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Tuesday, 01 March, 2011

(with comments)

When Christians argue with each other: Christian author's book sparks charges of heresy.

rob bell Rob Bell, a pastor and author who has achieved rock star status in the Christian world, is preaching a false gospel, his critics say. And some of those critics are Christian rock stars in their own right.

The pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Bell has authored a book called Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, which ignited a firestorm of controversy over the weekend, weeks before it arrives in bookstores.

As it turns out, this particular preacher preaches universalism:

Universalism, in its broadest terms, preaches that everyone goes to heaven and that there is no hell. Critics say it represents a break from traditional Christianity, which they say holds that heaven and hell are very real places. In most Christian circles, universalism is a dirty word.

I can certainly understand that. Once you remove eternal hellfire and damnation from the mix, there's not much left to religion. Most Christians don't like the idea of spending eternity with people Richard Dawkins and Benny Hinn.

Rob Bell is shown here wearing hipster glasses. I think those are hipster glasses. I've never really understood what hipster glasses look like.

Permalink | Posted in Religion |

- Reader Comments -

Following are comments in response to this item.
The most recent comment is at the bottom.

  1. By MAPLE LEAF. Comment posted 01-Mar-2011 @04:58pm:
    Oh, the Fatwas are flying!
  2. By Christian Door. Comment posted 01-Mar-2011 @05:01pm:
    Yessir. Those are hipster glasses.
  3. By exp_err. Comment posted 01-Mar-2011 @05:37pm:
    The problem of heaven is what stopped me believing Christianity as a child. If not everyone goes to heaven, those who do will spend their time mourning for absent loved ones (or worse than mourning, if those loved ones are in hell). If most people do go to heaven, heaven won't be that heavenly. Humans have a great capacity for making each other miserable, even without intending to. If god flips some switch in our souls that makes us happy anyway (or perfectly kind and understanding), then we wouldn't be ourselves: it wouldn't really be "us" in heaven.
  4. By Mr. Pointer Outer. Comment posted 01-Mar-2011 @05:43pm:
    "heresy" is and always has been an economic term meaning, "you are earning more money than me."
  5. By Edger Alien Poe. Comment posted 01-Mar-2011 @06:01pm:
    Another heretic: John Dominic Crossan
  6. By xorg. Comment posted 01-Mar-2011 @07:40pm:
    I think what is meant by universalism in this context is that salvation, eternal life in a perfect world, or Heaven, is open to anyone who accepts Jesus as their saviour, repents of their sins and mends their wicked ways. Hell is a word arrived at by a series of mistranslations, deliberate or otherwise, which turned a metaphor into a physical place. But the concept is simply that one is away from God - either by being dead or by being alive in an imperfect world prior to when God gets round to blasting it away (assuming he's going to). After that, those who haven't done the right thing just stay dead.
    So we are all in Hell right now or, as Jean-Paul Sartre put it, "Hell is other people".
    I don't consider myself to be a bad person but I reckon by the time I'm 90-something years old I'll have had enough so I won't mind staying dead.
  7. By NiceJean. Comment posted 01-Mar-2011 @08:14pm:
    <I've never really understood what hipster glasses look like.>

    But (just like pornography) you know it when you see it, ha ha!
  8. By Bisbonian. Comment posted 01-Mar-2011 @10:20pm:
    but I reckon by the time I'm 90-something years old I'll have had enough so I won't mind staying dead.

    One of the wisest things I've seen written in a while.
  9. By OpensFire. Comment posted 02-Mar-2011 @06:05am:
    There are some who believe that "Heaven" and "Hell" are concepts we're incapable of fully understanding but that "Hell" is simply the absence of God's love. This may seem like a minor punishment except that many who don't even believe in God still feel his love. I would imagine the absence of it would be pure torture.
  10. By VP. Comment posted 02-Mar-2011 @06:35am:
    At least they arent accusing him of plagarism;
  11. By Pender. Comment posted 02-Mar-2011 @07:09am:
    I definitely feel god's love... oh wait.. just a fart.
  12. By Mr. Pointer Outer. Comment posted 02-Mar-2011 @01:45pm:
    Pander, Norman brown in his book Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History argues convincingly that Martin Luther had his great visions while sitting on the crapper wracked with the pain of intense constipation. So you might be on to something.
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