John Piper (who, like Bell, is also famous for his dramatic flair) tweeted "Farewell Rob Bell" and the Interwebs were nearly instantly set ablaze with the flames of a thousand "theotweets" (copyright 2011 T. C. Moore). This all led up to the actual release of the book, which brought with it its own set of reactionary reviews. So, there was that.

But before I add my review to the pile, a brief confession: I've been mostly ambivalent about Rob Bell. I heard him speak in person once a few years back when his Drops Like Stars tour came through Boston, and a year ago I listened to Mars Hill's sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount. I enjoyed both experiences, but I've never read any of Bell's books prior to this one, and to be perfectly frank, before all the hubbub over Love Wins I wouldn't have called myself much of a fan nor a detractor. But after reading the hatred and vitriol being spewed all over Bell by the folks over at The Gospel Coalition, I began to think this Bell character and his book might be worth a second look. Someone The Gospel Coalition hates this much must be writing shocking and appalling things worth examining. Which brings me to this review after finishing the book.

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Martin Bashir Interrogates Rob Bell

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Rob Bell - Love Wins

Saturday night (2/26), the name Rob Bell was trending on Twitter due to a large number of tweets and retweets reacting to a post on a popular conservative, Calvinist blog called The Gospel Coalition

Rob Bell is a best-selling author and senior pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI. He has written a new book called Love Wins. Blogger and publisher, Justin Taylor, posted that Bell is "teaching false doctrine" and that he is glad Bell

"has the integrity to lay his cards on the table about universalism."

Taylor goes on to base his conclusion about what Bell's metaphorical "cards" show on a video teaser promoting the upcoming book that lasts 2:57 (the full video can be viewed at: Taylor writes,

"It seems that this is not just optimism about the fate of those who haven’t heard the Good News, but (as it seems from [the video]) full-blown hell-is-empty-everyone-gets-saved universalism."

The video Taylor refers to makes no positive statements about what position the book will take, but instead lists several important questions the subject matter of the book raises. How a conclusion can be reached about the content of a book from the questions the book raises is beyond me.

Nevertheless, inspired by the reactions to the mere concept of Love Wins, Monday night's T2T meeting will explore some of the questions raised by Bell and their relationship to the nonviolent stance of the group.

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Theological Graffiti is a blog written by T. C. Moore @tc_moore ...a Jesus-disciple, husband, father, Associate Pastor @NewCityChurch of Los Angeles, sometimes web designer, writer, and theology geek. For more about me, visit my Personal Website or my Online Profile. Otherwise, enjoy the graffiti.

T. C.

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