I usually don’t get into heavy theology here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home, but the evangelical blogsophere has been abuzz today with discussions about the existence of hell.
It all began when Justin Taylor, a book editor at the evangelical publisher Crossway, wrote a blog post accusing Grand Rapids megachurch pastor Rob Bell of denying the doctrine of eternal damnation and thus moving “farther and farther away from anything resembling biblical Christianity.” All of the debate centers around Bell’s forthcoming book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. Taylor concludes that Bell’s book teaches universalism, or the idea that all people are saved and hell does not exist.
Tweets are flying left and right over Taylor’s post and Bell’s book. For example, John Piper, a very popular megachurch pastor in Minneapolis, tweeted “Farewell Rob Bell,” suggesting that Bell was no longer a Christian or at the least was not worthy of fellowship. At the time of this writing, Taylor’s post has 25,289 Facebook shares and over 1200 comments.
Here is a snippet from an article on the whole affair in the Grand Rapids Press:
Taylor’s blog prompted a response on Twitter from well-known pastor and author and John Piper. That, in turn, set off a debate on the social network that that still persists (it was trending among the site’s top 10 topics on Saturday), and blog posts by the dozen. As a CNN story on the controversy notes, it’s not uncommon for prominent pastors to get into hot water over matters of theology, but the intensity of this particular reaction — and how it has spread across the Internet — is unusual.
Also read Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s piece at Christianity Today.
Apokatastasis: it's the only way to travel.