I've been thinking some more about Rob Bell, and since my last post on him I have read his LOVE WINS, which I highly recommend, by the way. As for those of my fellow Christians with pinched hearts, a need to control the gates of heaven, and who say Rob Bell is a universalist, they may wish to consider these words of his from page 115:
"Will every body be saved,
or will some perish apart from God forever because of
"Those are questions, or more accurately, those are
tensions we are free to leave fully intact. We don't need
to resolve them or answer them because we can't, and so
we simply respect them, creating space for the freedom
that love requires."
Is this universalism? It seems to me that it leaves open the possibility that universalism is true, but clearly Bell is not committing himself to universalism here, and is not pretending to. Frankly, I wish he had. So why are the pharisees after him? And why are they so upset at the mere possibility that no one is damned?
It is interesting that they claim scripture on their side. Let me leave aside the scriptural argument for the time being and instead ponder this: why do they WANT to believe in hell? Why are they people who would clearly be bitterly disappointed if it could be proven to them that scripture does not support a doctrine of eternal torture for some people?
Could it be that pride says there is no point in being one of the sheep if there are no goats?