Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Theories of the Afterlife - Considering "Love Wins"

I'm sending this email and attachment to several of you whom I very much respect, hoping for your wisdom and feedback. Indirectly, it concerns the upcoming release of Rob Bell's book "Love Wins", which is his theological commitment to conditional immortality. Several years ago, I did a study while at Troy Christian Chapel on the subject of Personal Eschatology, and I have attached the notes to that study. I'm hoping you will have a look at pages 12-18, which is the last part of the study addressing the afterlife. Recently, I've had input from three or four people here at TCC as well as some students at University of the Nations in Kona, where I just lectured last week, who are troubled about Bell's endorsement of conditional immortality. I also understand (sort of like Paul's reports from the house of Chloe) that some people here in my own congregation seem to like Bell. Quite honestly, I've never been much impressed with Rob Bell. He tends to be sensationalist and always seems to have an ax to grind against his evangelical heritage. Nonetheless, he is quite popular, especially with those who tend toward theological revisionism and emergent church trends. He is not as far left as Brian McClaren, but he certainly seems to gravitate toward theologically concepts that ruffle feathers. The fact that he is, so to speak, in my own back yard here in Michigan accentuates the situation locally.

In any case, since this subject is already coming up, I wish to present a balanced and biblical approach, not overreactionary, but not short-changing the Scripture, either. Hence, I would value your input on the way I handled this subject in the past and whether or not it is adequate for what may be coming down the pipeline.

Click here to view my study on Personal Eschatology.

1 comment:

  1. I am looking forward to this article - not so much about the lightweight Mr. Bell, but for a clear-eyed look at Hebrew anthropology and the biblical understanding of death AND the entire doctrine of election upon which this all stands.

    I really think that my contributions will focus more on Karl Barth and the possibility/idea of a "triumph of grace."

    I am going to dig deeply into your article.