Is Mennonite doctrine on hell on the same page with Rob Bell? This is what the following article from mennoweekly.org appears to suggest. Is there really a general acceptance of the ‘Christian universalism’ theology in Rob Bell’s latest book, Love Wins, among the Mennonites?
“…On the topic of hell, Anabaptist writers have presented similar ideas recently. Last year, in Razing Hell: Rethinking Everything You’ve Been Taught About God’s Wrath and Judgment, Messiah College professor Sharon L. Baker claimed that traditional views of hell have damaged our understanding of a loving God.
In 2001, Randy Klassen, a pastor raised in the Mennonite Brethren church, wrote in What Does the Bible Really Say About Hell? that “consequences of rejecting God’s grace are fearful, but the picture of sinners being roasted over an open flame for all ages belongs in the caricature section of local tabloids, not the doctrinal statements of Christian churches.”
The writers of recent Mennonite doctrinal documents appear to agree with that. Hell as never-ending torture is absent from Mennonite Church USA’s 1995 Confession of Faith, the International Community of Mennonite Brethren’s 2004 confession, and Mennonite World Conference’s 2006 Shared Convictions.
The MB confession says “those who have rejected Christ will face eternal condemnation,” and the MC USA confession says the unrighteous will face “hell and separation from God,” but neither describe fire and brimstone…”
–An exploration of how love wins by Paul Schrag
UNBELIEVABLE: DEBATE BETWEEN ROB BELL AND ADRIAN WARNOCK:
Heaven, Hell and Rob Bell – a Face to Face Debate about Love Wins
Rob Bell’s Unbelief in His own Words