Here’s the audio of my interview with MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on his interview with Emergent Universalist Rob Bell of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids. Martin discloses whether or not he is a committed Christian and if the blog rumors are true that he attends Tim Keller’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.
UPDATE: You can download the interview: http://www.godandculture.com/ra/bashir_edwards.mp3
You sound so certain that you have all the facts and hell is not something you will ever have to deal with. You also sound like those that Jesus was trying to reach who believed they were the elite in the knowledge of God.
Elizabeth, you only look at the negative. Think of the positive that God provided a way of escape from the wages of sin. If there is no hell (think of it as eternal separation from God) then why did Christ die on the cross? Why are there martyrs? Why die for a faith that doesn’t matter? Why did the Apostle Paul put up with so much torment and pain to share the Gospel?
I grew up under the same theology as Rob- his grandma and my mom shared pray times and Bible studies many, many times. (http://flic.kr/p/5QFFUd) I didn’t find it restrictive, I heard from them the joy of salvation- that there is a God who cares- and we have the free will to accept or reject Him.
Great interview, Thanks!
Mr. Bashir fully dominated what I thought would be an interview…a dialogue…would have liked to have heard a more balanced discussion.
In any case…Bell will soon be forgotten has all those of his ilk historically have been.
A fantastic example of mutual backslapping. Bashir was not keen to answer questions on his own personal faith, even though he admits out faith will drive our search for ‘truth.’ Not convinced.
Questions more than answers. Isn’t it about time? Many people are sick of Christians giving simple answers to questions that are complex and Biblically unresolved. What I really appreciate about Rob bell is that he is troubled by suffering and isn’t comfortable with God sending billions of people to hell and therefore wants to keep the discussion of these things going. The message I got from the book is that Rob Bell wants to remind Christians that we don’t know everything about what happens after people die so maybe we should stop talking about it with such certainty. I also think it is worth thinking about what we think about a God who would create a world, put people in it and let billions of them end up in hell forever. If we don’t have issues with that we have become very scary people.
Paul… I am concerned about your statement “I was yelling at the tv… just answer the question Rob”. It troubles my spirit that you are so personally demanding an answer from Rob Bell, as if the man is accountable to you. In that moment of the interview, I could see the religious leaders slapping Jesus in the face and demanding an answer to justify their own preconceived traditions and interpretations of Scripture. Are we not all looking through a dark glass? Isn’t all of our knowledge of God partial? Where is this epistimological humility around issues of the after-life? Does it bother any of us from a traditional, orthodox orientation that the entire Old Testament does not once mention the eternal state we have come to teach in iron-clad fashion as “hell”? Does it trouble any of us that all the letters Paul wrote and that the book of Acts, which records the first history of the gospel’s advancement – hardly mention “hell-fire-and-brimstone”? Does it trouble any of us who claim to be “religious insiders” and “saved”, that most of the teachings of Jesus on “ghenna” or “hades” are contextualized so that it is the Pharisees who might end up there – wolves finally torn from their sheeps’ clothing, their seethingly supressed religious control (justifcation by being “right” as opposed to being humbled by GRACE)…. Frankly, I felt dirty listening to your interview focused on someone who is “wrong”…. Is it right for two Christians to give that kind of negative and uncaring focus even to the most hardened atheist? What does “yelling at the TV” as theological screws are being put to Rob Bell, say about one’s own heart? I just have so many questions … Are Jesus teachings on “hell” most applicable to those who know best the religious traditions and how to use them and the name of God to control the thinking/ actions of others?
Why should Bell’s confusion be surprising?
‘In Testaments of Love, Leon Morris asks, “How do we
harmonize the assurance that ‘God is love’ with the assertion
that ‘our God is a consuming fire’? Most of us never
think about such problems, and in the end our idea of love is
indistinguishable from that of the world around us.” [q. in Love, Prayer and Forgiveness: When Basics Become Heresies, http://tinyurl.com/y9p4vez ]
THAT was thirty years ago! We need a ‘Back to Basics’ movement in the Church.