Monday, 18 July 2011

More Dishonesty From Rob Bell

In his chapter on Hell, Bell, as is his style throughout the whole book, doesn't really give a straight answer, but seems to go out of his way to say that there is no hell as we have understood it; that is, a place of punishment for the wicked after death. I'm not quite sure what his point actually is, but he takes the Greek word, "gehenna," which is translated as "hell" in the Gospels, and seems to trivialize it. He points out, quite rightly, that it refers to the Valley of Hinnom outside of Jerusalem, but says, in one of the silliest quips ever,
So the next time someone asks you if you believe in an actual hell, you can always say, "Yes, I do believe that my garbage goes somewhere."
I'm guessing (because as far as I can tell, he never does say) that he is trying to dispel the notion of a place of punishment for the wicked after death, whether eternal or not, pushing the notion that hell is something we create for ourselves in the here and now.

But in our gospel reading this past Sunday, we read Matthew 13, where, in both the parable of the weeds (vv 24-30; 37-43) and of the net (47-50) Jesus speaks very clearly about the punishment of the wicked in, "...the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Once again, Bell seems to quote only those verses he can twist to suit his point of view, while ignoring those he can't, all the while, I assume, hoping his audience will not exmine his arguments too closely.

Take Care

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