Brian McLaren defends Rob Bell’s views on Hell

The Mennonites who recently had Brian McLaren in to speak at their university, and those who promoted the conference, should take note of what he is now saying as he jumps to the defense of Rob Bell who has recently come out with a controversial new book on hell. Here is what McLaren says in his attempt to critique a critique by Albert Mohler on Bell’s views on heaven and hell:

McLaren responded, “[H]e (Mohler) is wrong to assume that Rob is saying his story is better than Jesus’ story. Rather, Rob is suggesting that Jesus’ original story (as he interprets it) is better than the version many hold and proclaim today.”

No articulation of the gospel today can presume to be exactly identical to the original meaning proclaimed by Christ and the apostles, McLaren argued. He said Christians therefore should proclaim their interpretation with “humble confidence” rather than “a naive and excessive confidence.”

McLaren also disagreed with Mohler that Bell was questioning the interpretation of the gospel he received because he was in search of a “popular or palatable version.” Bell, already a “wildly popular” megachurch pastor and author, started to question the version of the gospel he received because he was convinced from his studies in scripture that it wasn’t the best interpretation, he said.

“He (and many of us) may be wrong,” noted McLaren, “but if we’re wrong, it’s not simply because we are trying to pander to ‘contemporary culture.'”

Brian McLaren Defends Rob Bell against Mohler’s Critique

Menno-lite suggests that McLaren and Bell are indeed wrong, simply because they are listening to the father of lies. It’s obvious for the discerning Christian to easily spot. Brian McLaren and Rob Bell are leading the new kind of Christians with their new kind of Bible interpretation method called deconstructionism. And the new kind of Mennonites are following in their footsteps down this wide and dangerous path.

[Read the rest of McLaren’s defense of Rob Bell at the above link.]

Please see:

Deconstructionism – is it a valid way to interpret the Bible?




4 thoughts on “Brian McLaren defends Rob Bell’s views on Hell

  1. In his new book “Love Wins” Rob Bell seems to say that loving and compassionate people, regardless of their faith, will not be condemned to eternal hell just because they do not accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

    Concepts of an afterlife vary between religions and among divisions of each faith. Here are three quotes from “the greatest achievement in life,” my ebook on comparative mysticism:

    (46) Few people have been so good that they have earned eternal paradise; fewer want to go to a place where they must receive punishments for their sins. Those who do believe in resurrection of their body hope that it will be not be in its final form. Few people really want to continue to be born again and live more human lives; fewer want to be reborn in a non-human form. If you are not quite certain you want to seek divine union, consider the alternatives.

    (59) Mysticism is the great quest for the ultimate ground of existence, the absolute nature of being itself. True mystics transcend apparent manifestations of the theatrical production called “this life.” Theirs is not simply a search for meaning, but discovery of what is, i.e. the Real underlying the seeming realities. Their objective is not heaven, gardens, paradise, or other celestial places. It is not being where the divine lives, but to be what the divine essence is here and now.

    (80) [referring to many non-mystics] Depending on their religious convictions, or personal beliefs, they may be born again to seek elusive perfection, go to a purgatory to work out their sins or, perhaps, pass on into oblivion. Lives are different; why not afterlives? Beliefs might become true.

    Rob Bell asks us to reexamine the Christian Gospel. People of all faiths should look beyond the letter of their sacred scriptures to their spiritual message. As one of my mentors wrote “In God we all meet.”

    • Ron,

      I suspect you may just be surfing the internet and trying to generate hits on your e-book. But I must thank you for your comment. Brian McLaren also talks about the here and now, and that the objective is not heaven. How strikingly similar the emerging church conversations sound to your ideas on mysticism. This only confirms the suspicions of many that what we are dealing with in the philosophies of these emerging church leaders is not Christianity at all, but New Age mysticism with Christian labels. There is less hope for men who know the truth and depart from it, than for men who don’t know the truth, but have their eyes opened to it. Therefore, should you come back here, you need to know that no person has ever met God’s high standards to earn themselves eternal life in paradise. It’s a gift. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Mysticism and the here and now will not lead you to truth. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me.” (John 14:6) Regarding purgatory, there is no such thing taught in the Bible – it was an idea created by men for financial gain so that people would pay indulgences to the Roman Catholic church. You cannot work out your sins, which is why Jesus came to earth and paid your penalty (Colossians 2:14) so that you can have eternal life if you repent and believe. You are born spiritually dead, and if you do not call on Jesus who paid your penalty and be born again (John 3), you will die spiritually dead. If this is the case, you will take part in the second death (in Revelation). If you choose to be born again, you will be spiritually alive, and when you die you will be alive in Christ, and will inherit eternal life. Your mentor was wrong. Rob Bell is wrong. We don’t all meet in God. Only those who God sees fit to enter in will meet together with Him. God cannot look at sin, and we are all born in sin, and have ALL broken the law and are in need of a Savior! Please ask God to show you the truth today. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) He is your only hope.

  2. You said that eternal life in paradise is a gift. That “gift” is called grace and is not New Age. Here are some quotes of mystics from my ebook:

    Grace. Divine grace is spiritual assistance not specifically earned by its recipient. Most mystics believe that divine grace is offered at all times, in all places and to all beings, but the sentiments, thoughts and actions of the ego self, and individual isolation, block its entry. Everyone has received divine grace during selfless periods of their life. Mystics who gave up their ego and individuality were in a state of grace and may share it. Most mystics say that grace is essential to realize oneness; some seem to equate divine grace, love and spirit.

    “God’s grace is the beginning, middle and the end. When you pray for God’s grace, you are like someone standing neck deep in water and yet crying for water.” Ramana Maharishi H

    “God continually showers the fullness of his grace on every being in the universe, but we consent to receive it to a greater or lesser extent.” Simone Weil J/C

    “The deified person, while remaining completely human in nature…becomes wholly in God in both body and soul, through grace and the divine brightness of the beatifying glory that permeates the whole person.” Maximus the Confessor C

    “May I be far removed from contending creeds and dogmas. Ever since my Lord’s grace entered my mind, My mind has never strayed to seek such distractions.” Milarepa B

    “One cannot see God without His grace. …to receive the grace of God one must renounce egotism; one cannot see God as long as one feels “I am the doer.” Ramakrishna H

    “Give up to grace. The ocean takes care of each wave ’til it gets to shore. You need more help than you know.” Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi I

    “One who merits will find himself constantly aware of Hashem’s [YHWH] blessings in his life, and will rejoice in the opportunity to spend another day on earth enjoying Hashem’s grace and kindness.” Ba’al Shem Tov J

    True mystics made sacrifices and efforts with the dedication of others who have succeeded in life despite overwhelming odds. The “gift of grace” must be accepted; it is not automatic. You have to prepare yourself to realize it, then allow it to transform your being to live in the divine. It is not a professional certificate or a university degree, it must be actuated daily. It is a quite unique mode of living beyond most normal perceptions, expanding everyday experiencing, unlimited in scope and substance. It is seeing what is here and now.

  3. Pingback: Rob Bell’s book reviewed in MB Herald « Menno-lite

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