Os Guinness notes that western societies “have reached the state of pluralization where choice is not just a state of affairs, it is a state of mind. Choice has become a value in itself, even a priority. To be modern is to be addicted to choice and change. Change becomes the very essence of life.” Personal choice becomes the urgency; what sociologist Peter Berger called the “heretical imperative.” In such a context, theology undergoes rapid and repeated transformation driven by cultural currents. [source]
It is one thing to have questions and choices, but having questions never answered could become tedious to say the least. I like what Albert Mohler says about this…
The publicity surrounding Bell’s new book indicates that he is ready to answer one of the hardest questions — the question of the exclusivity of the Gospel of Christ. With that question come the related questions of heaven, hell, judgment, and the fate of the unregenerate. The Bible answers these questions clearly enough, but few issues are as hard to reconcile with the modern or postmodern mind than this. Of course, it was hard to reconcile with the ancient mind as well. The singularity of the person and work of Christ and the necessity of personal faith in him for salvation run counter to the pluralistic bent of the human mind, but this is nothing less than the wisdom of God and the power of God unto salvation.
…Time is running out on the Emerging folks. They can play the game of suggestion for only so long. Eventually, the hard questions will be answered. Tragically, when the answers do come, as with the case of Brian McLaren, they appear as nothing more than a mildly updated form of Protestant liberalism. [source]
Rob Bell has said that he feels he’s being attacked unfairly. Yet he has done many interviews and videos about his upcoming book that warrants scrutiny. He is a public figure, and a prominent one in evangelical circles. His public assertions shouldn’t go without scrutiny. After all, he is talking about a very important issue, a doctrinal one. The bible is clear that we should examine every doctrine and weigh it up against the Word of God and that includes Rob Bell’s!
Like I have said before on my blog, I have friends who think very highly of Rob Bell and I have seen how they have gone from being doctrinally sound to accepting every wind of doctrine. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard them say that the old fundamental doctrines are not for todays culture and are pretty much redundant. It’s a sad thing to see, and it’s ever increasing. It seems everywhere I look there are changes happening on things that I believed would never change. I think we have reached an age of post-Christian to neo-universalism because of these very issues and there is a very real danger to all of this. The gospel IS being undermined and being built on shifting sands. Does this matter? Ask yourself what’s at stake here. If universalism is wrong and thousands of souls have trusted in it, then their eternal security is in danger. That saddens me greatly, I can’t imagine how God feels about this.
There is a warning about this in Matthew chapter 7. This particular chapter examines false teachers and doctrine, and Jesus was very clear stating that the house of God must stand on solid rock and not on shifting sands…
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-26
So as much as Rob Bell feels that he is undergoing unfair criticism it must be understood that those who are doing the criticising are behaving in a biblical manner and are not attacking him personally.
Before I go, I have one more article that is a MUST read (Yep, you guessed it. It’s another one from Albert Mohler). This article is related to this post and examines why the doctrine of Hell has changed over the years. How has culture managed to change this doctrine of eternal Hell into a more palatable universalistic gospel? Albert Mohler answers this question.
It’s called “Doing Away with Hell? Part Two“. In the article he quotes C S Lewis where he talks about justice and rehabilitation and the complexities behind the two. Brilliant article!