What is an Evangelical?

In this post,  I offer a meaning of Evangelical, but this must be read in conjunction with my post "What is a Christian?" I do not claim in this post to be outlining the boundary markers of Christianity.  Evangelicalism is a part of the broader Christian movement. I also do not claim any special authority to lay out these principles which are not new to me.  It is true that Evangelicalism can be hard to define.  But this is I believe because it is more about attitudes than doctrinal sta … [Read more...]

VIDEO: Has Rob Bell demonstrated clearly that he is not an Evangelical any more?

In this clip I tell Rob Bell that because he has a very different approach to the Bible, it is hard to accept him as an Evangelical.  I also explain that the main reason for the anger of many evangelicals is that we have learned to expect and to a certain extent accept this kind of teaching from others outside the evangelical movement but within the broader Christian movement.  Surely Bell is just another neo-liberal just like Steve Chalke. What is hard to accept is someone who we thought of as " … [Read more...]

Listen to my face to face debate with Rob Bell about heaven, hell, and the fate of every person who ever lived.

DOWNLOAD THE MP3 of this debate.Or you can stream online and get it via iTunes, or the Unbelievable? Podcast. Video will be available Tuesday.This Saturday, Premier's Unbelievable with Justin Brierley will feature a pretty feisty extended debate between Rob Bell and I. He is known to be pretty slippery during interviews, but I did not want to let myself get frustrated so I resolved to be firm but fair. I think being in the same room with him and discussing face to face helped me … [Read more...]

A spectrum of belief on hell and salvation – Is Rob Bell a Universalist?

This week Rob Bell is in the UK and will be speaking at a number of evening events around the country. I trust many will see through his emotional appeals to the error that lies beneath.Rob argues in his book Love Wins that “No one can resist God’s pursuit forever because God’s love will eventually melt even the hardest hearts” (page 108). Yet elswhere he claims not to be a universalist. Therefore, to be fair to him and in the spirit of my Arminocalvinist Spectrum and Evolution vs Creation … [Read more...]

The Apostle Paul's Blogging Checklist, Hell, and Rob Bell

Now that Rob Bell's controversial book Love Wins is on sale on both sides of the Atlantic and many other comments have been made, I am feeling like I cannot avoid engaging in the controversy, or at least should read some more material to understand it better. I did not seek out such involvement, as you can see from my post which ironically listed Five Reasons I hadn't previously blogged about Rob Bell. Since then I have posted a couple of highly relevant articles without directly addressing … [Read more...]

Lloyd-Jones on the folly of thinking God is only love and ignoring punishment and hell

Lloyd-Jones could have been saying this for the 21st Century not the 20th. There really is nothing new under the sun: "All this modern preaching on the fact that God is love is an indication of the same attitude and spirit. We are told today that the old sermons that preached the law and talked about conviction of sin and called people to repentance were all wrong because they were legalistic . . .So it is said that we must return to the message of Jesus. We must get rid of all our theology, … [Read more...]

Is There a Second Chance for Salvation After Death? – Mark Driscoll on hell

In a recent sermon on Heaven and Hell based on the shocking parable of the Rich man and Lazarus found in Luke 16. Driscoll was at his pastoral and passionate best. His love for his hearers, and desire to warn them of important truth is very clearly seen in this talk. I think it is one of his best sermons. He speaks about the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, and how between heaven and hell, "a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass . . may not be able, and none may … [Read more...]

5 reasons why I haven't said anything so far about Rob Bell and Love Wins

Some people have asked me recently what I think about a famous preacher who is about to publish a book on hell, which some say teaches universalism and questions whether anyone will be punished by God forever. Why have I not already posted on this, after all I have been known for calling out neo-liberals before?I have not been sent a pre-publication copy of the book so if I was to comment it would only be on the basis of videos I have seen of Rob Bell talking about his book and reviews … [Read more...]

C.H. Spurgeon on the exclusivity of the truth

Today's guest post comes to us from C.H. Spurgeon. These are previously unpublished words taken from notes of a sermon delivered on a Lord’s Day evening in 1856, at New Park Street. Notes taken by Pastor T.W. Medhurst. John 14.6 – ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way… no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me’“There seems to be growing up amongst us an idea that a man is of a persecuting spirit of he does not think that the one who flatly contradicts him is as right as himself. If we do as some w … [Read more...]

The State of the Evangelical Movement – from Ed Stetzer with my own thoughts interjected

These notes reflect my own impressions of what Ed Stetzer had to say at the recent Dwell London event. He was doing a seminar for cross-cultural workers to help them understand the current evangelical movement.  There are many of my own comments entwined with what Ed actually had to say. So blame me, rather than him for anything you disagree with, and credit him and not me for anything useful! Anytime I use the word “I” in these notes, this definitely reflects my opinion, not Ed’s necessarily. An … [Read more...]