Rob Bell’s new book Love Wins has created an amazing amount of criticism—and all of it coming before the book has been released! The criticism comes based on a two and a half minute video introduction that features Bell basically asking questions concerning heaven and hell. The video segment doesn’t attempt to answer the questions. The criticism comes from an interesting array of self appointed theological guards of orthodoxy. Heavy weights like Al Mohler, president of Southern Seminary and popular writer John Piper have branded Bell a heretic. Many others have jumped on the bandwagon to condemn Bell’s book as a departure from biblical truth.
I have no idea where Bell’s latest book is going. Maybe he does end up embracing universalism. What I find troubling is the tendency to brand someone a heretic for asking questions. Have we reached a place where questions are no longer allowed for people of faith? Are we so insecure in our faith that we label someone heretic for asking questions that may threaten our understanding of truth?
Increasingly I find myself more at home with those who dare ask honest questions than those who claim to have all the answers. The problem with those who claim certainty is not their conclusions—it’s the fear that demands pat answers that doesn’t allow questions. John declares that “perfect love casts out all fear.” Maybe Rob Bell is right—at the end of the day Love Wins!