“A Bizarre Kind of Universalism”

More from Greg Gilbert’s 3-part response to Rob Bell’s NOOMA videos:

I don’t know how else to understand this: What Bell is asserting here is a bizarre kind of universalism in which every human being is forgiven and yet some forgiven people end up in hell anyway. The NOOMA might be slippery, but this passage from Velvet Elvis isn’t at all, and that may offer some insight on what he’s actually saying in NOOMA. The only way I can see to understand it is that Bell is telling lost people that they are forgiven, that they are in relationship with God, even that the Spirit of God lives in them and is waiting to guide them and sanctify them if only they’d wake up and realize it.

That kind of thinking though is devastatingly misleading to lost people. To be lost is not merely to be ignorant about the fact that you are already in relationship with God, forgiven, free, and full of his Spirit. To be lost is to be separated from God and under his judgment. That’s a crucial part of the gospel, not just because Bell’s alternative involves the absurdity of forgiven people suffering in hell; it’s crucial because, unless you understand that God hates sin and judges it, the cross doesn’t make any sense. In fact, it becomes kind of superfluous. The fact is, somebody could hear Rob Bell’s version of the gospel in NOOMA and walk away feeling forgiven and Spirit-filled without a single thought about Jesus’ death. And at that point, what you have is something quite other than Christianity.

It seems like Greg is looking into the future a little, huh?

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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