Apprising Ministries has been warning you about the judgments coming upon the church visible now that mainstream evangelicalism has embraced the sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church; which is why EC rock star pastor Rob Bell can argue for the heresy of Christian Universalism in his Love Wins mythology and still be considered an evangelical.
I’ve also reminded you that at its rotten core the EC contained the practice of corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM)—and its crown jewel Contemplative/Centering Prayer, which is itself a form of meditation in an altered state of consciousness; the “key mentors” within being Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, along with his spiritual twin Dallas Willard, who at last check is with the Southern Baptist Convention.
This shouldn’t come as any surprise to the informed because none other than Emergent Church guru Brian McLaren already told you they were “key mentors” of the Emerging Church with its newer, more clearly delineated, postmodern form of Progressive Christian theology—a Liberalism 2.0—that these rebels against God’s Word often refer to as “big tent” Emergence Christianity. The only way to enter this circus tent is to kick out Sola Scriptura.
Against this backdrop I’m pleased to bring the following from Dr. John MacArthur to your attention. In Rob Bell’s Unbelief in His own Words MacArthur does the visible church a real service in gathering actual quotes from Rob Bell himself concerning his teachings a few key subjects. I’ve said it before, those who can’t see that Bell is no more an evangelical than e.g. like Progessive Christian scholar Marcus Borg.
MacArthur is dead on target as he tells us where Rob Bell originally derailed:
Rob Bell’s denial of eternal punishment goes hand in hand with a warped view of the gospel… Having rejected biblical authority, Bell has set himself up as his own authority.
Bell has never affirmed the Protestant principle of sola Scriptura.
Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis, 67–68: “It wasn’t until the 300s that what we know as the sixty-six books of the Bible were actually agreed upon as the ‘Bible’. This is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that “Scripture alone” is our guide. It sounds nice, but it is not true. In reaction to abuses by the church, a group of believers during a time called the Reformation claimed that we only need the authority of the Bible. But the problem is that we got the Bible from the church voting on what the Bible even is. So when I affirm the Bible as God’s Word, in the same breath I have to affirm that when those people voted, God was somehow present, guiding them to do what they did. When people say that all we need is the Bible, it is simply not true. In affirming the Bible as inspired, I also have to affirm the Spirit who I believe was inspiring those people to choose those books.”
Thus, he sees the Bible as merely a human book.
Andy Crouch, “Emergent Mystique,” Christianity Today (Nov. 2004): The Bells started questioning their assumptions about the Bible itself–“discovering the Bible as a human product,” as Rob puts it, rather than the product of divine fiat. “The Bible is still in the center for us,” Rob says, “but it’s a different kind of center. We want to embrace mystery, rather than conquer it.”
“I grew up thinking that we’ve figured out the Bible,” Kristen says, “that we knew what it means. Now I have no idea what most of it means. And yet I feel like life is big again–like life used to be black and white, and now it’s in color…”
Consequently, he has no problem ignoring certain parts of Scripture and reimagining others.
Charles Honey, “‘Velvet Elvis’ Author Encourages Exploration of Doubts,” Religion News Service (Aug. 2005): The Bible itself, he writes, is a book that constantly must be wrestled with and re-interpreted. He dismisses claims that “Scripture alone” will answer all questions. Bible interpretation is colored by historical context, the reader’s bias and current realities, he says. The more you study the Bible, the more questions it raises. “It is not possible to simply do what the Bible says,” Bell writes. “We must first make decisions about what it means at this time, in this place, for these people.”
As a result, Bell is comfortable distorting clear gospel passages, so as to escape the unmistakable meaning of the passage. For example, when asked about the narrow gate in Matthew 7:13–14, Bell responded with this novel interpretation:
Rob Bell, Interview with Lisa Miller (March 2011): “I think it’s a great passage because the things in life that matter take incredible intention. And I think it’s a passage ultimately about intention and the power of devoting yourself to something and to somebody. . . . Jesus—I think—is speaking of all the different ways that we lose the plot of what it means to be human. So there was a very real, political climate that He lived in and a number of people said, ‘The thing we are to do as faithful people of God, we are to pick up swords and we are to fight the Romans.’ And He’s like, ‘Okay, the sword thing? We’ve tried that. Let’s reclaim what it means to be a light to the world.’ And He takes them all the way back into their history, which was a narrow way, so I think it works.”
Excerpts like those and many others only reiterate the point that Rob Bell’s gospel is completely antithetical to the true gospel of historic Christianity.
Why would we be surprised at the stance he takes in Love Wins? (Online source)