Does Rob Bell Believe in a Literal Hell?

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In this video clip Rob Bell asked me one too many questions. If you see a builder point at your foundation and say “Is that really strong enough? Is it possible that your house may fall down if I build it here? Isn’t it more likely that the cement that was used is too sandy? Are you sure it will last for ever? Is your foundation-layer really like that?”

It is IMPOSSIBLE to conclude anything other than that the questionner does not believe in the sureness of your foundation! The very act of questioning undermines the confidence and certainty that one needs in a sure foundation! Unfortunately Bell with all his questions does the same thing with absolutely FUNDEMENTAL aspects of our faith.

So, finally pushed over the edge by Bell’s repeated questions, I turned one back on him, asking him essentially if he believed that God was the kind of God who would punish people for ever in hell, he gave a simple, one word answer “No!” In a sense that made the whole hour worthwhile. Finally, a clear confession from Rob Bell, that yes, he does not believe in hell as traditional evangelicals understand it.

As I begin to say at the end of this clip, you can call such a view part of a broad “Christian” spectrum of thought that includes liberals, catholics, orthodox, and essentially anyone that claims to be a follower of Christ, but you cannot call it evangelical. Since my personal definition of a Christian is “Someone who believes in the physical resurrection of Christ and lives their life in light of the implications of that event” (taken from Raised With Christ) I am happy to recognize that Bell is almost certainly a Christian. But he is no Evangelical and this debate taken as a whole should put an end to any nonsense that he is.

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Confluence is a place where the reformed, the charismatic, and the mission-minded converge to equip and serve the church to transform communities. Our authors are mostly leaders in the Newfrontiers family of churches.