Justin Taylor, THANKS!

Derek Ouellette —  February 28, 2011

Rob Bell on Love Wins

Okay, chiming in and adding to the hysteria.

This weekend Neo-Reformed Justin Taylor jumped the gun on Rob Bell’s up coming book, Love Wins, claiming:

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?!)

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.
  • http://covenantoflove.net Derek

    On a related note, Trevin Wax also climed in on the Bell controversary and leans more toward’s Justin Taylor’s position in a more responsible manner. :)


  • Pingback: If Rob Bell is a Universalist, then maybe I am – along with many prominent evangelicals? (A response to Justin Taylor) | the Pangea Blog()

  • http://GreatestStoryTold.com susankps

    I seriously wonder how many folks have seriously wondered what Jesus actually had to say about ‘hell’ and ‘eternity’. A cursory examination of the subject in the original Biblical languages will probably confuse most and make them want to head for the hills. Just start with aion/aionion for fun.

    The bottom line to me is, if there is such a ‘place/state’ as eternal torment in hell, than poor, insane Andrea Yates had it exactly right, her children are in heaven, and sorry, but all the rest of the hell believers are just B team player wanna be’s.

    If eternal torment in hell is real, we need only one page in the Bible and it says TURN OR BURN. I mean, why complicate things? (gee, thanks God!)

    When did “if you eat you shall surely die” morph into “you shall surely burn forever and ever in the torments of an eternal hell”?

    As far as universal reconciliation being an unBiblical, heretical, minority opinion goes … http://www.amazon.com/Universalism-Prevailing-Doctrine-Christian-Hundred/dp/1165797968

    I think what is fundamentally at issue here is the concept of free will. All I’ve seen the belief in a free will do in the evangelical community is give them the “right” to manipulate and pressure folks into “choosing” Jesus.

    The only issue to me is, what happens at THE END? The scriptures on my website GreatestStoryTold.com bear out that GOD WINS in the end through Christ Jesus. Therefore, if there is a ‘hell’, it can not be ‘eternal’. My own journey into hell is linked there as well.

    • http://covenantoflove.net Derek Ouellette

      susankps (name please?),

      You journied to hell?

    • brad.dickey@gmail.com

      Not to be flippant, but gravity broke my glass last night and I cut my foot. Can we write that there is no gravity as well?

      There are parts of the conversation I can sit with universalists, but to claim there is no condition to salvation, nothing required, goes against what those that recorded their thoughts from hearing the Messiah and the Apostles teach.

      I’m thinking they were a LOT closer to the message than you or your authors are.

      Tis an eisigetical nightmare. :(

  • john

    Many Christians have a problem with CU because they cannot accept that the redeeming work of the cross saves all mankind. Jesus meant what He said “It is finished”.

    Redemption for all does not in any way diminish the work of the cross. Rather it makes it the singular, greatest act of love given to mankind by the God Of Love.

    Twenty five years ago I had a personal encounter with God’s love that changed the course of my life, forever. Many people, sadly, will never experience the love and presence of God in their lifetime. Yet historical Christian doctrine is still not satisfied, God’s creations must suffer an eternal torment.

    The current revolutionary uprisings happening in the Middle East are driven by people’s desire for freedom. There is no greater freedom than knowing the God of Love. CU expresses an understanding of the fullness of that love.

    Mark my words, the day the Spirit of God reveals this truth to the world, His Glory will capture the hearts of humanity with such magnitude that it will realign Christianity and change the world as we know it.

    • brad.dickey@gmail.com

      Do you wish to state, if I try to “LOVE YOU” in the sense of the topic, and you chose to walk away from it, that you are still in the presence of it?

      Interesting. I guess you eliminate Paul’s letters from the discussion?

  • susankps

    oh, btw, Derek.. on your banner.. “already but not yet”.. love that.. kind of like D-Day and V-Day

    • http://covenantoflove.net Derek Ouellette

      Thanks :)

  • http://jose.cr Jose HC

    People throw labels around that sometimes make it confusing for the average reader (like me!).

    What is a neo-Reformer? Is that in your opinion a good or a bad thing? What are they trying to reform? From your comment above it seems that you believe it is a bad thing…

    As a matter of disclosure I believe the video and the press around the book are irresponsible. In fact I agree with Albert Mohler’s post on the subject found here – http://ow.ly/48CYL

    (I smell a post from you Derek … or perhaps even a glossary section on Covenant of Love where common folk like me can look up the ‘big’ words).

    • http://covenantoflove.net Derek Ouellette

      Hi Jose, thanks for the suggestion, I think I am going to begin to work on a gloss.

      I just came across this post which will explain clearly what I mean by neo-Reformed. (Here)

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