The Interview with Rob Bell You Missed

Rob Bell made an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday, March 18. No one is talking about this one, mainly because Joe Scarborough seemed ambivalent and like he’d really rather be talking about his NCAA brackets.

Jon Meacham, on the other hand, was quite engaged. Meacham is an Episcopalian with a broad knowledge of Christian history, if not Christian theology.  For those of you who continue to accuse Martin Bashir of conducting a biased interview on the basis that Bell couldn’t answer his questions, consider this exchange between Meacham and Bell:

Jon Meacham:

The concept [of hell has] gained strength over time, as you’re suggesting, more as a product of the church’s theology than biblical theology. Where do you date the beginning of the dichotomy?

Rob Bell:

[Pregnant pause] That’s a great, great question. What’s interesting to me is we have these sort of cultural notions of heaven and hell and they get attached to Jesus, like, “Well, obviously this is the Christian faith.” But when Jesus spoke even of something like heaven, for a first century, good Jewish Rabbi like Jesus, heaven was first and foremost a reality to be experienced here and now in this life, grace, peace and joy right now. So that’s a great question.

Then why didn’t you answer it?

4 Replies to “The Interview with Rob Bell You Missed”

  1. For some reason, the way he emphasizes the first syllable of a word, and then lets the last syllable trail off, makes my feel like my head is going to explode. It just comes across as feigned sincerity.

    Listening to this interview, I was filled with such sadness for this poor man. He is trying so hard to not believe that there are absolute truths, picking out Scriptures to help prove it, and at the same time professing so much of his philosophy as an absolute truth, it must be tearing him up inside.

  2. I don’t know Rob Bell … but my question would be about like yours .. if it’s such a good question, why didn’t he answer it. Jesus “a good Jewish Rabbi” … heaven something we experience here and now … how about, “you shall be with me in Paradise.”. ??
    Anyhow, the question was about hell … come on!

  3. This discourse begs a different question:

    Why is anyone surprised at Mr Bell’s position?

    Indeed the enduring of sound doctrine has become a difficult task for many.

    How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation…

    And this is the sum of it.
    I agree with Miss Mullen…I spoke with Him this morning.

  4. Was C.S.Lewis this controversial? In The Problem of Pain he posits “the doors of hell are locked from the inside” ? What about his vision of heaven and hell in The Great Divorce? He’s more than hinting at a 2nd chance, post mortem!

    Bell’s not saying anything that isn’t in Lewis’ books, but Lewis is heralded in most churches and a master theologian philosopher. and man of God.

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