Christianity Today (CT) recently interviewed Rob Bell about his book Jesus Wants to Save Christians. And at the end of the interview, Galli asked Bell how he would present the gospel on Twitter. Bell said:
I would say that history is headed somewhere. The thousands of little ways in which you are tempted to believe that hope might actually be a legitimate response to the insanity of the world actually can be trusted. And the Christian story is that a tomb is empty, and a movement has actually begun that has been present in a sense all along in creation. And all those times when your cynicism was at odds with an impulse within you that said that this little thing might be about something bigger—those tiny little slivers may in fact be connected to something really, really big.
That’s the gospel? Really? That is not anywhere close to the gospel. What Bell said had nothing to do about Jesus Christ’s person and work. His gospel is not saving. It is not God-centered or biblical. If you had to Twitter the gospel, keep it short and sweet, how about this:
I would remind you of the gospel I preached to you…For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1, 3-4).
Mark Galli, the interviewer, wrote at the beginning of the article that his book is “nothing less than a holistic, biblical theology of salvation — written, paradoxically, in Bell’s typical sentence-fragment style.”
That might even be more concerning to me given that CT calls themselves a magazine of “evangelical distinction.” If Bell’s gospel is “evangelical,” then please, don’t call me that.