"Rank-and-file evangelicals won't stand for it if their leaders do point out false doctrines, especially when the error is being peddled by a slick celebrity."

Phil Johnson on what the evangelical response to Rob Bell’s latest errors reveals.

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AllenS's picture

It is similar to a controversial post on ESPN about someone's favorite team.

Aaron Blumer's picture


I think you're right. The whole "I am of Paul, I am of Apollos" thing... only, in this case, maybe more like "I am of Diotrophes" or "I am of Phygellus."

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Susan R's picture


I watched the Justin Taylor video, since I've only heard Rod Bell's name but never read or watched him. Ugh. When it comes to Rod Bell's presentation... I've seen better film on teeth.

I also started reading the comments section on Bro. Johnson's blog post, and someone said that for evangelicals, 'grace' is the code word for 'tolerance'. I differ slightly- if this is what passes for evangelicalism today, then 'grace' seems to be a code word for 'spineless'.

The bottom line is that people do not read the Bible. They read books about the Bible, but they don't spend any time in God's Word, so everything sounds plausible, especially if it is palatable and doesn't step on their moral or ethical toes.

Joel Shaffer's picture

Its interesting because Rob Bell has lost alot of his influence in Grand Rapids. I find it funny that many newspaper and magazine articles list Mars Hill church as over 10,000-15,000 people, depending on who you talk to. That's what it was about 5-7 years ago. It now numbers around 4,000-5,000. Because Rob only speaks 24 Sundays a year, they used to get guest speakers. Some of the guest speakers were more liberal, while some were more conservative and they often contradicted each other from week to week. They then solved this problem by bringing in a teaching pastor named Shane Hipps, who is quite the theological nut job. Anyway, the confusion of doctrinal teaching compounded with a flat out crazy interpreter of the Bible (Shane Hipps) has caused droves of people to leave. My point is that although there are alot of spineless or even too tolerant evangelicals, there are also many that left because the doctrinal errors were too great to ignore.

By the way, from my observation, Mars Hill Bible of Grand Rapids attracted alot of people throughout the years because it acted as a hospital for people who were abused by fundamentalist churches and hard-line Christian Reformed Churches. As for his new book on hell, I bet the ones who will be defending Rob Bell and the book will be young, aspiring youth pastor evangelical college age guys with a "man crush" on Rob. :bigsmile: I remember being on a mission trip to inner-city LA 4 years ago and I met some college students studying to be youth pastors from an evangelical school. When they found out that I was from Grand Rapids, all they wanted to know was if I knew Rob Bell, or had I been to Mars Hill Bible? To them it was the promised land and Rob Bell was their Moses.