MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on The Paul Edwards Program

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.

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UPDATE: You can download the interview: http://www.godandculture.com/ra/bashir_edwards.mp3

 

208 Replies to “MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on The Paul Edwards Program”

  1. The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    It goes beyond the highest star,
    And reaches to the lowest hell;
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His Son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled,
    And pardoned from his sin.

    O love of God, how rich and pure!
    How measureless and strong!
    It shall forevermore endure
    The saints’ and angels’ song.

    When years of time shall pass away,
    And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
    When men, who here refuse to pray,
    On rocks and hills and mountains call,
    God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
    All measureless and strong;
    Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
    The saints’ and angels’ song.

    O love of God, how rich and pure!
    How measureless and strong!
    It shall forevermore endure
    The saints’ and angels’ song.

    Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade,
    To write the love of God above,
    Would drain the ocean dry.
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.

    O love of God, how rich and pure!
    How measureless and strong!
    It shall forevermore endure
    The saints’ and angels’ song.

    Oh wait … this is only true for Calvinists.
    Never mind.

  2. Jason… I question that you listened to the whole interview.

    No one is saying that Rob Bell is the devil. He just might want to be able to give an account of his faith, as the Bible admonishes, lest he be viewed as a false teacher, or at least “in it for the money.” I agree with Martin Bashir, that somewhere in there, Rob Bell means well…

    The church is the people who follow God, and only the ones who don’t really desire the truth are afraid of whole quotes, deep discussion, real love, and scripture in context.

  3. By the way, Susan, that is one of my favorite hymns.

    Another is Great is Thy Faithfullness:

    1. “Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
    As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

    * “Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
    Morning by morning new mercies I see;
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
    “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

    2. Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
    Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
    Join with all nature in manifold witness
    To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

    3. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
    Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
    Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

    These are wonderful praises of a wonderful loving God possessing threads of truth, but not, but any means intended to replace the whole garment of God’s word.

  4. Paul Edwards is a douche bag. Seriously — “bring your popcorn and your pillows” & this is Rob Bell. So all of a sudden soda pop and popcorn and the wearing of jeans is closely related to Universalism and loose Christianity?

    Please get on here and retract that statement. Quite possibly
    the worst thing you/Bashir said the entire time…

    Bashir is clueless. Because you read John 3:18 in no way repudiates John 3:17, you absolute twit. Rob Bell talks about the Bible being a paradox, Jesus is a paradox. Thoroughly read Scripture rather than simply nit-pick the verses he brings out in the “incredible” 5 minute interview. Had you had him on for more than 5 minutes he would’ve eaten you alive.

    When he says he’s a “pastor” and not a theologian he’s being self-depricating — he knows more than Bashir/Darrin Patrick/Kevin DeYoung/Paul Andrews COMBINED my friends, COMBINED.

    Please. Please. Please. You are absolute twits.

  5. Paul Edwards is crazy. Seriously — “bring your popcorn and your pillows” & this is Rob Bell. So all of a sudden soda pop and popcorn and the wearing of jeans is closely related to Universalism and loose Christianity?
    Please get on here and retract that statement. Quite possibly
    the worst thing you/Bashir said the entire time…
    Bashir is clueless. Because you read John 3:18 in no way repudiates John 3:17, you absolute twit. Rob Bell talks about the Bible being a paradox, Jesus is a paradox. Thoroughly read Scripture rather than simply nit-pick the verses he brings out in the “incredible” 5 minute interview. Had you had him on for more than 5 minutes he would’ve eaten you alive.
    When he says he’s a “pastor” and not a theologian he’s being self-depricating — he knows more than Bashir/Darrin Patrick/Kevin DeYoung/Paul Andrews COMBINED my friends, COMBINED.
    Please. Please. Please. You are absolute twits

  6. Bashir never gave Rob Bell a chance to explain himself. He just shut him down by interrupting him, trying to force him to choose between false options, etc… Your suggestion that Rob’s inability to get a word in edgewise means that Rob isn’t truly seeking after truth is completely asinine, as this “shut-down the interviewee” strategy is fairly common among talk show hosts. The laughable part of this radio interview is 1) Paul’s sickening groveling before Bashir and 2) Bashir’s pretense to be 100% objective.

  7. Reformed evangelicals are still a minority group among the global Christian community. In light of that, isn’t it a bit of presumptuous of you to be appealing orthodox Christian belief, especially since Calvin and Luther are still regarded as heretics by many?

    In what way are you more qualified to judge on these matters than, say, the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose position goes back to St. Augustine himself?

    Jesus said that before we go around pointing out the speck in another person’s eye, we should deal with the log in our own eye first. Is your own eye log free?

    And before you start with that old cliche “the plain truth of scripture”, consider what the Apostle Peter says of Apostle Paul:

    2 Peter 3:15-16 ESV
    And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

    If Peter was content to describe scripture as being complicated, tell me, who are you to declare what a clear meaning is? Are you Reformed-types better than Saint Peter, Mr. Edwards? Are you gifted with some insight that he wasn’t?

    I suggest that it would be just as easy for someone to argue that it is you, Mr Edwards, who has changed the gospel to be more palatable to a modern society that thrives on cynicism and revels in seeing people get knocked down.

  8. While I would agree that Bashir’s interview had bated questions and he didn’t give Rob Bell much time to talk, do not pity Bell. @ the 2:30 mark he is asked if acceptance of Christ has implications for eternity, and rather than say yes, Rob Bell says it’s important. He had every chance to repeat the gospel and say yes, not it’s important. It’s not important, it’s all that matters.

  9. Joe ashamed,,,1 Peter 4:16
    However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
    No need to be ashamed of the gospel, Bashir isn’t.
    Know what you believe and why.

  10. From reading some of the comments from the Rob Bell supporters it appears that Bell chose the wrong title for his book. Looks like “Love Doesn’t Win” works better here.

  11. Doesn’t anyone feel the deep irony involved here? Christians bashing Christians and using harsh and ugly words filled with assumptions about motivations and beliefs. Is it no longer possible to disagree and discuss with charity?

    Do you think non-Christians read and listen to this and are attracted to the faith?

  12. Love to Martin and Paul and Rob!~~ Jesus

    Read Luke 15 where the most important word in the entire Bible appears twice. It is “until”. The Shepherd will look for the lost until he/she is found. The Woman will look for the coin until it is recovered. The Father would go outside his home until (this 3rd “until” is implied in the parable) his younger and older sons join the Party together!

  13. I’m offended beyond description that yellow journalist Martin Bashir states, “My own career has been injured a couple of times by my own desire to get to the truth.”

    All you have to do is compare these two documentaries side-by-side to determine if Bashir seeks the truth.

    http://www.bashir-goldston.webs.com

    Bashir is a despicable liar, using his megaphone of the media to practice journalism of personal destruction.

  14. The biggest issue I have with Bell’s, and other Universalists along with Oprahologists, is that not all of humanity is “God’s Children”.

    “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sonst of God.15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

  15. Very insightful thoughts from Martin Bashir, perceptive and helpful. Thank you, Mr. Bashir, for pressing the questions…and congrats on your daughter’s upcoming baptism!

  16. “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because it is not one of us.”

    “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.”

    Mark 9:38–41

    Be careful who you call a goat. That sounds very ‘older brother’ of you (of the Prodigal variety)…

  17. It is sad to read so many of the posts here, and realize they are more worried about Christianity being “attractive” rather than true to what Jesus taught and what Scripture says. Jesus said the world hated him, so the world would also hate believers. Martin Bashir would not be criticized if it hadn’t come out that he was a Christian. Critics would have thought he interviewed fairly if he was a Muslim. Biblical Christians must be truth bearers and hold high the standard – if the world and the tares among the wheat become angry, so be it.

  18. Thanks so much for this interview. Thank you Martin for asking the questions that needed to be asked and for your integrity in doing so.

  19. Paul, please apologize to Jesus and the entire blogging community here for worshipping Martin Bashir on the air.

  20. I think it’s funny how all the people who are all about love and peace (misguided about these things, not that love and peace are wrong) are the most hateful people on here! You guys are hypocrites!

  21. Quite frankly this isn’t Christians bashing Christians as some simpletons would say, because one is nothing more than a Universalist in Christian clothing. How anyone can say Paul Edwards is a sycophant, is completely ignorant to what is being discussed. If i say something that is truthful, and someone agrees with me, then how can we call that person a sycophant? If he agrees only with truth and those who express it, then he can’t be considered as a yes man, that agrees with anything and everything.

    I’m tired of people in the spotlight representing the Christian faith either being wolves in sheep’s clothing(Rob Bell) or absolute cowards(Joel Olsteen). I think Bashir may be the man for the job, though being in the spotlight as he is, there may some consequences for his just actions by the secular media and society. God Bless him and keep him strong!

  22. What garbage, worshiping Bashir? Celebrating truth and the search for truth would be more like it. I appreciate a journalist who has truth as a goal and has done his homework. I believe Rob was not interested in telling the truth about his goals because he was certainly given the opportunity to answer the thrice repeated question.

  23. Jay. I’m not calling anyone a goat, just pointing out that Jesus said there are “sheep” and there are “goats.” The gospel seeks to save lost “sheep,” not lost goats. Goats don’t become sheep. They will always be goats.

  24. All of us have sinned, falling short of God’s glory, according to the Apostle Paul.

    In Matthew’s Gospel, one word picture for such sinners is “goats”. The miracle is that Christ’s life, death, resurrection and ascension accomplishes the miracle of turning “goats” into “sheep.”

    Right now, as Mr. Bashir pointed out in his opening question to Mr. Bell, Japanese people are suffering from the triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation. GOATS are people who say “glad that’s not me” or who are not weeping or lamenting or praying or looking for somehow and someway to rescue people from that hell. GOATS are people like us who discuss speculative questions while people die without shedding tears when asking such questions.

    I am not afraid to tell the truth. We’re all GOATS! If you have, even one time, failed to feed a hungry person or visit an inmate or care for a sick person or refused hospitality to an alien or failed to welcome a homeless person into your home, then you are a GOAT who has rejected “Jesus in disguise”. Everyone I know, at one time or another, fits the definition of GOAT.

    Therefore, as one goat to another, and it takes one to know one: we are all GOATS who have rejected “Jesus in disguise”. We all need to be changed into SHEEP. I offer these words as one who has confidence/faith/trust in Jesus the King’s power to accomplish this transfiguration.

  25. Timothy: goats are goats and sheep are sheep. No where in Scripture are we commanded to go find “lost goats” and convert them into sheep. Jesus came to seek and to save His lost sheep.

  26. Timothy, your analogy and explanation is deeply appreciated.

    Paul, why is my previous comment “awaiting moderation?” Does the truth hurt?

  27. You do know that Luke 15 and Matthew 25 are two separate parables using the sheep metaphor for two different purposes, right? And you do know that in Isaiah, I believe, it says that ALL have gone astray like lost sheep, right?

  28. I’m going to re-post my criticism of Bashir here because no one has responded to it.

    With regard to Paul being a sycophant in this interview: Paul is so eager to please Bashir that he contradicts himself, stating initially that he wondered about Bashir’s faith after seeing the interview (-33:13) and then, after Bashir absurdly claims that he is 100% objective and his membership Tim Keller’s church had nothing at all to do with the vitriol he brought to the interview, Paul claims he wasn’t thinking at all about Bashir’s faith after the interview (-5:10).

    Martin Bashir reveals here that he brought a level of hostility and personal vendetta to his Rob Bell interview that is unusual and completely inappropriate for someone who claims to be an objective journalist. You can practically hear him frothing at the mouth in this radio interview. His example of an “historical inaccuracy” in Rob’s book is meaningless, as we aren’t given the full context of either Rob’s use of Luther or of Luther’s letter itself (and, really, why would anyone trust a TV personality’s judgment over that of someone who has spent 20 years studying Christianity full-time).

    His interview with Rob Bell was filled with false dichotomies and false options. For example, he repeatedly asks: is everyone ultimately saved or do our choices now matter? Bashir doesn’t seem to realize that these aren’t mutually exclusive options and he never allows Rob Bell to explain why. His suggestion that Rob’s work can be dismissed or downgraded because of Rob’s reacting to a supposed anti-intellectual upbringing (Rob’s father was a federal judge appointed by Ronald Reagan) is obviously fallacious reasoning, as everyone’s thought is a reaction to experiences and upbringing. It is also ironic to the tenth degree, as Bashir admits that he himself attends a church headed by Tim Keller, a member of the right-wing “gospel coalition” that has so vigorously attacked Rob Bell, even before reading his book.

    In sum, Martin Bashir unmasks himself in this radio interview as a completely biased journalist who allows his personal beliefs to drive his interviewing. He ironically emphasizes how important one’s background is to downgrade Bell’s work and then claims it has no impact whatsoever on his own work.

  29. So Paul what you say about goats and sheep…you’re a calvinist.

    Which is the same as being a universalist.

    And you know it.

    IN the end, you’re saying that GOD SELECTS who’s in.

    That’s what a universalist believes, as well.

    It’s only that the God of the Universalist selects everyone and the God of the calvinist selects a few.

    Both are really stupid beliefs and hold very little water when reading Scripture.

    What Bell says, though, is that it’s hard to believe in a God that would send a 15 year old (for example) who is an atheist to hell for a few years of disbelief.

    What say you about this Mr. Paul Edwards? Bell is actually demonstrating his desire to see the compassion and love of God override his “FINAL JUDGMENT FOR ALL WHO DON’T BELIEVE”.

    If you’ve actually read the book, Mr. Edwards (which it’s very clear you haven’t read the book. Even Bashir did that at least) how would you respond to the question about the 15 year old?

    Does God’s grace/love override his “3-year window” of ability to believe or not? Or is he condemned to hell? Or is he, in your calvinistic mind, a “goat” that Jesus didn’t come after?

    You celebrate Bashir for talking over Rob Bell for 5 solid minutes but you fail to answer any of the questions that Bell actually poses.

    Your response?

  30. Brilliant, Jason Person! You nailed Bashir as the malicious and unethical journalist that he is.

    Jason Person wrote: Bashir admits that he himself attends a church headed by Tim Keller, a member of the right-wing “gospel coalition” that has so vigorously attacked Rob Bell, even before reading his book.

    MSNBC is to blame here. They should have vetted Martin Bashir before more thoroughly before hiring him and they should vet every single story he “reports” on. He cannot be trusted.

  31. Benjamin, You do err not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. To suggest that Reformed theology is the same as Universalism betrays a complete ignorance of both Scripture and Church history.

  32. you still didn’t answer the question about the 15 year old Paul.

    You sound as evasive as you peg Rob Bell to be.

    Show us all some love and actually respond to a question

  33. But basically you are saying that God’s grace is only big enough for some people, right? I’m not talking about Universalism, mind you. I’m talking about whether or not God desires all men to be saved.

  34. Benjamen: God isn’t sending your 15 year old to hell because of a few years of disbelief. All human beings are born in sin and under judgment. All human beings are rightful objects of God’s wrath because they share in Adam’s rebellion against a holy God. All human beings, therefore, are destined for hell, not because they are atheist or agnostic, but because they are sinners. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, has made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and seated us together with Christ in the heavenly places, so that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding greatness of his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. If your 15 year old atheist goes to hell it is because he’s getting what every sinner deserves. If he goes to heaven it’s because God has shown him mercy. I’m not going to heaven because I made a decision for Christ. I’m going to heaven because God has shown me mercy.

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