Rob Bell’s latest book has attracted a lot of attention on the interweb over the last few days. The main concern being speculation that Bell will reveal his true beliefs and claim that God will not send anyone to hell, essentially that hell will be empty.
Bell is the pastor of Mars Hill church, Grand Rapids and has written a number of books as well as featured in the popular Nooma DVD’s. I am a big fan of Bell’s work, and very disheartened by the extent to which Christians have torn him apart without actually reading the book. Bell seems to attract a lot of criticism for the things he doesn’t say rather than the things he does say, he is often misquoted by other Christians.
I have never claimed to agree with everything Bell says, but I respect him more than I do most leaders because of the way he handles his critics – he ignores them. He doesn’t engage in the argument, he doesn’t defend himself, he just gets on with what he believe God is calling him to do. So while most of his critics appear rude and obnoxious, Bell comes off as genuine and humble. These critics also lose credibility in my eyes for failing to adhere to the Biblical principle of challenging someone face to face, before publicly. Bell is still a fellow human and a fellow brother in Christ, and should be treated as such.
The advent of the internet has allowed people to get their thoughts across the globe quicker than ever, and in this case Bell has been weighed, and measured so quickly that the book in question isn’t even released yet! I don’t normally do book reviews but I will be reading this book as soon as I can and commenting thereafter, with all the facts. Below are some links to blogs on both sides of the fence, if this interests you have a gander and post your thoughts below!
Kevin DeYoung (Against Bell)
Justin Taylor (Against Bell)
Josh Harris (Against but a measured respectful post)
Christianity Today (Neutral fair reporting)
Being the Body (Pro Bell)
Update – Here is a video of Bell promoting his new book: