When I wrote I Sold My Soul on eBay, Rob Bell was the one pastor my publishers were hoping would write the foreword to the book. He was young, popular, on the rise, and someone who (they figured) would understand me. Rob not only spoke with me during the writing of the book, he ended up writing a really nice (and very Christian-y) introduction for it. He didn’t have to do it, so I really appreciated the gesture (and still do).
Last year, Bell ignited a firestorm when, in his book Love Wins, he suggested that it was “misguided and toxic” for Christians to believe that only those who accepted Jesus would go to heaven while everyone else burned in hell. Traditional pastors basically called him a heretic — though it’s not like they were all that enamored with him in the first place — while Bell’s younger audience smiled and nodded along with him.
And now, it’s happening again.