Rob Bell Interview

The anticipation is over. The book is out. Prior to the release we finally get our interview with the man gone “Rogue” (thanks Tony Jones). He was asked straight forward questions. He answered. Here are some of my thoughts.

If you are looking for a theologian, Rob Bell is not your man. If you’re looking for a poet, an artist, a creative icon, Rob Bell is your man. Rob Bell has the ability to dance around questions and once again, arrive at a Historical Orthodoxy. If you read Love Wins, and, do not like his answers, then you must be willing, in part, to throw out the theologies of the 20th century legend C.S Lewis, where Bell’s view where a person chooses Heaven and Hell, every moment, seems to come from. Many of Bell’s other views, especially on Heaven here and now, and, the coming kingdom stemming from the 21st centuries most likely C.S Lewis, N.T Wright.

While Bell affirmed in the interview, his belief in the eternal afterlife in heave and hell, he did however, seem to be nervous when answering the questions around them. For Bell, he always brought it back to, what are the implications of here and now. Heaven, here and now, he said, looks like a girl who has been free of cutting for a year.

The beautiful hope of Bell’s words is deeply connected to the existential reality of the cross and the resurrection. That some people’s image of God isn’t very good, and, it always has to be better than even the greatest human message. This is the hope behind Love Wins. That what haunts us, can be overcome. In the words of his favorite theologian, N.T Wright, “Heaven is important, but it isn’t the end of the world.”

The good news of Bell’s message, is that we get to be a part of a bigger story. A story, where Love Wins. Where Heaven becomes a part of our present reality.

If you are looking for a deeper theological book to capture the essence of Bell’s interview, Read The Great Divorce by C.S Lewis and Surprised by Hope by N.T Wright.

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5 thoughts on “Rob Bell Interview

  1. elohimito says:

    Denying that a loving God would send sinners to Hell is denying a just God.

    Regardless who else has the same belief, it is contrary to Scripture…

    • mfries05 says:

      Elohimito,
      My fear is, that Christianity has been to influenced by Dante, and, Greek philosophy. Dante, was this the first to implement this idea of the eternal rage and suffering in hell. Greek philosophy, reveals false ideas of soul and being.

      Philosophically, we cannot believe that God is just for giving people eternal punishment for temporary sins. As well, we cannot hold, God the father, to a place where people who cause mayhem, do not receive the consequences of their actions. We are thus left with Annihilationism, where God destroys the soul completely, thus holding a loving and merciful God. Or, we are left with a God who leaves, the fate of the soul in the chooser’s hands. Bell’s position, as well the solution of C.S Lewis’ in The Great Divorce.

      The doctrine of hell, Genhenna, is in context of the Valley of Hinnom, commonly referred to in the Old Testament, where they worshiped the god Molech, where they sacrificed, babies, gypsies and the lowest of society, for the lowly position and sins.

      • elohimito says:

        “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2

        “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.” Isaiah 66:24

        “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46

        These texts are referring to the end of time when the wretched are punished.

        As far as God justly punishing sin, here’s a great commentary on the Biblical idea
        “Take the case of crimes against God -an infinite, all powerful, and just God who gives man both the inescapable, but not overwhelming, evidence of His existence and the will to choose to acknowlege His “ownership” of all. If the crime of ultimately choosing our own will against God is the most eggregious crime of all and an infinite offense, what is unjust for God to demand infinite eternal punishment? Afterall, His grace gives infinite eternal reward (heaven) to all who choose to bend the knee to Him.” Harold Henderson of http://theCinC.blogspot.com/

        It is perfectly just for God to punish sinners in that way. We’re not talking about petty theft here. These are sins against the most Holy God.

        You said “we are left with a God who leaves, the fate of the soul in the chooser’s hands.”
        What does thus have to do with the issue of he’ll?

  2. I am glad I read your post. I can relate to your thoughts on how Bell is a poet and artist which is why people seem to find his so refreshing. I know I have found his expressions and insights helpful. It is also why some preachers find him so offensive. It seems like art, writing and song have become the compelling portals for the Good News, like they have allways been, but now with click through access and a shareable database of unlimited information what will stick? It seems to be the create sparks that are generated by idea makers and creative catalysts.

  3. Tim M says:

    I really like this summary, Mike. I think it captures the essence of the interview and Bell’s position, as fluid as it is.

    A question I have asked myself over and over, and I ask others close to me as we talk about our journey that often ebbs and flows between faith and doubt is:

    If there were no heaven after this life, would you still follow Jesus?

    My answer now is YES, but for the majority of my life, when I thought I had it figured out, was NO. By answering YES to that question, I have the freedom of God’s love Bell spoke so eloquently of in the interview.

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