Very few of them have read the new book.
Now that I've read it and have an educated response, I'm in a difficult position. The climate is hostile. There are pre-concieved notions.
If I so much as compliment the cover art, there is a whole camp of theological snipers waiting to label me an emergent heretic. "Ge the matches and the lighter fluid!" On the other hand, if I so much as hint that I have concerns about Bell's theological method, there is another camp waiting to label me intolerant and narrow-minded fundamentalist. "Bring your latest Brian McLaren book. It's time for a Generous Beat Down!"
What has happened to the theological climate of the Church when we are known by out alignment or disagreement with a popular Christian author? Half of us have created a climate that lashes out at the most insignificant theological miss-step. The other half labels as unloving all legitimate attempts at biblical correction.
We have lost our way. We have no more True North, no more standard. We don't know Christ's palm Sunday transportation from a hole in the ground.
What if we approached this topic from a whole new (or very old) direction?
What if we actually formulated our opinion on a theological matter based on God's redemptive self-revelation in Scripture? What if we actually started there?
I'm issuing a challenge on the comments board.
Answer this question: Will people suffer eternal punishment in Hell?
Here are the rules:
- You can't call a friend to ask their opinion.
- You can't reading a popular author on the topic. (no Rob Bell, no John MacArthur, no Ronald H. Nash--scholarly lexicons and translation tools are acceptable)
- No statement can be made without a reference to an contextually applicable biblical reference.
- Make a genuine effort to put aside your pre-conceived notions about the topic.
So, will people suffer eternal punishment in hell? Tell us what the Word says.