Well I haven’t read it so it would be disingenuous of me to comment on it. However, Norelli asked me to comment on the video. Well, from what I have seen I am looking forward to reading Rob Bell’s new book, Love Wins and have pre-ordered it on my Kindle.
I won’t repost the video. if you want to watch it (again) you can do in Brian’s post here.
One of the things you need to understand about Rob Bell is that he is not your average Bible teacher. He is post-modern (for better of worse) and he often begins by asking a series of questions and not providing many answers. For a number of years our church has enjoyed and benefited greatly from his NOOMA dvds. In these 10 minute presentations Bell uses what I would understand to be an inductive approach to teaching and learning. I use this approach in my own preaching and teaching. He takes the hearer or viewer on a journey of guided discovery. He asks the questions that many people ask and then leads the person to a place where they can make a decision on the evidence. He is an educator not an indoctrinator.
As for the “Love Wins” video. I cannot see anything wrong with what Bell has said. If that is all he is going to say on the matter then I would have issues but all Bell does is ask questions. He also reflects the questions I hear over and over again. In fact when my wife watched the video clip she was excited to hear what he might have to say because the questions he raised in the clip reflected her own.
I would go so far as to say there is nothing I do not disagree with in this video. If Bell has said Ghandi HAD gone to heaven or all people will go to heaven etc then yes, we should be concerned. Bu Bell has not said this. He has simply said, can any one human being know for sure Ghandi is in hell. Furthermore, Bell is spot on when he critiques the churches over emphasis on sin in the gospel message. Sin is not the good news. It is not where the gospel begins. Barth taught me that, as did Paul, the Gospels etc.
Finally, let me say, if Bell manages to argue for a biblical view of universalism, although I may disagree, if he has done so with integrity and openness then all I can do is disagree. I could be wrong, as could he. We must hold our theology lightly and with love.