An old adage says not to judge a book by it's cover. I try to live with that in mind, especially as it applies to people.
With that in mind, the title of the post I've linked below is everything I've come to despise in social media.
At first glance, it comes across as "click-bait," with a "gotcha" style slam against another author (who happens to be Rob Bell). I hate that kind of "us vs. them" rhetoric, the sort that seems to take delight in crushing an opponent's propositions and ideas. Even when I might agree with the overarching point, the implied underlying attitude makes me want to completely disregard the rest of the article (or video, in this case).
Which is terribly unfortunate, because this video featuring Francis Chan (and others) is well worth taking the time to view...and not just for his "theological" view.
Beyond the content, the video demonstrates a tone that is so very important in meaningful discussions, and one that is all too often missing in today's evangelical positioning (to our well deserved shame!). What I love about this video is the respect and kindness shown to both Bell and his thoughts about the nature of hell despite the fact that Chan and the others featured here significantly disagree with him.
What we say, and what we believe matters, for sure. Theology is important, without a doubt. But HOW we express it and engage with others is perhaps more important because it demonstrates character (or the lack thereof). What really is important, in my own humble opinion, isn't just theology, but rather transformation. How can anyone really think that "believing right" is of any lasting importance if "acting/living right" is not also present. Who cares if I can fathom all mysteries and possess supernatural revelation if at the same time I am without love. Christ-likeness must be championed!
From my observation, this video demonstrates that in great measure. Whoever came up with the title missed it completely and should watch it again.
Here's a new command (not a suggestion): love one another! That means there is no room for ridicule toward those with whom we disagree. Love one another...and even love your "enemies." For the record, the parable of the Good Samaritan is about someone who's theology is completely askew, yet who turned out to be closer to experiencing eternal life than either the priest or the Levite also mentioned in the story.
As for what to believe about Rob Bell's position on hell, be fair and do your homework. If you want to be critical of Bell, read his book (Love Wins),understand what he's actually saying, and engage it intelligently. And if Bell is your current source of new revelation, do a full search and study it out to be sure it really reflects a biblical view. Chan's new book (Erasing Hell) may be a help in that regard. But regardless of our theological slants, let's all act with kindness and mutual respect. Otherwise, our attitudes and actions will only undermine any credible argument. Leave the theological ridicule behind!
"For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,a and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell."
Francis Chan Destroys Rob Bell's Claim That There Is No Hell