Just as we suspected. Really. Because here at Sola Sisters, we've been sounding the alarm not to fight the battle of "Universalism"........but instead to call Bell's heresy what it is: "Christian Universalism" (also known as "Universal Reconciliation"), which is a belief in Universal salvation for ALL, but which comes exclusively through Christ.
We therefore expected that Bell would, in his new book, affirm to one degree or another all of these Christian concepts:
- God's Wrath
- God's Judgment
- Jesus, and Salvation through Jesus alone
- the AtonementAnd he did. Christian Universalism/Universal Reconcilition - which Bell holds too - does not deny these concepts. No, they are redefined, as in classic cult methodology (i.e., "Hell" is a place of limited punishment, akin to the Roman Catholic idea of purgatory; the "Atonement" is effectual for saving ALL people, not just those who repent of their sins and place their faith in Christ's atoning death).
In closing, let us point you toward several very good reviews of this book which have already been published, and which include detailed chapter by chapter analyses of this book. Tim Challies' can be read here, and Kevin DeYoung's can be read here. And rather than tread the same ground and review a book that has already been very well-reviewed, we will be posting direct quotes from Bell's book in upcoming blog entries. This will be done so that anyone reading will be able to assess for themselves what it is that Bell believes.
Is he a Universalist? Bell insists no, but we say yes. And his new book is the smoking gun that proves it. For now we'll leave you with several quotes from Bell's new book:
"John remembers Jesus saying, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'
This is as wide and expansive a claim as a person can make.
What he doesn't say is how, or when, or in what manner the mechanism functions that gets people to God through him. He doesn't even state that those coming to the Father through him will even know that they are coming exclusively through him. He simply claims that whatever God is doing in the world to know and redeem and love and restore the world is happening through him." ("Love Wins," p.154)
"What Jesus does is declare that he, and he alone, is saving everybody." ("Love Wins," p. 155)More to come.....
Is Rob Bell A Universalist? Yes and No.