A New Book by Rob Bell
Every marketer knows that it is the headline or title that causes most people to read news papers, or buy books. Advertisers will tell you that the most important thing when advertising is the headline. Pick up a Readers Digest, they have mastered the "headline."
Rob Bell knows this also.
LOVE WINS, A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.
Who can argue with the title of Rob's new book? What sect of Christianity, or any religion, would deny that Love wins in the end? The question comes down to the definition of "love" and where that definition comes from.
In the sixties we were bombarded with "love," and we have seen what that experiment has produced; a whole generation of babies murdered in the womb. Today, love is in the air once again, and Rob Bell has captured the essence of this love fest by making scandalous claims against God. He has put words into the mouth of God that are pure and simple lies; Rob has made God a liar. Rob's definition of love has been plucked out of thin air, and can nowhere be found in the document given to us by God Himself. Rob's definition of love comes not from the Living God, so it must come from another source. Where, or who, might that source be?There is only one other source; if it is not from Heaven then, it is from Hell; if it is not God, then it is Satan. This is a trustworthy saying, because it comes from the Book of Truth, the Bible, God's own words.
Rob Bell understands marketing, and knows there is a "market" for his version of love. There has always been a market for Rob's version of love, because it appeals to the sensitivities of men and women wanting to fashion a life of love, on a definition that in no way interrupts their efforts to feed their desires or require absolute truth and repentance.
Rob Bell, is in effect playing god, like so many before him. Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph Smith, L Ron Hubbard, Sun Myung Moon, Charles Taze Russell, the Pope, and the beat goes on, and on, and on. These all pretend to have esoteric knowledge, i.e. understandable by only an enlightened inner circle. They all regard themselves to be able to know some hidden interpretation of Scripture other than what is plainly stated. At least the others claim to have had some supernatural experience, or angelic guidance, but Rob, he just sucks his knowledge out of thin air, or worse yet relies on his heart, which the Bible says is "deceptive beyond all things."
I will give credit to Rob for one thing, he got the title right. Unfortunately, everything else is wrong. From his web site,
Rob Bell addresses one of the most controversial issues of faith—the afterlife—arguing, would a loving God send people to eternal torment forever…? With searing insight,
puts hell on trial, and his message is decidedly hopeful—eternal life doesn’t start when we die; it starts right now. And ultimately, Love Wins. Bell
The question becomes, is Rob Bell right, or is the Bible right. Where do we derive truth? Rob claims that with his "searing insight" he can put God on trial. Since it is God/Jesus that talks so much about hell and the "searing" reality of the place, it is really God who is on trial in Rob's court, and he finds God guilty of lying. Rob, through his omniscience, has discovered knowledge, that even God was unaware of. Although Rob has gotten the title right, we must conclude that the love he speaks of is not the love spoken of in the Bible. The truth is that God has found Rob Bell guilty of "presumption." He has presumed to know God better than God knows Himself, and that what God has made known, is not what He really meant. The Hebrew word za·dhohn′, rendered “presumptuousness,” is derived from the verb zidh, meaning “boil up, become heated.” (Ge 25:29; Ex ) The heat of anger or pride can cause one to act rashly, to become unwarrantedly bold, and to overstep one’s rights. The pride of one's own ability to see clearly, to reason correctly, or to follow his heart's leading is rebuked by Solomon in these words, "a man who trust in his own heart is a fool." Could it be Rob, that the reason God gave us His written word, is so that we would not trust our own "searing insight" and make a fool out of ourselves?
God's written word is the scales on which all our own "searing insights" must be measured. Rob's searing insight is just that, it is his, and therefore must be thrown out with the garbage. It is true that through study, prayer, and meditation on God's word, that we can move to deeper levels of understanding that exceed that of some others, but it will never, and I will repeat, never, contradict God's own revelation of Himself in His written word. Rob Bell's words, along with those of the newly formed cult of the Emerging church, which Rob is part of despite his claim to the contrary, are wholly contradictory to God's revelation, and for that reason, it is Rob who is on trial here, and not hell or God, and he is found to be wanting.
Rob's message is not only NOT "decidedly hopeful," as he promotes, but it removes all hope, and leads his followers to a hell he claims does not exist. He bases this on his own brilliance, which the Bible says is darkness, "Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness" Luke 11:35.
The Bible is either God's word, and therefore the truth, or it is not the truth. If it is not the truth as written, then throw it out, but throw out Rob Bell also, because he claims he is a follower of God. If Jesus was not God as He said, and was lying, then He was the Devil, because He said He was The Way, The Truth, and The Life, and that He should be followed to get to Heaven; and he said He could forgive sins, and only God can do that. If the Bible cannot be trusted, and Jesus cannot be trusted, where does that leave Rob Bell? Is he now made to be the way, the truth, and the life?
I think you can see where this is going. We have to have some means to know "truth." Jesus lived among us, His life was documented, and He proved to all posterity, by all of His miracles and His ultimate resurrection from the dead, that He is, in fact, Who He said He was, God, the Savior of mankind, from an eternal hell, by believing in Him and His word, and repenting from the works of sin through the deceitfulness of our own hearts, to follow after others who proclaim to have truth, and "searing insight." If we cannot trust the documented facts of the life of Jesus, why should we trust Rob Bell, who has only a few books, harvested from a few contrary thoughts of a fertile imagination? The bottom line is, that if we cannot believe the Bible as written, then there is no such thing as truth, and we are all free to live and think as we wish, and the law of the jungle rules; every man for himself, might is right, and the best man wins, NOT LOVE.
Link to Rob's video http://vimeo.com/20272585