Friday, October 27, 2006


by Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries:

The danger posed by Rob Bell now is that his teachings are coming into more mainstream evangelical denominations through largely unsuspecting youth ministers. Beleaguered senior pastors anxious for new and innovative ways to reach the youth are told about the very personable and charismatic Bell with his Nooma videos. These are then introduced in youth groups who don't know the "lingo" of what Emergents actually mean by the words they are using because Christian terminology has been repainted [read: redefined]. Through his involvement with contemplative spirituality over the past couple of years Rob's personality has been changing and along with it so has his doctrine. Here is a short and more direct look at Bell's denial of the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ with his near universalism, but with a twist of course.

There are those who are having a problem understanding how Rob Bell denies the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ. So let’s see if we can make this one a bit more direct. Here’s Rob Bell in his book Velvet Elvis: Repainting The Christian Faith (VE):

"Humans are guilty because of our sin, and God is the judge who has to deal with our sin because he is holy and and any act of sin goes against his core nature. He has to deal with it. Enter Jesus, who dies on the cross in our place. Jesus gets what we deserve; we get what Jesus deserved."

Not exactly Rob. Jesus is God Himself and He doesn’t “deserve,” or need to earn, nor be given anything. That aside, here Bell is speaking of “humans,” mankind in general. Then he later goes on to say, “All has been forgiven”. Not so fast Rob, you left out this Biblical truth that prior to forgiveness there must first be – Godly sorrow [which] brings repentance that leads to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10).

A little further on in VE Bell makes another misstatement of fact when he says, “This forgiveness, this reconciliation, is true for everybody”. No, it isn’t. It is only offered to those who genuinely repent of their sin and believe in Christ. O, I know it’s not as exciting as some keen saying by some ancient unregenerate Rabbi, but the Greek word pisteuo means “to totally commit to.”

So you should now be able to see that yet again pastor Bell is wrong when he says:

"This reality then isn’t something we make come true about ourselves by doing something. It is already true. Our choice is to live in this new reality or cling to a reality of our own making."

As you can see, there’s no talk of godly sorrow here, and there’s no talk of repentance involved. So if there’s nothing we need do, then everyone would already be forgiven, thus they would already be saved. And Bell makes no distinction that these are Christians here, in fact just the opposite. And as I just showed you from Scripture one cannot be a Christian until they repent and ask for forgiveness.

Then following Bell’s musings all the way through to their logical conclusions in VE he says:

"The fact that we are loved and accepted and forgiven in spite of everything we have done is simply too good to be true" (ibid).

Yes, it is. As a matter of fact this lie is so “good” it isn’t even true. But then just to make sure it’s understood that by “we” above Bell is not just speaking of Christians–the Body of Christ–he will go on to say:

"And this reality extends beyond this life. Heaven is full of forgiven people. Hell is full of forgiven people. Heaven is full of people God loves, whom Jesus died for. Hell is full of forgiven people God loves, whom Jesus died for. The difference is how we choose to live, which story we choose to live in, which version of reality we trust."

Men and women, this is simply ridiculous and should actually make the true Christian quite angry. Let’s stop pawing at Emergent Hollow Men like Rob Bell and Brian McLaren with kid gloves. First of all, if “Hell is full of forgiven people” then Bell has just told you that all of mankind was already forgiven at the Cross. This is universalism…oops, except obviously there are bad people in the world and Jesus did say the road was “narrow” so now we have to account for that.

Ah, I know; we’ll say that some of these people choose on their own not to accept this forgiveness. Yeah, there we go. So now Bell has just told us that Christ’s atonement was not actually sufficient to save those whom He “died for” and that the Father would give Him. Can’t you see what Tozer called “the glory of fallen man” here? We choose whether or not we will accept a forgiveness that we are supposedly offered without even so much as having to repent?

A pretty good deal for man, don’t you think? And if God has already forgiven everyone already, then why would they even need to go to Hell at all? Remember also that Jesus told us – the eternal fire [of Hell was] prepared for the Devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Man only ends up in Hell, which is separation from God, because of the sin that separates him from a holy God Who cannot dwell with sin.

But if in Rob Bell’s Emergent all-ee in free…almost fairytale everyone can simply “choose” to live in a “new reality” because they are already forgiven of their sin, then there would no longer be any more reason for anyone to even be separated from God. In other words, there wouldn’t be any need for man to go to Hell.

Well, Bell did get one thing right above. As I said in Emergent: Believe It…Or You’re Not…Saved, you will have to decide which “version of reality” you are going to trust. Bell’s, or what the Bible says, and what the historic orthodox Christian Church has always taught.


Anonymous Nate said...

Would you ever consider not moderating your comments?

I lose all motivation to post replies here when I know they will never see the light of day.

Just wondering.


9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your attitude towards so called 'post modernist preachers' is pias, ungodly and narrow-minded. Maybe you should focus your energies on the life or death matter of real evangelism instead of picking holes in the words of God-appointed teachers??

11:26 AM  
Blogger Ken Silva said...

"anonymous" proudly stated:

Your attitude towards so called 'post modernist preachers' is pias, ungodly and narrow-minded."

Might I suggest that your attitude toward thr genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ is not pious, but it is ungodly and narrow-minded.

Check the facts within the piece or here at my Rob Bell archive:

There you will see even more evidence that Rob Bell denies the very Gospel God appoints preachers to proclaim.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brother, apologies for the harshness in my comments but this was caused by frustration that people can spend so much time criticising the successful gospel work of others instead of looking in their own back yard. I agree, nobody is infallible, but I challenge you to go through the teaching of any preacher you do agree with and not find any holes in it.
Maybe you are right to be concerned about the emergent church, but it might be helpful look at the good work that has been achieved from it as with any other Christian denomination.
I would be interested on hearing your comments on the last para of my 1st comment?

6:00 AM  
Blogger Echindod said...

You know another problem with Bell is his misuse of Historical facts. The Rabbinical Theology does not establish the background of the NT. In fact the Talmud was codified in the 5th century, and the mishnah was codiefied around 200 AD. It's kind of like quoting an existintialist to prove a certain understanding of Shakespear. Rabbi's shouldn't be written off, just use them with care.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Jeff Noble said...

I read VE a while back and got the eebie-jeebies about it. In a review on my blog, I gave it a PG-13 rating. Not for the immature or naive believer. While there are nuggets of intense creativity, there's just too much fuzz there for me to comfortably recommend the book to anyone.

Rob's take on Jewish rabbis in particular, was so conjectural and ahistorical that it made me rather nervous for him and anyone that swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

10:27 PM  
Blogger Ken Silva said...

Bell's even more "fuzzy' now I'm afraid as I pointed out in "Rob Bell, Yoga Masters and Jesus?""

Here Bell's actually teaching in a "Christian" church things about breathing that he learned from Yoga Masters.

The worst part is if you go to where I have it posted at Christian Worldview Network where I am also a columnist you will see in the feedback section tons of people defending Bell!

5:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home