Monday, April 16, 2007

Rob Bell and Hell

I just watched Rob Bell's Nooma video, "Bullhorn." In the video Rob is speaking out against Christians who stand on the street corner and use a bullhorn to tell people that they need to repent or they are going to burn in hell. Rob seems very concerned because people like this are misrepresenting God. He says Jesus never talked that way and that he would never do that. Rob talks about the centrality of love in Christianity. Loving those who are different than us and who don't believe the same thing as us. He says that when we do so, we are actually loving God. Agreed.

It seems to me that Rob is largely reacting to bad Christianity by presenting a half gospel. He's right about the centrality of love. He's right about the fact that some people on street corners don't seem to be loving. But it seems that Jesus really did believe in hell.

Jesus did warn people about hell. In Matthew 5:29-30, he said, "If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away, it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away, it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell."

I don't think our whole message should be hell-centered, or that we should use the bullhorn in an unloving way. But if hell is real, it seems like its incredibly important that we help people avoid it, in a loving way. I wish that we got to pick the doctrines of the Bible that were the most attractive to us and then those would be the ones that were true for us. Unfortunately, we didn't create the universe, we don't make the rules, and we can't be more loving than Jesus.

I came across this video response to Rob Bell's Bullhorn video. It was created by The Way of The Master Radio. I guess Kirk Cameron and friends have a different understanding of the gospel than Rob Bell and friends.

cc: post-methodist

1 comment:

Matt Snyder said...

We should talk about this sometime.