Undoubtedly, many of you have heard about the recent Rob Bell hoopla; whether in the New York Times, Good Morning America, or the blogosphere. The stirring is related to his upcoming book “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived” due out on March 15. The debate has raged on for a week now, with social media blowing up because of the issue Bell’s addressing. That issue, of course, is universalism – the belief that no person is damned to hell when he or she dies. Liberal Christians have argued that a loving God could never do such a thing. The terrors of hell are no place for people to go because, after all, aren’t most people “good”? The Bible has something entirely different to say. The reality is that hell exists and that real people will go there for eternity. God is loving, but also infinitely holy and dwells in unsearchable light.
There are three men in particular who have solid responses to Rob Bell’s video: Justin Taylor, Kevin DeYoung and Al Mohler. Below are their responses to the video and the upcoming book. Click the links to see their entire responses:
1. Justin Taylor – “If Bell is teaching that hell is empty and that you can reject Jesus and still be saved, he is opposing the gospel and the biblical teaching of Jesus Christ. You may think that’s judgmental to say that; I think it’s being faithful. I would encourage a careful study of 1 Timothy to see what Paul says about false teaching and teachers.”
2. Kevin DeYoung – “Rob Bell is right about one thing: what you believe about heaven and hell says a lot about what you believe about God. That’s why theological error of this magnitude cannot go unchecked. The God of the Vimeo clip is not a God of wrath, not a God of eternal recompense, not a God who showed us love in sending his Son to be a propitiation for our wretched sins, not a God whose will it was to crush the Suffering Servant in an exercise of divine justice and free grace.”
3. Al Mohler – “The Emerging Church movement is known for its slick and sophisticated presentation. It wears irony and condescension as normal attire. Regardless of how Rob Bell’s book turns out, its promotion is the sad equivalent of a theological striptease. The Gospel is too precious and important to be commodified in this manner. The questions he asks are too important to leave so tantalizingly unanswered. Universalism is a heresy, not a lure to use in order to sell books. This much we know, almost a month before the book is to be released.”