Friday, 18 March 2011
Bell's Hells - On Universalism
If you know who Rob Bell is, and have had access to the internet or a Christian bookshop then you've probably come across his new book 'Love Wins'. The internet is now full of various reviews and most of which go along the lines of 'Rob Bell is a Universalist and therefore a heretic!'
Before we go any further I would just like to note, for my sake and for the sake of those that know me, that I am not a Universalist (and actually not, not like Bell's expression that he's not!).
I think we all, especially those in the Evangelical traditions (of which I am one), need to take a step back for a moment and take a deep breath before we continue along this line. Universalism, (simplistically defined as) the belief that all will be saved, is a view that Bell has propagated in words if not in label. You may be interested in his interview with Martin Bashir if you've not seen it.
I believe that in all aspects of life and debate that we are only cheating ourselves if we build up a straw man to knock down. Universalism, despite not being a mainstream doctrine not a correct one, is still a legitimate belief and not one that removed you from the family of Christ. It is entirely possible to be a Universalist and an orthodox Christian. With that said,Robin Parry, of Paternoster, has written an excellent article for the Baptist Times entitled 'Bell's Hells' which you can read here. Please, if you care about this debate or are chipping in, read this article before you post any more comments or slander Bell.
Till Next Time!
P.S. At present I am chatting to my GF Lizzie who said "Urgh! I don't want to discuss Theology..." Oh the travesty!