Monday, October 13, 2008

Foxes Book of Emergents With Hurt Feelings - Rob Bell (Part 5)

Wow, it has been spicy lately. I find it interesting and quite surpising that criticising Rick Warren or Tony Campolo or Brian McLaren draws little or no response but daring to criticize Rob Bell is like walking into a hornets nest. Can someone tell me why he is such a sacred cow especially in the light of his patently unbiblical teaching. This may highlight why there has been a large focus concerning Rob Bell in my series titled "Foxes Book of Emergents with Hurt Feelings".

While heretical, he is not even in the same league as Brian McLaren. But it is his popularity and influence that warrants such a focussed response - especially among youth. His Nooma series is very seductive with enough truth mixed in to smokescreen the real agenda. Sure there is truth there but even a broken clock gets it right twice a day. Here is a clip of Rob Bell's disgusting Nooma video called "Bullhorn Guy" where he rebukes open air preachers for preaching the true Gospel. It is very alarming that many modern church goers cannot exercise enough biblical discernment to see through this rubbish.

Here is a wonderful send up of the Bullhorn video called "Bullwhip Guy". These guys nail the sheer unbiblical lunacy of what Rob Bell is passing off as "Christianity"

My series on the emergents is not yet finished because there is so much more that must be said particularly in the light of their extreme activism in rallying behind pro murder Presidential candidate Barack Obama.

There is also many other things more important than the financial crisis to discuss at the moment including the plight of the persecuted church in India right now as they face horrendous hindu violence. Please pray for them.

I am leaving for the USA tomorrow to attend some evangelism conferences and training. I will be attending the "Deeper" conference in Atlanta (Oct 17-18) and the Way of the Master Ambassadors Academy in LA (Oct 30-Nov1). I hope to see some blog readers at these events - keep an eye out for me. My posting may be sporadic over the next four weeks. Please hang in there - there's more to come.

Go On To Part 6
Go Back To Part 4
Go Back To Part 1


Erica said...

I was reading through the epistles this weekend with my house church and felt God is leading me to share these verse s with you.
15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.[c] 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
It reminded that of course people are going to stir up trouble for us at Mars Hill. It is normal they are doing it out of selfish ambitions.But the important thing, even though your motives are wrong is that Christ is being preached!! Thank the Lord for his word.
And then a bell went off in the next few verses. "Not being frightened by those who oppose you. "It is normal for you all to feel the way you do about Rob. It frightens you how God is using him to change lives.
2I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.(Do you think your posting about Rob all time that maybe God could be speaking to you in these verses?)
3Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow,[a] help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all.(Are you being Gentle when Speaking of Rob) The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.(Do you believe if Rob is evil that God and GOd alone can deal with him?) 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Again Jesus and His word changes lives. I hope you find comfort in God's word today.

Mark Sohmer said...

Have fun in the U.S.

Please visit New Hampshire next time!!!! :)

Jesse said...

The problem is that Rob Bell is not teaching the Christ of the Bible, he's teaching a New Age, good example to live by kind of Christ, in other words, not Christ at all. I'd say that you are either completely ignoring Rob Bell's misuse of Scripture, or you don't know much Scripture yourself. Before you read another page of Rob Bell, I'd suggest you read your Bible cover to cover. Learn what the Lord teaches and compare that with the teaching of men.

Gar said...

Hi Cameron,

The Theosophy that Bell is preaching is evident in this article in Christianity Today Today: "This is not just the same old message with new methods," Rob says. "We're rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life.... Kristen says. "It had worked for me for a long time. Then it stopped working." The Bells started questioning their assumptions about the Bible itself—"discovering the Bible as a human product," as Rob puts it, rather than the product of divine fiat. "The Bible is still in the center for us," Rob says, "but it's a different kind of center.

Your Brother In Jesus Christ,

Erica said...

Thanks Jesse,
I have read my bible cover to cover a number of times.
It always amazes how others no more about what my church believes then I do. It is the song that never ends....

Anonymous said...

Aside from his books and videos, Rob Bell's sermon's are online and available to the general public. People aren't making assumptions, they are responding to the words that come out of your pastor's mouth.

I can't prove that you haven't read your Bible, but after reading your posts here I can say with confidence that you do not have a firm grasp on what it teaches.

Steve said...


Where does that confidence come from? God-fearing, Christ-loving, Bible-believing Christians have disagreed about Biblical interpretation for roughly 2,000 years now. So perhaps we should be a little more careful about declaring other heretics.

Augustine debated with the Dominitians for years, as did Luther with the Catholic Church and Calvin with the Anabaptists. You're basing your judgment of Erica on 2 posts.

Jesse said...

Yes, Christians have debated the minor points of Christianity for the past 2,000 years, but there has been strong and consistent agreement in regard to the doctrines concerning salvation. It is those doctrines that Bell is playing with.

It is his disregard for 2,000 years of consistent orthodox doctrine and the Bible's literal teaching in regard to salvation that makes people angry. It is the fact that he, and thus his disciples, must ignore large passages of Scripture in order to believe what they believe that make people like myself absolutely furious.

My confidence comes from the fact that I know what the Bible teaches and in Erica's posts I see someone who cherry picks the parts she likes, and disregards the difficult passages. Furthermore, she seems to be more interested in defending her church and pastor than understanding God's Word.

Steve said...


Just trying to clarify here.

Is your assertion that if someone does not come to the same conclusion that you think is the obvious one, that they are ignoring portions of scripture? Do you think it is possible for two people to approach Scripture with the same level of respect and concern and walk away with completely different interpretations? Or is the problem here more specifically with Rob Bell and not with Biblical Interpretation in general? And if so, is it your assumption that he is ignoring Scripture or that he simply is coming to a different conclusion than you?

As for your point about 2,000 years of conflict in the church being about "minor" issues, I would have to disagree. Martin Luther's problem with the Catholic Church was precisely a salvation issue - he argued that salvation is only by God's grace and had a problem with the Church's use of indulgences to "sell" grace.

Likewise, Augustine's battle with Pelagius was fundamentally about salvation. Pelagius argued a works-based salvation and had he "won" the argument, it would have drastically changed the church as history knows it.

Erica said...

Well Jerry,
I guess God will be the judge between you and I one day won't He.
Sure you can hear the sermons online and read his books. That is maybe ten percent of Mars Hill Bible Church. When was the last time you sat in a extra biblical class at Mars? When was the last time you sat in our town hall meeting or business meetings or church planning meetings? When was the last time you volunteer in something at our church to be behind the scenes knowing what goes on. When was the last time you went to lunch with one of pastors or spoke with Rob in person? I have done all these things. There are a lot of pastors out there that I have read there books but it does not even give me a glimpse as to what they believe or what happens at there church and I would be a fool to assume I did.
And I say the same things about you guys you read what you want to read and ignore the rest. You are so worried about living by a certain code, which has been happening since the beginning of time, seems you forget certain passages like Phil 3.
7"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."
You see I worship a resurrected King. You can think what you want of me but at the end of the day I serve a resurrected king, I am not interested in living my life by a set of tribal codes and regulations. I live my life for Jesus.
So say what you want, live your life making sure that everyone believes and follow you guys and your way of thinking. I will live my life serving and believing a resurrected King and making sure I love and respect others, even the dirty rotten sinners the way Jesus loves me.

Erica said...

Oh and Jesse,
Please share with me the fine parts of your gospel presentation that I miss.

Jesse said...

No, I am ok with disagreements in interpretation, there are a great many things that we can disagree on as believers and maintain fellowship. But the doctrines that Bell teaches, salvation without repentance, hell and heaven on earth (as opposed to literal realities), and the absence of original sin are serious issues.

In regard to 2,000 years of orthodox agreement, I maintain that assertion. Of course there have been disagreements, but they did nothing more than reaffirm orthodox doctrine. Luther's split with the Catholic Church brought about the Reformation, which was the result of Luther studying the Bible and pointing out that the Catholic Church was teaching heresy. The same goes for Augustine who, again, used a literal interpretation of Scripture to win a battle with Pelagius who was also teaching heresy. It is interesting that you mention Pelagius though, Rob Bell's doctrines line up with his quite nicely, neo-pelagianism at its finest. Finally, his arguments are based on a major logical flaw, he claims that we can't really trust 2,000 years of consistent literal interpretation, but somehow we can trust his interpretation.

You're post is proving my point again, you are more interested in defending your church and pastor than understanding what Scripture teaches. Your assertion that sermons are only ten percent of Mars Hill and thus minor, is patently absurd. The sermons of a pastor offer a very clear picture of the foundational doctrines of a church. I have yet to attend a church where the pastor taught doctrines that the church itself didn't believe.

2 Timothy 2-5

"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry."

Mars Hill teaches "easy-believism,"that solid doctrine is unimportant, that God isn't angry with you, that we are all God's children, hell isn't a literal place, Jesus came to teach us the best way to live etc... The only way that you could reach these conclusions is to ignore Scripture. I don't think we need to preach fire and brimstone, but the Bible does teach that Hell is a literal place. The Bible does not teach that we are all God's children, it teaches that without repentance and salvation we are children of wrath.

Bell teaches the easy stuff and ignores the difficult passages. He is teaches that doctrine should be adjusted to suit our modern lives, not that our modern lives should be transformed to be in line with Scripture.

Matthew 7:13

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it."

Bell teaches a wide easy, works based way to heaven, and I'm afraid that it just does not hold up to the lens of Biblical scrutiny. I've read his books, seen his presentations, heard his sermons. I know what he teaches and what the Bible teaches and the two do not line up. But I suppose you can just write that all off as my opinion.

Erica said...

Mars Hill teaches "easy-believism,"that solid doctrine is unimportant, that God isn't angry with you, that we are all God's children, hell isn't a literal place, Jesus came to teach us the best way to live etc... The only way that you could reach these conclusions is to ignore Scripture. I don't think we need to preach fire and brimstone, but the Bible does teach that Hell is a literal place. The Bible does not teach that we are all God's children, it teaches that without repentance and salvation we are children of wrath.
We teach solid doctrine is not important.Hmm who's doctrine is Rob denying? Doctrine is such a broad term. A lot of doctrine is man made anyway. Rob teaches God is not angry with you? Really? Can you show me where God is angry with me? In the Old Testament sure you can prove that but since his death on the cross can you show me where it says God is angry with me? It says I am a sinner in Romans and that God died for me but where does it say God is angry with me? He preaches we are all God's children? That is pretty much a lie. I have never heard him preach that but again you know more then I do:-) I have heard him preach that God loves us all and want to have a relationship with us. He has even had people come and share their story as to how God saved them and when they repented and turned from their sin and what that looks like one of them was even his brother. SO I think it is funny that Rob believes we are all God's children why would he bother having people share their personal stories. Oh wait, what I am saying you know more about my church then I do. In fact you probably knew all of this. In fact I bet you were there when we had over a month of personal testimony's from people as to how God saved them. You probably attend baptism Sunday and heard all the testimony's right. Rob teaches that Hell is not a literal place? To me it is irrelevant what he believes concerning Hell. Our church believe that all who do not follow Jesus will be destroyed one day and spend eternity without Jesus. The literal interpretation of John 3:16 "Should not perish" is literally translated in the greek that non should be destroyed. Eternity without a Savior should be the concern not how God chooses to punish. Wow you don't believe that Jesus came to teach us the best way to live???!! We really do read a totally different bible and serve a totally different God because my bible is an instruction manual for how to live. Oh and we teach nothing is about works. Rob does teach that if you are a true follow of Jesus Christ then you will die to yourself and take up your cross and follow Jesus and there is more to the Christian faith then saying a praying it is living it out.