Rob Bell Gets Grilled on MSNBC

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Puritan Board Sophomore
The folllowing video has already been posted in another thread ( by Michael, but I didn't want it to get lost in a long thread. Rob Bell gets grilled by an MSNBC reporter about his new book about heaven and hell. You'd almost think the reporter was a Christian the way he took him to task! (Maybe he is, I don't know). I thought some of you might find it interesting.



Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Bell is a perfect example of how you can say "terribly important" and mean "not really important or essential at all."


Puritan Board Senior
To the Christian or non-Christian it is beyond me how Mr. Bell can come across as anything but silly here in defending his work. A total joke.


Puritan Board Junior
The man is a British journalist called Martin Bashir and wikipedia states he had Christian parents and since they are from Pakistan I would suggest they are most likely evangelicals.
So he would be fairly familiar with the evangelical gospel etc... and perhaps he may even be saved himself

21st Century Calvinist

Puritan Board Junior
Martin Bashir seems to have a greater knowledge of and grasp of biblical truth than the pastor. Kudos to the interviewer. May he own these truths for himself.


Puritan Board Sophomore
This verbal exchange is EPIC.

Rob Bell: "And my experience has been that a lot of Christians have built whole dogmas about what happens when you die. And we have to be very careful that we don't build whole doctrines and dogmas on what is speculation. Jesus..."

Martin Bashir: "I'm not talking about what happens when you die. I'm asking how you respond here and now. And the question I'm asking you, what you seem to be saying in this book is that God will love, will melt everyone's heart eventually, some even postmortem, in death. So you're the one making the speculation about the afterlife."


Puritan Board Freshman
So... I'm terribly confused. He's somewhat of a universalist but denies being one so that others cannot brand him a heretic? Slimy.


Puritan Board Sophomore
First, Bell had nothing to say regarding scripture in his interview, it was his beliefs to match his gospel.
Second, the interview was terrible. There was no objectivity on both sides. It was a silly debate between men that lead nowhere.
Third, if you want to understand love, you need to understand sin, once you understand sin you need to understand justice, when you understand justice, you need to understand sacrifice, when you understand sacrifice, you need to understand the resurrection, when you understand the resurrection, you need to understand regeneration, than we can further talk about love.

I find Bell, to be entertainment as a educated Christian who likes to debate. I find Bell dangerous knowing as a former un educated Christian, I would have liked this doctrine he has. That is the problem we in the Church are facing, is uneducated, Christless gospel preaching. When you have uneducated members of the body, Pastors who should not be Pastors, and a country that has created its own gospel using the name of Christ, you get junk like Bells preaching to hit the pulpits.


Puritan Board Post-Graduate
It can't happen because of his following. Too many people buy into this large pile of cow dung.

As for him not using Scripture, I can't see why he would with regards to this topic. In the interview he states that it is all speculation. Apparently the Bible doesn't really speak about the afterlife.


Puritanboard Commissioner
I know one former devotee who was sickened by the various media interviews. He had been defending Bell against the vitriol of the critics. Now, he sees that Bell is dabbling with some pretty dangerous things.

Again, I cannot help but see Bell in terms of his (and my) common alma mater. When your seminary does a better job at asking the edgy, awkward, quasi-heretical questions than answering them and rewards professors for trying out radically new ideas and locutions, you end up with your more brilliant students producing this kind of stuff. And, as Bell freely admits in the interview, much of his position is a reaction formation to the perceived constraints of his upbringing.

After interviewing several HUNDRED grads of this seminary during denominational ordination exams over the past 30 years, I can tell you that there is a sadly observable line from the theology common to the generation of Pipers to that of Bell's "more questions than answers" shtick today. No school graduates mere clones. But, whereas Piper is more characteristic of the theology and piety of his c 1970 Pasadena classmates (Grudem was in Piper's class for one year before he transferred out to Westminster), Bell is sadly all too typical of more recent grads. They are generally sincere, even passionate, and attempt to reconcile personal piety with their new trendy intellectual ideas. The sponsorship of edgy emergent stuff today is seen in the steady drumbeat of alum events and campus lectures promoting Bell, Jones, McLaren and gang.

However, many people go to seminary in order to prepare for pastoral ministry, not in order to become professional scholars. The habit of asking more questions than answering them in my opinion results in confused and ineffective parish pastors. In my day, we saw ourselves as intentionally opposite to places like Talbot where we were told they merely indoctrinate, not educate. But surely seminary is supposed to "train" as well as "educate." In my limited experience with ordinands, the emphasis upon exhaustive study of every side of every issue (with a hint of a somewhat snarky bias against the "traditional" or mainstream evangelical answer), has resulted in a shockingly ignorant and uncertain group of ministers. I cannot speak to the adequacy of this type of training for professional scholars since several of the grads have gone on to distinguish themselves in LOTS of schools. However, it does not provide the kind of training I deem neccessary for effective clergy outside the mainlines.

As one of my college and seminary profs used to say (actually he said a lot, including teaching that we should admit non-Christians to communion since it would be wrong to let a merely "intellectual" problem like disbelief in God trump existential involvement in the "body of Christ") . . .

"Choose your ruts carefully. As the old farmers in South Dakota would say, you will be in them for a very long time."

The seminary you select WILL leave an indelible imprint on you. Whether you buy the teaching wholesale (and end up like Bell), or whether you react to it and reject much of it (e.g., me!), the mark will stay for a very long time. My rejection of so much of my seminary experience is no more healthy than Bell's practical extrapolations of it into pastoral ministry.

Choose wisely, gentlemen. Choose wisely. :doh:


Puritan Board Sophomore
It can't happen because of his following. Too many people buy into this large pile of cow dung.

As for him not using Scripture, I can't see why he would with regards to this topic. In the interview he states that it is all speculation. Apparently the Bible doesn't really speak about the afterlife.

So he's grabbed a decent portion of the space cadet youth population of which (ahem...) many of us were members of back in the day, and grew out of.

Brian McLaren is also releasing a book but I guess he's not the heresy flavour of the week any more.


Puritan Board Post-Graduate

You and I may have grown out of it, but I am not so sure mainstream grew out of it.


Puritan Board Junior
I love that the interviewer keeps accusing him of falsities! Quoting a critic the interviewer says: "There are dozens of problems with "Love Wins", the history is inaccurate, the use of scripture indefensible" then he asks, "That's true isn't it?". And he does it several times! :rofl:

---------- Post added at 11:17 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:14 AM ----------

I especially like when he is accused of making the gospel more palatable. Nail on the head!


Puritan Board Freshman
Awesome interview.

It led me to find Bashir interviewing Timothy Keller on Veritas Forums... pretty good as well.


Puritan Board Freshman

Good for Keller or good against Keller?
Good for Keller, he does a very good job answering Bashir's questions. I love Bashir's interviewing, he's quick and doesn't let the interviewee mince words. So he even takes the words and bites into Keller, and Keller systematically dismembers each and every question.

Another interesting aspect of the interview was that it took place at Columbia University... :popcorn:

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Excellent interview. We need more good journalists who do their research, know history, and actually understand the Christian faith.


Puritan Board Doctor
There is word that Bashir is a devout Christian and attends Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NY (Keller's church).


Puritan Board Post-Graduate
So I just heard a response to the video from someone on facebook. It goes like this....

Rob Bell has it wrong. Love isn't going to win. Love won 2000 years ago!


Puritan Board Senior
I knew Rob Bell's father when he was a District Court judge and later a Circuit Court judge here in Ingham County. He was a good judge and a solid Evangelical. I wonder what he thinks about his son.
Martin Bashir's father must be proud of his son.


Puritan Board Junior
There was no objectivity on both sides.
Journalists are required to present the truth, not allow nonsense just to allow anyone say what they want with out challenge. Rob Bell is the one refusing to answer real questions same as some politician.


Puritan Board Junior
I couldn't watch any youtube video since it's blocked here in China.

Does someone know if there's any other place I could watch this interview?
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