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The new reformed: the sound of arid logic chopping

In the introduction to his biography of John Bunyan, Gordon Wakefield describes the preaching of Alexander Whyte who often used Bunyan’s characters for his sermons. Wakefield says of Whyte, “the discourses in Bunyan were no desiccated scholasticism, the arid logic-chopping of predestinarians wrestling with their election. Often conducted with tears, they spoke of the eternal verities and consolations of faith.” Not so long ago Trevin Wax reviewed Erasing Hell by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle, a response to Rob Bell’s Love Wins. In his comments Wax complains that, ‘No one is…

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Ring the Bell: Round 2

In some ways I’m glad this discussion hasn’t just completely disappeared because that would show that we too have the attention span of a goldfish in keeping with much of contemporary western culture. Here are some further thoughts and reflections on the debate: Tim Challies reflects on the debate and thinks the reformed were mugged by a marketing department. I’m not convinced. Justin Taylor responds Adrian Warnock has posted the transcript of his debate with Rob Bell.

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Rob Bell is so unoriginal

This is interesting, or at least I think so. Adrian Warnock recently listed some quotes from Love Wins by Rob Bell published 2011. I recently read Is there a hell? published 1913. Here’s how they compare: 2011 (Rob Bell) 1913 (various) “God gives us what we want, and if that’s hell, we can have it.” “For my own part, I assuredly believe that wrong-doing will have its reward in the world to come.” – Rev Dr Charles Brown “The chasm is the rich man’s heart!” “He [the rich man] is…

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The Hell Chronicles

This post will be updated from time to time but this is my directory of posts about Love Wins, universalism and hell controversy. It has the list of all the posts I’ve put together and some of the most helpful posts and resources I’ve found elsewhere. You may also find some of these links in some of the posts. The posts to read that others have written Kevin DeYoung’s review of Love Wins is probably the most obvious place to turn for a comprehensive rebuttal and strong opposition of the theology…

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Love Wins: Lessons in how not to argue 2

There’s a second mistake in how the debate has lined up and that is in fixing positions too early on. We all know how hard it is to change your mind especially on public statements and comments. If you want to go looking faults of course you can find them in Love Wins rack ’em up and list them as if that can’t be done in other ‘sound’ books or that those errors mean we can still be friends. So I don’t think it matters what Bell says from here…

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Love Wins: Lessons in how not to argue 1

In this whole debate I think Rob Bell’s opponents have taken some serious mis-steps. I think Bell is wrong on a number of key points but because of the subject matter at hand (people spending eternity in hell) then you need to think a little bit about how you respond to this one. Bell is accused of being a universalist that essentially everyone will end up in heaven and at some indeterminate point in the future that there will be no one left in hell. Now its perfectly reasonable to…

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Love Wins: The influences

This won’t be a long post but I think it’s important, the review is tomorrow by the way. One of things I always do when reading a book is look for the list of books, study the bibliography, pick out the recurring names and see the plot lines of an authors thinking develop. This helps me track a little of where the author is coming from, have other sources to go to for further reading if needed and see what’s original and what’s not. Rob Bell is not great at…

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Love Wins: The context

The review is coming this week but to be honest the debate and controversy that has surrounded the book is almost as important as what Rob Bell actually says. Up until now I’d not really considered the issue of hell as an issue to ‘die for’ – it’s well known that John Stott favoured annihilationism instead of eternal conscious torment and he has never been considered anything other than evangelical. So how is this different with Rob Bell? If you read this and follow the link to listen to audio…

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