Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Truth Wins

I typically don't attack other pastors publicly unless there is a real problem with regard to heresy. Rob Bell's latest book, "Love Wins," promotes a false gospel. Bell promotes the idea that hell does not mean eternal damnation and that sinners who die will get a second chance to wiggle their way into God's graces. Bell's argument is that a loving God would never send anyone to a place of eternal torment.

Ultimately, Bell is a universalist. His position is not even close to orthodox Christian faith. I will say that his teachings certainly draw a crowd (a church of about 10,000 in Grand Rapids, Michigan). But a crowd does not confirm that a person is right. What it may confirm is that those people like what they hear.

I'm not going to write a lengthy post in an attempt to refute Bell's heresy. The Bible makes it clear that all men are sinners and that the wage of sin is death, separation from God. That separation is eternal, just as the reward of the righteous is eternal life with God in heaven. Jesus spoke of hell often in the gospels. He indicated that it was a place of eternal torment from which no soul could escape. The only way to heaven is to embrace Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord in this life. This has been the teaching of orthodox Christianity for nearly two thousand years. And the reality of hell goes back to origins of biblical faith and historical Judaism. Bell's teaching is dangerous. It is heretical.

One final thought: God doesn't send anyone to hell. We choose (ah, free will) to either respond to God's grace by receiving or rejecting Jesus Christ. God is love, but He is also holy, just, and righteous. We must either embrace all of Him or none of Him.

Yes, love wins. But love only wins when it is founded on truth.


  1. Preach it Brother! Good to hear someone from an Arminian camp agree with me. Usually, it has been the neo-calvinists talking about it.

  2. Dan, what is amazing is that so many evangelical pastors have remained silent! I was teaching at the university last night and the night supervisor at our building was reading the book. I asked him what he thought about it and he said he was reading it with an open mind. While I understand the sentiment, at the same time, if you know something is filled with error, do you read it with an open mind? You may read it so you can talk intelligently about it, but an open mind? Would a believer read the Book of Mormon or the Koran with an open mind? It's alarming how the issue of "tolerance" has infected the whole of Christianity. Taken far enough, tolerance will lead one to hell.

  3. You should listen to this Debate with Rob on the book. It is fair but he shows his cards more: http://bit.ly/fgXQIW.

    Doesn't the old adage go, don't be so open minded that your Brain falls out. :-)

  4. I've been reading two books by Shauna Niequest, who I've come to learn was on staff at Mars Hill in Grand Rapids. She had her heart broken there even though her ministry was effective. She has since moved back home to Chicago. I've also figured out that her father is Bill Hybels, which has me thinking "wait, what?" Weird connections. Thoughts?

  5. I don't know Shauna at all. I didn't know she was a part of Mars Hill. Of course, I'm very familiar with Bill Hybels. Bill has come under some fire from time to time for his seeker-friendly focus, but he's typically been pretty solid when it comes to orthodox theology. He has even pulled back over the years from some of the seeker movement stuff and gotten deeper into discipleship. I don't know why Shauna left - could it be over some of the teaching things that go on at Mars Hill? Unknown.

  6. Dave, I love that pastor's such as yourself notice the problem of "tolerance." It encourages me to see you stand for the Truth. Keep up the great work leading your flock!