Recently my Christian bookstore promoted love wins (along with Ted Dekker’s new book and a new book by Brock and Brodie Thoene). We’ve received some outbursts from some of our customers since then. Someone wrote this on our Facebook fan page:
“Rob Bell is a heretic and this book is heresy. I thought better of Stuart that he would prize truth over profits …I guess there are very few left now with integrity …Zondervans refused to print this because it is heresy ,and they prize truth over profits…Family Christian bookstores, CBD and others refuse to sell this…Stuart what are you doing? You unashamedly promote the poison to the Christian community…Rob Bell is a wolf and you have let him in the sheep pen…shame on you!!!”
Stuart Cameron is the owner of my store. This is the kind of diatribe that makes me oooze with the love of Jesus. A few questions for this individual:
1. Have you read the book?
The answer to this question is almost surely emphatically negative. We conservatives are best at condemnation by hear-say. Many of us at the store did read the book and found good parts and parts that are not so good. Hardly worth such an outlandish tirade.
2. Define heresy?
If the person who left this comment had read the book, he’d know that Rob Bell does not take a stand on any view of Hell, even though he does question and criticize the traditional understanding. Is it heresy to question the historic teaching on Hell? If so then John Stott would be a heretic? Why has this person never condemned us for carrying Stott’s books? (John Stott rejects Hell as eternal punishment and teaches annihilationism).
3. Why do you accuse us of valuing profit over truth?
John Piper teaches a radical form of predestination which, in my opinion, is not truth and has serious theological and practical repercussions. Yet we have supported him and promoted his books. We did not do so because we value profit over truth. We did so because we have always wanted to make sure we give Christians the option to read books that inspire us to think and challenge us to return to the scriptures. If anything, Bell’s book does that.
As we said on our site where we gave an official statement:
We have customers who have read “Love Wins” and have been opposed to what it says and others who have found it very valuable. We carry many books that express different theological views within Evangelicalism, from John Piper to N.T. Wright, Lee Strobel to Ken Ham, Rob Bell to Randy Alcorn. All of these authors have differing views at some points and Cameron’s wants to make room for all of their voices to be heard.
But the way this person’s castigation was redirected from Rob Bell to Stuart (not just my boss, but also a friend) is one more reason why I want to associate myself less and less from cult-minded conservatives who think they own a corner on the truth.