Posted by: Yvonne | March 9, 2011

Rob Bell ~ A Universal Reconciliationist?


At Sola Sister’s blog, they help to refine our understanding of Rob Bell’s apparent stance on salvation and hell.  She distinguishes the difference between Universalism and Universal Reconciliation when she tells us,

The difference is subtle, but, once this book is actually released, the difference is going to be enough for Bell (and all of his supporters) to slam those who are calling him out on Universalism for being alarmists and haters. And why? Because Universal Reconciliationists often use Christian terminology and claim to hold to certain Christian concepts. Like I said, the difference is subtle.

They share their theory…

So what I suspect is that, in this new book, Bell will affirm that…..

– Absolutely, Jesus had to suffer and die on the cross. (When what he really believes about the cross, if he is a Universal Reconciliationist, is that for us to think that this implies exclusivenessis narrow-minded because everybody gets there in the end anyway.)

– Absolutely, there is a hell. (When what he really believes about hell – again, if he is a Universal Reconciliationst – is that there is some kind of purgatorial, burning-off-of-sins form of hell, but after that – of course – everybody gets to heaven).

…and define:

UNIVERSAL RECONCILIATION (also called CHRISTIAN UNIVERSALISM): ALL people are ultimately saved through Christ. They may not have a complete understanding of who Christ is, but in some way, the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Christ constitutes the mechanism that provides redemption for all humanity and makes atonement for all sins.  A limited form of hell is sometimes held to, but not always.

In the end this is splitting hairs and I am convinced that Bell has already proven himself to be a heretic.  However, considering that he is a popular emergent leader, it will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

HT: Christian Research Net



  1. This is the theology of the author of The Shack, and others, and it will increase in popularity.

  2. John,

    That is exactly what the Sola Sister’s article said, as well. I have to admit, I’ve never heard of ‘universal reconciliation’ before. It seems to me to be a variation on ‘everyone is saved’ or a strange sort of purgatory. Either way it certainly tickles the ears of those who don’t want to accept the truth of God’s judgment. doesn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  3. Bell is for sure a heretic Universalist….just a slyer one….one with tasty Christian flavoring sprinkled on top.

    • Welcome, Christine!

      Yes, Bell certainly is sly, and has deceived many.

      Thank you for your clarification in your post. It helped me to understand the term ‘universal reconciliation’ which I had never come across before.

      I appreciate your stand for Truth.



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