One reason I started blogging was because of Rob Bell. Once he released a now infamous promo video in late February promoting his new book, Love Wins, the blogosphere erupted in a firestorm of debate. I wasn’t even reading blogs before that happened, but I found myself searching article after article written by discerning Christian bloggers who were quick to stamp out bad theology. Tony Reinke mentioned that one lesson learned from the Rob Bell debate was that “Bloggers have emerged as the church’s frontline defense against popular-level theological error.” That appears to be true and it was impressive to witness. I wasn’t planning on chiming in on the Rob Bell debate myself but I guess I can’t help it. It’s time to join the frontline defense.
Adrian Warnock of Jubilee Church in London recently participated in a face-to-face debate with Rob Bell on a radio show. The debate, in its entirety, can be downloaded here in audio or watched here in video.
Rob Bell seems to reveal his presupposition concerning the character of God. He cannot see how a loving God could punish someone eternally for sins committed in one relatively short lifetime. I understand his frustration but he is forgetting how holy God is and how unholy we are. Take a look at what was said:
Rob: Does God do the punishing?
Adrian: Well, I would say he does, yes.
Rob: So a billion years from now, God is keeping the punishment going?
Rob: So like if a person died at, let’s say, 17, whatever they did for 17 years, 17 million years from now, God is still inflicting the punishment on their failure to repent in that 17 year window?
Adrian: Well that’s what the bible says. It’s not a very comfortable message but it’s what the bible seems to say.
It does not matter how much we sin or what sins were committed. All that matters here is how holy our God is. He is infinitely holy and we are sinning against our infinitely holy God. Therefore, the punishment is infinite! 17 million years would never cut it. Without faith, no one can ever stand before God.
This leads us to what Christianity is all about: Jesus, infinitely holy Jesus, paid the price of infinite punishment for every single person who would trust in him. My friends, let that message never change!