An ultra super rare special Monday edition of Charlie’s Church of Christ!!!
Rob Bell has likely been in your church. Probably not physically – he isn’t a big traveler save a few speaking tours (and he usually toured clubs), but he’s been in your church through his Nooma videos. This may be alarming to some, as he’s portrayed as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. His books set off minor firestorms, and his next one has set another one off a month before it’s release. Any press is good press?
I’ve noticed for years that Rob has seemingly flirted with or covertly pointed to something like universalism, and his new book is all about who’s in and who’s out of heaven. Speculation abounds that it’s his coming out of the closest on his true stance.
(Please note this post is not about universalism, I’m merely using it to make an entirely different point.)
Watchdogs, who make their careers out of picking on people like Rob Bell, will have all the fuel they’ll ever need from this book. Previously they’ve nailed him a heretic on minor differences – but arguing in favor of a wider gate into heaven will leave Rob branded with all sorts of labels. Some will consider him outside of the Christian circle and will make claims against his salvation.
This is a question I ask often – so, where is the line?
If he is a Christian who believes in universalism – does he lose a spot as one of our brothers? Does this un-save him? At what point does someone lose it? Where is that line drawn?
I’m not slowly building up until I give you my answer, I am legitimately asking where this line is, what issues its drawn around.
My uncle once told me of seven points of theology you have to affirm even with a gun to your head or you’re hell-bound. If deny even one, he could not guarantee you are saved.
Obviously there are a variety of denominations and versions of belief out there – and if you imagine a concentric circle with the “most right” group in the center and each one going out is a less less “right” – where does one cease being one of the brethren? What is it that excludes someone?
Or maybe, Christians could afford to spend a little less time drawing lines in order to define and/or keep people out.
In your opinion, where is the line of who’s in and who’s out? Where does someone lose “it?”