Over the last month we have seen articles about the release of Rob Bell's new book Love Wins which was released on Tuesday. It seems Bell has been attacked by many big name Evangelicals and clearly supported by the staff of Mars Hill Bible Church (where Bell is on staff)and many other Christians based on comments of articles written. But this begs a big question: Who really cares about Rob Bell?
To determine who really cares about Rob Bell we must figure out what it means to care and love for a person or people in general. Rob Bell addresses what he believes to be love all the while adding confusion about the word. Bell is trying to speak of God's love while distorting the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Al Mohler in his article We Have Seen all this Before and the (Re) Emergence of Liberal Theology quotes Bell's book:
It begins in the sure and certain truth that we are loved. That in spite of whatever has gone horribly wrong deep in our hearts and has spread to every corner of the world, in spite of our sins, failures, rebellion, and hard hearts, in spit of what has been done to us or what we've done, God has made peace with us.
Mohler says, "Missing from his Gospel is any clear reference to Christ, any adequate understanding of our sin, any affirmation of the holiness of God and his pledge to punish sin, any reference to the shed blood of Christ, his death on the cross, his substitutionary atonement, and his resurrection, and, so tellingly, any reference to faith as the sinners response to the Good News of the Gospel. There is no genuine Gospel here." Mohler is correct according to Scripture. There is no way around the truth. The problem is Bell has shaped and molded a good news that leads to the destruction of souls.
On the flip side there are those who fully support Bell including Shane Hipps who is the teaching pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church. In an article by CNN Hipps is quoted as saying:
On a personal note, when you get to see a very dear friend spend a year of his life working to create, pouring blood, sweat and tears into something that before it even releases become this incredible phenomenon, it's just extremely thrilling...This book will irreparably, irrevocably, irreversible change Rob's life and change a lot of the things in the life of this community. These are good things, but he needs prayer. And not because he's fragile but because he's a leader, and leaders need prayer...We are not anxious about this at all. Because I promise you when you get to read the book, you will find that it is fresh and liberating ─ but that it rests firmly in the wide screen of Orthodox Christianity and in the history of Christianity it fits perfectly. You will be very much at ease.
Sadly the congregation should not be at ease if they have read the Scriptures. I know it may seem to many that these Evangelicals like Mohler, DeYoung, Taylor and Moore are attacking Rob Bell but that is not true at all. These men first and foremost are concerned about the Gospel of Jesus Christ who came to save sinners (1 Tim. 1:15) like you and me. But they are also concerned about the soul of Rob Bell. This is no attack on Rob but love being shown to him. Love does the hard thing and confronts sin because eternal consequences are at stake.
Grace upon grace,