The Controversy of Rob Bell

I have read 3 of Rob’s 4 books. I have seen him speak in-person twice & I have listened to his sermons at Mars Hill for nearly three years. Every time I am exposed to Rob’s work I am left questioning why so many “Christians” seem to enjoy attacking him? He has been called a heretic, a false prophet and possibly, worst of all, a liberal pacifist. I have come to the conclusion that people attack because they are afraid of the questions Rob asks. Maybe even more than the questions he raises, many find themselves  disturbed by the fact Bell truly questions things at all.

I fear many of us have been taught to question our beliefs but always with the hope that we return to the exact beliefs we were taught. Many of you, like me, and I suspect like Bell, have found ourselves questioning only to end up with a different set of beliefs than what we were told to believe. These changes might result in liberal pacifism, but rarely do they translate to anything truly definable as heresy or false prophecy. For those of you who are confused, there is nothing in Scripture that equates liberal pacifism to sin.

Attacking is easier than questioning & the reason we attack is because we fear the uncertainties of life. We yell about others views claiming the error of their ways but in truth, we yell because we are afraid they could be right meaning we could be wrong. What if we began to realize that there are only a handful of areas in Christianity that are truly non-negotiable and began allowing for freedom in the other areas? What if we questioned everything and found peace in some of the doubt? What if we admitted our fears instead of attacking others because of them? If we did this, Bell wouldn’t have many critics and the church would be seen as ONE just as Jesus hoped we would be (John 17:20-24).



2 thoughts on “The Controversy of Rob Bell

  1. Leonard Nolt says:

    I agree. There is nothing in the Scripture that equates liberal pacifism to sin, as you wrote. In fact, considering that Jesus did much which today would be labeled “liberal pacifism” one could argue, based on Scripture that Jesus was a liberal pacifist. He definitely was a pacifist, since he refused to use violence against his enemies to save himself from being sentenced to death. He also was a liberal in that he fed hungry people without checking first to see if they had not just been irresponsible and failed to bring a lunch along when they went to hear him preach. He healed people who needed healing without checking their history to see if perhaps their illness or injury was not caused by some irresponsible behavior on their part. Neither did he check to see if perhaps they had undisclosed financial resources which they could have used to purchase healing elsewhere. He also made it clear that we are to love and forgive our enemies, which certainly rules out trying to kill them for any reason. There is no doubt. Jesus was and is a liberal pacifist.
    Thank you for your writing.
    Leonard Nolt

  2. The Controversy of Rob Bell Chris VanBuskirk's Blog is an interesting name for a blog, keep up the good work, thanks, from Francesca Shannon

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