March 15, 2011

Rob Bell & Another Note Attached to a Portrait

If you have seen Rob Bell's video trailer for his book Love Wins, you might be able to imagine an artsy postmodern video with dialogue something like this:


"Several years ago we had an art show at our church.  There was this one piece that was a portrait of Jesus with a quote on it that many people found compelling.  The quote read, 'For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.'  Lots of people found it compelling.  They would stop and sort of stare at it and take it in and reflect on it."

"But someone wrote something below that quote.  Attached to the portrait of Jesus it was written, 'Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.'” 

"People who don’t believe in the Son go to hell?"

"They do??"

"And someone knows this for sure???"

"And felt the need to let the rest of us know?!"



  1. In case I was too subtle for anyone: The Gospels are portraits of Christ. The same gospel that has John 3:16 also has John 3:36 written shortly after it. It is therefore, another note--inspired words nonetheless--attached this Gospel portrait of Christ. God is a loving God, but He Himself has also told us that without faith in Christ God wrath remains on us.

    Therefore it is not arrogant (as Bell's trailer makes it seem) to claim to know the unfortunate fate of those who die without faith in Jesus. It's not arrogant to believe what God is communicating. In fact, wouldn't it be more arrogant to dismiss what God is communicating because of our own sophisticated sense of justice?

  2. Definitely had a long response typed to this that was lost by Blogger. :'(

    Oh well, I just wanted to say that I appreciate this post and that this whole Rob Bell thing has pushed me (and I know from Facebook, many of my fellow Moody's) to really know the reasons why we believe what we believe.

  3. Hi Jenny! I'm bummed that the long reply was long. I would have loved to have read it.

    You are right though... one of the good things that can come out of controversy is that it forces us to clarify our beliefs and to determine exactly WHAT we believe and WHY we believe it. In the early church Arius forced Christians to clarify and defend their belief in the full deity of Christ, and the doctrine of the Trinity. The Reformation did the same of doctrines of salvation and authority. The Rob Bell controversy won't be the same magnitude--and his view is nothing new--but it is forcing a lot of Christians out of their slumbers. It is also revealing a lot of the limp theology that had been under the surface for many people.

  4. Nicely put. It shows the "ridiculosity" of Bell's argument.

  5. mispelled: "stair" should be "stare." just so you know.

  6. This is a devastating critique for anyone who believes what they read in the Bible. Sadly, that means it may not convince Rob.


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