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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by mandym, Dec 22, 2011.
Old news, bad news source, but old news...Bell's book (which came out in January or something...feels like forever ago) is so terribly written it can't be considered as really anything but poorly formed thoughts on a wonderfully important theological issue that ends up being more question than answer.
It's old news.
It's old enough news that there are follow-up books refuting it!! LOL
We were discussing this very book last Sunday in sunday school, pastor gave interesting remark on it...
That by trying SO HARD to have God giving man free will in the book, he ends up making God a "Cosmic Rapist", in that bell makes God overwealming people so much with His love that he forces them to get saved, even at time despite their will to reject His offer!
I read it, and got a different take on it.
Seemed to me he was saying what--help me out here, brain fog morning!--either Mohler or Russ Moore said about some famous atheist that died recently: we don't know what happens during brain death. That leaves open the possibility (not certainty!) that folks can get saved and we human beings never know they were saved until eternity.
Bell seems to go a bit further, allowing the possibility the gates even of hell can't prevail against the gospel.
Sure didn't get the idea of God being a cosmic rapist. Rather, that His love is so great (irresistable grace) we eventually don't want to refuse it, and His love so great (unlimited atonement) that He will successfully pursue all.
Not saying I agree with him, just that if you toss the hype he isn't so far from--brain fog moment--Mohler or Moore.
I'll go try and find again which one it was.
edited to add: it is Russ Moore re Christopher Hitchens at Moore to the Point, scroll down a bit.
bell refusedto address the concept of God being BOTH all loving and Holy...
His holiness demands that sin be punished, and that was the purpose of jesus atoning death on the Cross...
His Love sent His sin to take the sin debt/judgement in my place, BUT hell is there for those whom willingly refuse that sacrifice, and choose to go to hell via free violation, as they would not want God to be in their affairs!
that was the analogy of God as the 'Cosmic raptist", as he will force upon those who don't even want God and salvation heaven...
He would be violating in that case the "free will" that bell sees God providing us! free though up until Love of God "forced" all to get saved!
Read "erasing hell" by francis chan. It was the rebuttal to that book.
Yes, Bell is Christus Victor while I am Penal Substitution.
He does paint penal substitution with tar and feathers, and there are many more logical answers to his questions than the ones he comes up with AND the ones he says we hold to penal substitution come up with.
Rather deceiving? Yes.
But many besides Bell in the church hold to Christus Victor. Many come up with his answers.
So I think the fuss may be more about selling those rebuttal books.
Otherwise maybe we'd have already had books refuting the Lutherans and others that hold more to what Bell seems to hold.
In particular, Bell takes a Liberal Protestant view and repackages it in modern mystical terms but never disavows his liberal roots in so doing. He holds a libertarian free will stance that goes so far that one's will is king, even over the will of God, and extending to the point where one can will him or herself into and out of hell or heaven.
My thoughts on that are, "Try pleading that case to God and see how far you get..."
Bell is an heretic and blasphemous and though I support his freedom to produce worthless drivel, I do not recommend that other Christians avail themselves of his teaching. To do so is to go against our God and King who tells us that He is a jealous God, and a God who reserves the right to act as He pleases, when He pleases, and on whom He pleases.
All I was saying is that it isn't anything new.
Others have asked the same questions and gotten the same answers--most of which are wrong.
I will allow, along with Russell Moore, that the vilest sinner MAY have made a deathbed conversion, and if so, will be in heaven.
I am monergistic, not synergistic, when it comes to salvation, so I don't agree with Bell's thinking that somehow God has to save a kid born in a Muslim country who either never hears the gospel or hears it but is so immersed by his parents and culture in Islam that he "cannot" leave it.
So while I agree with your assessment of Bell, I'm saying the sturm and drang about his writings is more about selling books than it is about him having come up with some NEW heresy.
would bell even hold out that satan himself will be saved by god in the end, that ALl will find reconciliation back through the Love of God?
Not at all... He is pleading that we all have a freedom of choice strong enough that we can decide whether we go to hell or heaven, and/or whether we stay there. In essence, what Bell is arguing is that we can decide to not follow God now, and go to hell by our choice, but if we later decide to not be in hell, we can chose to enter God's heaven.
Sound heretical? That's because it is!
In his system, God does not "save." We do... Yes, it is worse than you thought.
So what would be the basis of salvation? the Cross of Christ, or us exercising 'free will" and appeal to the love of God, disregarding the Cross altogether ?
Would Bell see jesus death as example of Love, but NOT as real atonement transacted there?
Wouldn't he be a full blown modern day Pelagius?
So man has the final say in salvation?
Yes, he is a full blown modern day Pelagius... I reccomend reading his book for reference, not for belief. Don't be convinced by Bell's admittedly good and smooth way of writing. His core theology is heretical, but I believe in reading source material so as to formulate proper arguments against it.
Who pays for the Sin debt obligated to God thoguh, according to Bell?
Did jesus automatically provide payment for all?
All get saved, either on earth or at second chance after death?
What IF some decide hell i still their choice, does God override that to save All?
What debt? If we are only sinners by choice and we chose to not be sinners, there is no debt.
But IF we commit one sin, in sight of aHoly God might as well had broken a million in the sense that one makes us same guilty as charged before god!
Does bell deny there is real Sin than?
In his book Bell suggests that hell it a lack of social justice. Sin therefore is failing to engage in social justice.
So he would be espousing the ole Social Liberation gospel message?
that unless we cure the ills of society, that we have failed to do the mandate from God?
what does he see the reason/purpose of Jesus death on the Cross for?
Does not the scene of the final judgement in Matthew strongly suggest the same?