Okay, chiming in and adding to the hysteria.
I’m glad that Rob Bell has the integrity to be lay his cards on the table about universalism. It seems that this is not just optimism about the fate of those who haven’t heard the Good News, but (as it seems from below) full-blown hell-is-empty-everyone-gets-saved universalism.
He got that out of the publisher’s vague description of the book. Now I read the HarperOne’s discription of Love Wins and scratched my head in bewilderment, how on earth did Justin get that out of a pretty ambigous book description. As a matter of fact, my friend Kurt Willems wrote a response to Taylor based on the same description but coming up with a radically different – and much more graceful – qualified prediction of what Bell’s book is going to have to say about hell. Willem’s qualified prediction is probably more accuate because he also took into account the positions of those who endorse Bell’s book (Greg Boyd and the highly respected Eugene Peterson). Taylor had access to that same information which he didn’t use. Why?
Others have chimed in on this. Those in the Neo-Reformed camp licked up Taylor’s “prediction” as near to Old Testament prophecy as one can get for these guys (it’s being twitted and facebooked like crazy). Some have tried to find a balance between Kurt and Justin.
Bottom line: Whatever Justin Taylor tried to accomplish, his irresponsible post had the opposite effect. I doubt we’ll see Bell chime in on the free publicity of his forthcoming book until well after it becomes an instant bestseller. If I was mildly interested before, you can bet your bottom I am very interested now to see what Bell actually has to say, and I suspect I am not alone.
Thanks Justin. Everyone – most of all Rob Bell – owes you a debt of gradituted except perhaps your Neo-Reformed buddies.
(Is it me, or have the neo-reformed group developed a habit of shooting themselves in the foot? Arn’t we thankful for Piper that we have Wright’s book on Justification?!)