Mars Hill Bible Church “pastor” and author, Rob Bell, has a new book coming out later this month. I see that, even in pre-pub, it has already ignited a fire-storm. The book is Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. The fire-storm is over Bell’s universalist point of view which, apparently, is made even more clear in this book. This one should be interesting to read, but I already know what the Bible says about it: Heaven is real, and it is the place where those who have believed that Jesus is the Christ will live forever with God and his Son (John 14:1-6); Hell also is real, and it is Satan’s forever-dwelling-place, and all who have denied the deity of Jesus and not availed themselves of his saving power will exist forever in that place, away from God’s presence (Matthew 25:41-46; Matthew 5:22, 29, 30).
Watch for more when the book comes out (more firestorm as well as more from me)…
Here’s a link to CNN’s Religion Blog where I first read the story: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/01/what-is-a-heretic-exactly-in-the-evangelical-church/
I watched a short tailer for the book in which Bell was trying to convey the content of the book in a series of questions that followed a story. The story was about a Gandhi quote that had been displayed on some artwork at an art show being held at the church building. Apparently someone taped a note next to the quote that said, “Reality check. Gandhi is in hell.” Bell’s next words were, “Gandhi is in hell? Really?”
So, the general flavor of the book, as Bell represents it, is that God wouldn’t punish “good” people. It will be interesting to see what the book actually says. Usually the marketing hypes up the concept for attention, so the book may be quite a bit different from the controversy portrayed in the news.
As for the fate of Gandhi, God knows. It’s His decision, not mine. All I know is that God tells me to believe in His Son. So, I’ll stick with Jesus.
In that regard (that God wouldn’t punish good people), Bell may only be a reflection of our age and culture. I appreciate your input – and your conclusion is powerfully “on target”.