Rob Bell’s Unbiblical Views

Here are some quotes from Bell:“The Bible is a collection of stories that teach us about what it looks like when God is at work through actual people. The Bible has the authority it does only because it contains stories about people interacting with the God who has all authority”

-Velvet Elvis, p.65
[The Bible is a] “human product…rather than the product of divine fiat”

– Emergent Mystique, Christianity Today
“”When people use the word hell, what do they mean? They mean a place, an event, a situation absent of how God desires things to be. Famine, debt, oppression, loneliness, despair, death, slaughter–they are all hell on earth. Jesus’ desire for his followers is that they live in such a way that they bring heaven to earth. What’s disturbing is when people talk more about hell after this life than they do about Hell here and now. As a Christian, I want to do what I can to resist hell coming to earth.”

– Velvet Elvis, p.148
“I can’t find one place in the teachings of Jesus, or the Bible for that matter, where we are to identify ourselves first and foremost as sinners. Now this doesn’t mean we don’t sin; that’s obvious. In the book of James it’s written like this: ‘We all stumble in many ways.’ Once again, the greatest truth of the story of Adam and Eve isn’t that it happened, but that it happens.”

– Velvet Elvis, p. 139
“I don’t follow Jesus because I think Christianity is the best religion. I follow Jesus because he leads me into ultimate reality. He teaches me to live in tune with how reality is. When Jesus said, ‘No one comes to the Father except through me’, he was saying that his way, his words, his life is our connection to how things truly are at the deepest levels of existence. For Jesus then, the point of religion is to help us connect with ultimate reality, God.”

– Velvet Elvis p. 83
“So this reality, this forgiveness, this reconciliation, is true for everybody. Paul insisted that when Jesus died on the cross he was reconciling ‘all things, in heaven and on earth, to God. This reality then isn’t something we make true about ourselves by doing something. It is already true. Our choice is to live in this new reality or cling to a reality of our own making.”

– Velvet Elvis p. 146
“What if tomorrow someone digs up definitive proof that Jesus had a real, earthly, biological father named Larry, and archeologists find Larry’s tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the virgin birth was really just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of the Mithra and Dionysian religious cults that were hugely popular at the time of Jesus, whose gods had virgin births?“Who does Peter lose faith in? Not Jesus; he is doing fine. Peter loses faith in himself. Peter loses faith that he can do what his rabbi is doing. If the rabbi calls you to be his disciple, then he believes that you can actually be like him. As we read the stories of Jesus’ life with his talmidim, his disciples, what do we find frustrates him to no end? When his disciples lose faith in themselves….. Notice how many places in the accounts of Jesus’ life he gets frustrated with his disciples. Because they are incapable? No, because of how capable they are. He sees what they could be and could do, and when they fall short it provokes him to no end. It isn’t their failure that’s the problem, it’s their greatness. They don’t realize what they are capable of….God has an amazingly high view of people. God believes that people are capable of amazing things. I’ve been told I need to believe in Jesus. Which is a good thing. But what I’m learning is that Jesus believes in me….God has faith in me.”
-Velvet Elvis, pp. 133-134

On scripture:

“…it wasn’t until the 300s that what we know as the sixty-six books of the Bible were actually agreed upon as the ‘Bible’. This is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that “Scripture alone” is our guide. It sounds nice, but it is not true. In reaction to abuses by the church, a group of believers during a time called the Reformation claimed that we only need the authority of the Bible. But the problem is that we got the Bible from the church voting on what the Bible even is. So when I affirm the Bible as God’s word, in the same breath I have to affirm that when those people voted, God was somehow present, guiding them to do what they did. When people say that all we need is the Bible, it is simply not true. In affirming the Bible as inspired, I also have to affirm the Spirit who I believe was inspiring those people to choose those books.”
-Velvet Elvis, p.68

On heaven and hell:

“Heaven is full of forgiven people. Hell is full of forgiven people. Heaven is full of people God loves, whom Jesus died for. Hell is full of forgiven people God loves, whom Jesus died for. The difference is how we choose to live, which story we choose to live in, which version of reality we trust. Ours or God’s.”
– Velvet Elvis, p.146

On the Virgin Birth:

But what if, as you study the origin of the word “virgin” you discover that the word “virgin” in the gospel of Matthew actually comes from the book of Isaiah, and then you find out that in the Hebrew language at that time, the word “virgin” could mean several things. And what if you discover that in the first century being “born of a virgin” also referred to a child whose mother became pregnant the first time she had intercourse?”
-Velvet Elvis, p. 26


9 responses to “Rob Bell’s Unbiblical Views

    • He takes away the authority of scripture, he clearly implies universalism, he doesn’t think the virigin birth is important, and the last quote on faith is completely whacked out.

      • Well what people don’t get is that 2000 years ago people spoke different. Words had different meangings and words that are in the bible today didn’t have a place in life back then. So if we were to take ourselves back in time to when Jesus was born you would know that virgin meansa few different things. So how do we know for a fact that the bible means a virgin birth that she had not had sex with a man and bearing Jesus? Because in the same sense virgin can and did mean back then that she gave birth the first time she was invloved in that action. The bible does not say and hopefully while never say that Mary was just chillin and then the Holy Spirit came upon her and Jesus popped out of Mary. So in this situation thats biblical to also think the other way. I dont get why so many ppl waist there time fighting about this. I dont think Jesus would be on here debating with a bunch of people who are just looking for ways to pick at people. God Bless

  1. i like this post, phil. i think bell gets way too much credit as a speaker…sure he has some realy powerful stuff to say, but a lot of it is oprah-esque universalism that says “you don’t need Jesus to be saved by him.” like, he even quotes in velvet elvis where Jesus says “i am the way the truth and the life. no one gets to the father except through me” and then tries to reason out (and in my opinion fails in doing so) that Jesus was really saying that the way he lives is the way to get to God…which is a pretty weird thing for him to say (given that bell has a really passive, touchy feely, ‘God just wants to give you a hug’ style of preaching) because that statement implies that works merit salvation, which is purty messed up. idk…bell makes some good points, and i love the nooma vids…i think he’s just liberal for the sake of being liberal.

    • I agree 100%. I feel like Rob Bell makes some good points, especially when it comes to how the church needs to be more accepting and reach out to all people not just the usual church-goer. But I feel like he preaches a message of social justice in place of the gospel.

  2. Pingback: Rob Bell’s Unbiblical Views Part II « Theory of The Phil

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