Bell asks, is it unjust for God to not save everyone? I reply: how dare you question God? Rob thinks he is God, that he can somehow help the whole of humanity. He makes an interesting admission in the following quote from Love Wins:
“Many have heard the gospel framed in terms of rescue. God has to punish sinners, because God is holy, but Jesus has paid the price for our sin, and so we can have eternal life. However true or untrue that is technically or theologically, what it can do is subtly teach people that Jesus rescues us from God. Let’s be very clear, then: we do not need to be rescued from God. God is the one who rescues us from death, sin, and destruction. God is the rescuer. This is crucial for our peace, because we shape our God, and then our God shapes us.“
I am sorry Rob, God either exists or he doesn’t. We cannot shape him. He is God! He is what he is. We cannot mold him in our own image but must find him in the Bible and worship him.
Speaking of sending people to an eternal hell Rob says “Can God do this, or even allow this, and still claim to be a loving God?”
This sounds very similar to Atheist Bertrand Russell who wrote, “There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ’s moral character, and that is that He believed in Hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment.”
I completely disagree at this point as would most Bible believing Evangelicals who fear God and honor the Scriptures
The assumption behind such arguments seems to be that at heart people are basically good and deserve to be saved. If God doesn’t save them he is unjust. The Bible turns that on its head and says people are basically evil and deserve God’s wrath. The fact that he saves anyone at all is incredible!
As Piper recently tweeted, “There is only one person God has treated worse than he deserved!”
We cannot dare to judge God and speak back to him and tell him what he should be like!Martyn Lloyd-Jones used to say that the definition of a Christian is someone who’s mouth has been shut.
God will be God!
“He doesnt need a publicist but a preacher” (Kevin De Young at Gospel Coalition).
The following quotes from Bell’s book are in my view verging on blasphemy:
“Millions have been taught that if they don’t believe, if they don’t accept in the right way, that is, the way the person telling them the gospel does, and they were hit by a car and died later that same day, God would have no choice but to punish them forever in conscious torment in hell. God would, in essence, become a fundamentally different being to them in that moment of death, a different being to them forever. A loving heavenly father who will go to extraordinary lengths to have a relationship with them would, in the blink of an eye, become a cruel, mean, vicious tormenter who would ensure that they had no escape from an endless future of agony. If there was an earthly father who was like that, we would call the authorities. If there was an actual human dad who was that volatile, we would contact child protection services immediately. If God can switch gears like that, switch entire modes of being that quickly, that raises a thousand questions about whether a being like this could ever be trusted, let alone be good. Loving one moment, vicious the next. Kind and compassionate, only to become cruel and relentless in the blink of an eye. Does God become somebody totally different the moment you die? That kind of God is simply devastating. Psychologically crushing. We can’t bear it. No one can.
And that is the secret deep in the heart of many people, especially Christians: they don’t love God. They can’t, because the God they’ve been presented with and taught about can’t be loved. That God is terrifying and traumatizing and unbearable.”
“Because if something is wrong with your God, if your God is loving one second and cruel the next, if your God will punish people for all of eternity for sins committed in a few short years, no amount of clever marketing or compelling language or good music or great coffee will be able to disguise that one, true, glaring, untenable, unacceptable, awful reality.”
“they sense that the God lurking behind Jesus isn’t safe, loving, or good. It doesn’t make sense, it can’t be reconciled, and so they say no. They don’t want anything to do with Jesus, because they don’t want anything to do with that God.”