If you follow blogs and Twitter (and you probably do since you are on this blog), then you are probably not unaware of what is going on with Rob Bell. If you are unaware, then you either 1) fasted Twitter the past week or 2) are in denial of what your tweeting eyes see.
Full disclosure: I used to like Rob Bell’s teaching. Then I read Velvet Elvis. I made no secret here what I thought about Bell after reading that book. He has been particularly ambiguous over the past few years with key biblical doctrines.
This past Saturday, Rob Bell blew up the Internet, specifically, Twitter, with the release of some promo material, including a video, for his new book Love Wins which will go on sale this month. In the promos, Bell appears to align himself with universalism — the belief that everyone goes to heaven. He was mentioned so much on Twitter that he was “trending,” which means that even tweeters in Egypt were hearing about Rob Bell. Who had the biggest beef with Bell? It was the Reformed theologians and bloggers, of course. They were (in my opinion) being discerning, honest, biblical, and faithful to the gospel.
Here’s a timeline of some things that went down:
- HarperCollins (Bell’s publisher) releases a blurb about his new book and a video promo featuring Bell. (You can watch the video below.)
- Justin Taylor blogs his thoughts about the promo material and Bell.
- John Piper tweets, “Farewell Rob Bell. http://dsr.gd/fZqmd8.”
- Josh Harris tweets, “There’s nothing loving about preaching a false gospel. This breaks my heart. Praying for Rob Bell. http://bit.ly/gsE4Gl.”
- Harris follows up his tweet with a blog about why he hopes he’s wrong, including thoughts from Denny Burke, dean of Southern Seminary.
- Kevin DeYoung presents eight reasons why believing in God’s wrath and hell is important.
- Tony Jones writes that the Reformed bloggers have been waiting to pounce on Bell.
- Kevin DeYoung shares two more thoughts on the brouhaha.
- Beliefnet blogger, Jason Boyett, questions the tweetings of Piper and Taylor
- Albert Mohler weighs in on Rob Bell’s suggestive theology.
- CNN writes an article about all of this, interviewing Taylor.
Stay tuned. I’ll do my very best to continue to link to helpful posts and tweets. And when the time is right, I will share some of my own thoughts, though I can’t possibly top DeYoung’s and Burke’s.
Bell’s promo video: