Posted by: Yvonne | January 28, 2010

Heretical Teaching of Rob Bell

 

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.  And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said…?’ “ 
Genesis 3:1

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Heretic:  (from Theopedia)  

In Christianity, a heretic is one who holds a theological or religious opinion or doctrine in opposition or contrary to that which is considered as orthodox, or right doctrine. For example, one writer defines it in this manner: “A heretic is a baptized person who obstinately denies or doubts a truth which the Church teaches must be believed because it is part of the one, divinely revealed, and catholic (that is, universally valid) Christian faith.”

Heretics usually do not define their own beliefs as heretical. Heresy is a value judgement expressing the view from within an established belief system.

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Considering the powerful influence that Rob Bell has had on many undiscerning Christians today, it is fitting that he be exposed as a heretic (Eph. 5:11). The following video takes quotes from Bell’s writings and interviews and compares them to Scripture (Acts 17:11).  It is interesting to note that often Bell offers his ‘thoughts’ in the form of a question.

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Responses

  1. Well, if Rob Bell is wrong and Sola Scriptura is true then surely someone on this blog can give me the Bible verses that say, “Scripture alone” and also the Bible verses that tell which books are in the Bible. If that cannot be done then how can Sola Scriptura be true? The idea must come from somewhere else besides the Bible.

    • Dear Visitor:

      If you are truly interested in learning about Christian doctrine using Scripture to interpret Scripture — Mike Gendron has a very informative site. Here is a ‘snapshot’ of the information Mike has to offer that addresses your question. As you will see it reveals Christ as the example for using Scripture alone in addressing every one of his situations while living among us. We hope this information is helpful.

      1. All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God and useful for reproof and correction of error (2 Timothy 3:16). Since Scripture is used to correct and reproof then it must be the authoritative standard by which everything else is judged for its truthfulness.

      2. Jesus said, “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:34). The character of God is on the line. “God is not a man that He should lie … and hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good (Numbers 23:19). Submitting to the authority of God’s revealed word will guide us in His perfect will.

      3. Christ used the authority of Scripture to rebuke Satan’s attempt to deceive Him (Matthew 4:1-11). He gave prepositional statements to accurately convey the truth that Satan attempted to distort. Jesus was our perfect model for rebuking deception.

      4. Jesus used the authority of Scriptures to rebuke false teachers (Matthew 22:29). The only way false teachers can be confronted and exposed is in the power of God’s Word.

      5. Repented sinners are saved by hearing and believing the Word (Ephesians 1:13-14). The integrity of the Gospel must be maintained and proclaimed for true conversions.

      6. Jesus prayed for Christians to be sanctified (set apart) by the truth of His Word (John 17:17). Christians must separate themselves from apostate churches and false teachers. God uses division to show those in His approval (1 Cor. 11:19).

      7. One must continually submit to the authority of Scripture to be a disciple of Christ (John 8:31). Those who follow the traditions and teachings of men are often led astray.

      8. Christ rebuked the religious leaders for nullifying the Word of God with their tradition (Mark 7:13). Any tradition that nullifies the Scriptures must be exposed and renounced so others will not be deceived.

      9. The Scriptures were written to all Christians, not to popes and Magisterium to be interpreted for lay people. Anytime we allow others to interpret God’s word for us, we leave ourselves open to deception.

  2. Welcome, Gerasimos,

    There are no Scriptures that use the term ‘sola scriptura’, just as there are no Scriptures that use the term ‘trinity’; however, this fact certainly does not negative those doctrines.

    Here are some Scripture passages that support the doctrine of sola scriptura:

    Deut. 4:2
    Prov. 30:5-6
    Matt. 4:1-11
    Luke 1:1-4 & 10:26
    John 12:48
    1 Cor. 4:6
    2 Tim. 3:16-17
    Rev. 22:18-19

    All that God requires of us to know in order to be obedient Christians is in Scripture.

  3. Thanks, Judy and Yvonne!
    The Scriptures you mention do assert the value, reliability and authority of Scripture which, of course, I agree with; however, they do not state that Scripture is the only source of Christian faith and practice. There are other problems, too:
    1) There are new testament references to dueterocanonical books, such as Wisdom, Tobit, Sirach and Maccabees;
    2) There are references in the NT to Psalms which were not yet officially considered Scripture during Christ’s life-time;
    3) Any NT verse referring to “scripture” cannot be referring to the NT since the NT was not yet written and collected into one canon.

    • Gerasimos,

      I’m curious about this statement you made about the references of Scripture in the last comment:

      “…they do not state that Scripture is the only source of Christian faith and practice.”

      What/who else do you find as an authoritative source of truth for Christians to use?

      You mentioned three ‘other problems’ that I’ll address:

      1)The books of the deuterocanonical (apocrypha) books are not considered canonical for several reasons, a few of which are: a) Jesus did not reference them, but made numerous references to Old Testament books. b) There were unbiblical concepts within them such as praying for the dead and condoning of magic. c) There were serious historical inaccuracies like in the book of Judith where it says the king of the Assyrians was Nebuchadnezzar.

      2)Jesus refers to the Psalms in Luke 24:44 saying, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

      3)Peter calls Paul’s writings Scripture in 2 Peter 3:16 saying, “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.”

      Thanks for coming back. I look forward to your response.

  4. Hi Yvonne, thanks for your gracious response!
    My last point was that the only way that sola scriptura could possibly be true is if the scripture itself teaches it. One of the reasons why this is important is because of what St. Paul told the Christians at Thessalonica: follow what I’ve told you as well as what I’ve written to you in this letter. That means that God’s Revelation to St. Paul was not only in written form. This means that there were revealed non-written truths that the early Christians followed. Another reason why this is important is because sola scriptura was unknown in Christianity before the Reformation period.
    All for now, Yvonne, I’ll return after getting groceries!!

    • Of which book, chapter & verse are you referencing?

      • II Thess. 2:15, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”

  5. Hi Yvonne,
    On your points #1 and #2, a question: Are there books of the OT that Jesus did not quote from? If so, does that mean that they are not in the OT canon? Besides, if Psalms was not yet in the OT canon during Jesus’ time doesn’t that mean that he doesn’t mind giving the impression to people that it’s OK to reference non-canonical books?
    Your third point is a good one although it doesn’t name those letters.
    It would seem that we’re still having to go outside the Bible to define the Bible. And, again, I’m not reading sola scriptura in the Bible.

    • “Are there books of the OT that Jesus did not quote from?” I do not know. I would have to do more research for that one. I suspect someone has made that study, though!

      “…if Psalms was not yet in the OT canon during Jesus’ time…” I would seem to me that the passage of Scripture referenced above (Luke 24:44) Jesus canonizes Psalms. The Psalms that testified to Christ are numerous and He calls them Scripture in the next verse. “And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scripture.”

      I have to disagree that we need to go outside the Bible to define it. To what sources outside the Bible are you referring?

  6. Hi Yvonne,
    Thanks for you response!
    If there is no list of Bible books in the Bible then how do I know which books are in the Bible unless I go outside the Bible? But, Sola Scriptura claims that I cannot go outside the Bible.
    I’m not trying to be argumentative, Yvonne, but isn’t this a problem?

    • Gerasimos,

      Your questions are keeping me on my toes, to be sure! But I am not moved. As I study for answers I continue to find support, in the Scriptures, for sola scriptura.

      Going back a bit, I did find an article that states all the OT books are quoted in the NT except Esther, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon. You can access this information at the website Judy suggested, Mike Gendron’s Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries. Here’s the link:

      http://pro-gospel.org/x2/content/view/31/1/

      As for 2 Thess. 2:15, the ‘tradition’ that Paul was referring to was inspired of God and written down in Scripture as he tells us in Romans 15:4, ‘For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.’ Jesus is the Truth and the Word, not the oral tradition.

      If there were writings other than Scripture that Christians were to use for our learning and our hope, then Paul, one of the other Apostles or Jesus would have told us. It’s just not there, Gerasimos. I’ve asked what other sources you would have Christians use and you have yet to answer.

      Any other source, if it does not line up with God’s Word, is not of God and must be rejected.

      Here are links to two other articles that I have been reading to aid my study of sola scriptura. I certainly do not claim to have all the answers, but am convinced the sola scriptura is true.

      http://www.reformedreader.org/ssss.htm

      http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/sola-scriptura-earlychurch.html

      May the Lord bless your study.

      ~Yvonne

  7. Thank-you, Yvonne!

  8. It’s funny to watch this video after being a person who has not read the books in question however, has studied scripture individualy and in a university setting.

    It seems that whoever created this video really had to reach for something to attack Bell’s doctrine with, as there wasn’t really much there to actually attack. A lot of the attacks on Bells doctrine were more interpretation of what Bell was saying, rather than solid evidence of false teaching.

    And who ever created the video also started putting words into Bells mouth. Rob Bell probably does’t even believe there is a hell? He never said that, that’s called editorializing.

    I could address each individual point mentioned, but I’m sure that would cause more strife than anything. People tend to believe what they want to believe. (Just look at how many unbiblical doctrines are widely accepted in the church, and no I’m not talking about the trinity )

    Anyway, the whole point I want to get to is that we find ourselves in a world where interpretation is so loose these days that there any number of denominations (I tried to look up an exact number, but found denominatons within denominations within, etc.)

    The fact is that not everyone believes the same things and not all Scripture is clear about some things. I challenge anybody to find two people who truly believe the exact same things, beginning to end. The odds are not in your favor.

    It leaves the question of who is right or wrong. Both, neither. Is everyone on earth a heretic? Are we incapable of standing next to one another and worshipping the same God because one person believes in original sin and another doesn’t?

    I would look up the definition of the word heresy/heretic. (biblestudytools.com gives great biblical definitions) And also study the people Jesus rebuked for false teaching. (Actually do it, don’t just go on memory of Scripture or biased thought).

    Props on checking his doctrine against Scripture, but boo on the editorializing.

    • Thank you for visiting, Amanda and hope you are a serious, discerning, Christian woman and will take the time and effort to process the reply to your comment. It is interesting that you begin your comment with the credentials that you study Scripture individually and in a university setting — props for the individual study but boo for Scripture study in a university setting. I certainly could be wrong but most of our colleges and universities even those who label themselves “Christian” de-emphasize systematic theology in favor of making man’s “systems” fit into Scripture and deconstruct Scripture and reconstruct a false gospel. Most roads in higher education lead to social and economic justice emphasis. I do know there are precious few professors, educators, and administrators who are a light on these campuses and I praise God for their efforts!

      Rob Bell probably does’t even believe there is a hell? He never said that, that’s called editorializing. Why do you believe this statement that you wrote? If you are interested in reading more about Rob Bell and his Theology on Hell, visit http://apprising.org/2009/03/27/heaven-and-hell-come-to-earth-for-rob-bell/

      I could address each individual point mentioned Please do so we can have a meaningful ‘conversation’ because other than your opinion which is not anchored to anything more than a personal claim — you have studied Scripture individually and in a university setting — you have made illogical conclusions.

      . . . and I do have several friends and family members who do use and properly handle Scripture. Doctrine does make a difference because unless we agree upon doctrine then we are not worshiping the same God.

      Looking forward to your thoughts. judy

  9. Read an listened, thank very informative, would like too post this vid on my blog.


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