Rob Bell’s new book is really stirring things up lately. I haven’t read it yet, but apparently he therein gives the impression that he is at least open to the possibility of universalism – that all people can be saved apart from faith in Jesus Christ.
For me, the theological questions have long since been answered – Jesus Himself was very clearly not a universalist (Matthew 7:13-14, John 10:7-10, 14:6), and He knows infinitely more about the topic than anyone else. So, the discussion is something like watching an old action film for the umpteenth time – it’s entertaining, but not particularly suspenseful.
What is fascinating though is how the debate is being handled by those on both sides of the topic. Some observations and critiques:
Rob Bell seems to relish asking controversial, inconsistent, and at times ignorant, questions just to watch people react – even as he rakes in the accompanying fame and dollars from book sales.
Evangelical leaders have every reason to clarify and defend the truth. Why, though, do some seem so condescending and arrogant while doing so? (I know I have to watch for this in myself sometimes too.)
Even famous TV interviewers are getting caught up in the emotion of it all. See links below.
It’s good to remember that we need to pursue truth. Always. We should also remember though that we can be completely right – but all wrong in how we express our views. Lord, help us to be right in what we believe and teach about you … and at the same time right in how we relate to those who are wrong.