There has been a bit of talk about Rob Bell the past few days. Actually, that is putting it mildly. Rob even took much of the internet’s attention from Charlie Sheen. Rather than commenting on Rob (for now), I wanted to post something brief about the underlying topic: Universalism.
Now, Rob didn’t actually use this word in his video, but this is the concept he seems to be promoting. At a minimum, he has raised the issue – which it seems is what Rob does best.
I’ve had a few conversations with people who didn’t really understand what the issue was, so for this post I just want to throw out some very basic definitions.
There are 4 primary views on the final state of souls.
I was just forwarded a review of Brian McLaren’s book “A New Kind of Christianity”. You can read it here. If nothing else, it will save you from having to read the book. McLaren and his “Emergent Village” have emerged too far. They need to retract.
There is great value in studying the bible for ourselves. Researching the accepted doctrines of the faith is invaluable. Tracing the origins, both biblical and extra-biblical, is extremely helpful. This is what builds the basis for a strong apologetic. In fact, this is a biblical mandate. 2 Peter 3:15 – “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” Paul praised the Bereans for doing this. (Acts 17) But if your studies lead you to challenge fundamental Christian tenets, you are not exploring your faith – you are establishing a new one!