Tag Archives: heresy

Rob Bell and the Good News

Largely, I am very disappointed to read Rob Bell’s book “Love Wins”.  It dances so close and around the heresy known as Universalism, that says everyone will eventually go to heaven, because all roads lead through the pearly gates in the end.  Through poor exegesis and embarrassing uses of scripture he tries to “express” his views on hell.  I say express, because what Rob as an artist is really doing, is expressing his faith in this book.  It’s not a systematic theology, but merely an expression it seems.  A severely lacking expression that would definitely lead some unaware people into false beliefs about Christ.

However….I admire his attempts deeply in making the Bible palatable to the every-day post-modern person.  I have been discerning to sift through the heresy to search out that shepherds heart he has.  He does have a point in the following excerpt in terms of how we use our “Christian-ese” when talking with those who don’t believe.

“So when the gospel is diminished to a question of whether or not a person will ‘get into heaven’ that reduces the good news to a ticket, a way to get past the bouncer and into the club. The good news is better than that.  This is why Christians who talk the most about going to heaven while everybody else goes to hell don’t throw very good parties.”

– Rob Bell in his book “Love Wins”, p. 178-179

The question that he raises in my mind, How can we best talk, gossip, present, and bring up issues found in the Bible without being that “judgemental” believer, who holds the doctrine of justice over ones head, while holding the doctrine of love in the other.  May God give us the words to use graciously, the times wisely, and most importantly His heart for the lost.  We need a heart transplant every single morning!

PS – If you are reading the book, Dr. Ben Witherington has a good chapter by chapter review of the book here. The series is called “For whom the Bell tolls…”

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Theology Fail! Early church heresies and their relevancy for today.

Next time you sit down with your chicken bones, horoscopes, notepad and crystal ball and try to think up the next new coolest cult in your assailment of Christianity, just know, its probably already been thought of before.  The first 500 years, we see most of Christianity’s main heresy’s emerge.  Even before Paul died, there were plenty of misunderstandings to clarify.  Much of his epistles were correcting epistles, they were doing something a little off, and need some loving correction, and sometimes a rebuke.

All it takes is to erroneously change your course by a couple of degrees initially in the first few feet of a journey, and miles later you will be way off course.  Such is a way in which most heresies come about.  Its not Joey came home one day with a toad, and was like “I found God!”  But in very small measures, they deviate from the way.

Early church heresies are important for us today, because they are still the same questions many people wrestle through today.  How can Jesus be totally man and totally God?  Was Jesus really born of a virgin?  If he was born, doesn’t that make him created (and therefore not fully God)?  Why does Jesus have to be deity, and not just a teacher?

Find a great website explaining the first heresies here.  Great website explaining them.

I also encourage you, if you find this interesting, to go as deep as you can.  In learning what the heresies were, you’ll find how the church responded to such heresies to be a way to strengthen your walk with Christ.