Rob Bell, Brian McLaren and Albert Mohler

This is just a quick post to those of you who are following the Rob Bell and his book “Love Wins” thing and the stir it has caused on the web. Brian McLaren has stepped up and defended Bell on his book by responding to Albert Mohler and his critique of the book.

Two articles which are most excellent can be found HERE and HERE. And here are a few quotes just to pique your interest:

Rob Bell: “A staggering number of people have been taught that a select few Christians will spend forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity spends forever in torment and punishment in hell with no chance for anything better. It’s been clearly communicated to many that this belief is a central truth of the Christian faith and to reject it is, in essence, to reject Jesus. This is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus’ message of love, peace, forgiveness, and joy that our world desperately needs to hear.”

H. Richard Niebuhr: “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”

Brian McLaren: “If a human father decided to throw his child in a fireplace for just ten seconds as punishment for disobedience, we wouldn’t fault the father simply for being unsentimental: we would say such behavior was unholy, an act of torture in violation of our most fundamental sense of justice. Any definition of justice and holiness that involves being unsatisfied unless the imperfect are suffering eternal agony seems to many of us as unworthy of a human being and if so, how much more unworthy of God whose justice must be better than our own.”

Albert Mohler: “That argument is straightforward enough, and we need to look at it closely. The central problem with McLaren’s formulation is that such logic destroys any faithfulness to the totality of God’s self-revelation about himself. It presumes to judge God by human conceptions of love — and this is precisely what God himself rejects. He will not allow himself to be judged by humans. We simply do not have an adequate moral vantage point from which to make judgments about the character of God. We are, as in all things, utterly dependent upon God’s self-revelation and self-definition.”

If nothing more, it has brought a debate that many haven’t heard in this day and age.



8 thoughts on “Rob Bell, Brian McLaren and Albert Mohler

  1. You are right Vee. This issue has brought well needed debate. You’ve done a wonderful job of laying it all out nice and neat for us 🙂


    • I have found the debate very interesting. One thing that stood out for me was the question that Albert Mohler raised when he asked…’is God a humanitarian?’. That would be a good blog question wouldn’t it.

      Basically, McLaren and Bell don’t allow the bible, which is God’s word, to explain God’s love along side his judgment. McLaren and Bell are judging God by human standards, yet the bible clearly states that God’s ways are not ours, and this is a common thread throughout the bible.

      I can understand now why the McLaren’s and Bell’s of this world would see God as a child abuser because of their human understanding of what a god should be. It’s the logical step to think this way isn’t it.


  2. Hi vee

    I just came across this post by Eugene Peterson in his defense of Rob Bell on Church

    Eugene Peterson stated that “Rob Bell and anyone else who is baptized is my brother or my sister. We have different ways of looking at things, but we are all a part of the kingdom of God. And I don’t think that brothers and sisters in the kingdom of God should fight. I think that’s bad family manners”

    What a strange thing for a Christian theologian to say “Rob bell & anyone else who is baptized is my brother or sister”. Eugene Peterson needs to know that Adolph Hitler was baptized. Karl Marx was baptized. Stalin was baptized. Jeffrey Dahmer was baptized. Ted Bundy was baptized, & the list goes on & on. I guess there is nothing new under the sun, even in Jesus day, Jesus had to listen to the falsetto theologians singing their one dimensional view of what the Christ should


    • WOW Steve. Thanks for pointing this out. I for one don’t see Rob Bell and McLaren as born again Christians. These are not secondary biblical issues. I remember talking to someone about Rob Bell and he had read one of his books. He spoke about Bell using the trampoline metaphor for God’s kingdom. Bell says that all the springs that hold the trampoline are the different paths to God’s kingdom, some are made by those who believe in the trinity, the virgin birth etc,. while other springs are those who don’t believe in those things and understand the bible to be more of a story, more of a mythical book. But all these people are still bouncing on the trampoline. I see those springs as broken and will not hold the trampoline steady.

      Thanks again Steve 🙂


      • I have read some of the comments made at the blog that Peter links to above. The author of the blog, Roger, says that “As for post-mortem opportunity. Bell claims Luther espoused that in a letter. I haven’t read that letter, but I don’t think Bell would make it up.”

        In an interview with Marin Bashir about his interview with Rob Bell, Martin Bashir examined Bell’s book in a journalistic way and also noted the quote in Bell’s book of Luther saying the following:

        God forbid that I should limit the time of acquiring faith to the present life. In the depth of the Divine mercy there may be opportunity to win it in the future. (Martin Luther’s letter to Hans von Rechenberg, 1522.)

        But this is only part of the quote from the Luther letter to Rechenberg. Bell only quotes the above and omits the rest which says…

        It would be quite a different question whether God can impart faith to some in the hour of death or after death so that these people could be saved through faith. Who would doubt God’s ability to do that? (Martin Luther’s letter to Hans von Rechenberg, 1522.)

        However, after having said this, Luther continues to say that…

        No one, however, can prove that He does do this. For all that we read is that he has already raised people from the dead and thus granted them faith. But whether he gives faith or not, it is impossible for anyone to be saved without faith. Otherwise every sermon, the gospel, and faith would be vain, false, and deceptive, since the entire gospel makes faith necessary. For all that we read is that he has already raised people from the dead and thus granted them faith. But whether he gives faith or not, it is impossible for anyone to be saved without faith. Otherwise every sermon, the gospel, and faith would be vain, false, and deceptive, since the entire gospel makes faith necessary. (Works, 43, ed. and trans. G. Wienke and H. T. Lehmann [Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1968], 53-54; WA 10.ii, 324.25-325.11)(Martin Luther’s letter to Hans von Rechenberg, 1522.)

        Isn’t this just a little bit disingenuous? Have you heard the interview with Martin Bashir about his interview with Rob Bell… it’s worth listening to. It can be found here:


  3. Since when do we define God’s infinitely perfect Judgement, by our finite sense of justice? The reasoning that we don’t think that we as humans could send someone to hell for eternity(even 10 seconds of it)shows how perfect, righteous and worthy God’s judgement is to do condemn unrepentant sinners into everlasting torment.


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