Rob Bell is openly denying the Gospel, denying the need for Jesus, and denying the reality of an eternal burning Hell.
There is one thing that is really important to note here. Christians have denied sin, as taught in the Bible. We have far too long denied that it is sin that brought death into a perfect World, because we wanted to make ourselves look more intellectual by compromising with Evolutionary ideas, and with an Old Earth (first we compromised with the Old Earth). In doing this, we have denied that the Bible is objectively True, and that what it clearly teaches about a recent ~6000 year old Creation, created in six days (as is clearly taught by the expression of day and night in scripture, and the defining of what is meant by a day when God separated the light from the darkness in verses 4 and 5, and in the ten commandments Exodus 20:8-11, and in Jesus teaching that man was made "at the beginning" Matthew 19:4). We have instead taught that you can interpret scripture however you want, and wondered why the next generation does this consistently with the things that the Bible calls sin (e.g. adultery and homosexual activity). The Old Earth religious viewpoint (it is unscientific, and unBiblical) teaches that animals have died for the past 500,000,000 years and that sin did not bring death into the world, and that man came about in a world full of death. This denies a fundamental part of the Gospel, that sin brought death into the world.
(The top link is for hearing Romans 5)
Romans 5 (New American Standard Bible)
Results of Justification1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
6For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
7For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.
8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
11And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
12Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--
13for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
15But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
16The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
17For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
18So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
19For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
20The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
21so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus died on the cross, because (physical) death is the punishment for sin. Jesus saved us from physical death by paying that punishment on the cross, and bore the wrath of almighty God on that cross, so that we could be saved from Almighty God's wrath and not have to spend an Eternity in Hell with the wrath of God poured out on our souls.
Should anyone really be surprised when Rob Bell comes along and does what Christian pastors have taught us to do for hundreds of years? He is just consistently interpreting the words of the Bible, the way that Christians have chosen to interpret the verses about Creation, and sin for hundreds of years.
I had a "Christian" offer to take me to Applebees's, driving me and all, and once we got there, he accused me of being the same as an Islamic Terrorist for not believing in Evolution. I was accused by him of being anti-scientific. He told me earlier how he was talking with his cousins about how homosexuality goes against God's word, but when it came to Creation he told me that you can interpret the Bible however you want. I suspect that he was a fake person, and I have nothing to do with him (calling me a terrorist after you try to call me brother shows me that I do not want to be around you - see Psalm 1).
A quick note on the topic of Homosexual activity, a lot of Christians are not handling this sin right at all. There is sometimes a double standard for homosexual activity and gluttony. So many souls are being turned away from God, because Christians who are trying to take a stand for God are speaking words without knowledge. From what I have seen in scripture, Christians will be tempted by many different sins, and this no exception to that rule. I have an entire page on Homosexuality on this site, and I encourage everyone to read it. Telling someone that they choose to feel attracted to members of their gender is wrong, and I unfortunately saw a preacher on TV claim that Romans 1 says that people choose to have same-sex attractions (it does not).
Rob Bell just wrote a new book in which he is clearly going to be denying what Jesus has to say about Hell... and Christians are surprised?
I think that it is important to be pointing out the fact that the Snake asked Eve "Did God really say ..." before he gave her an outright lie. This is a tactic of telling subtle lies like those of the serpent. (Even is Bell himself is deceived.) Instead of flatly denying that homosexual relationships are against God's word, the new trend is to ask "Did God really say ..." and propose that it is all just a mystery, and that we should just hold hands and worship a god that we have ascribed the aspects of the Baals and Molech. God said a lot quite clearly though, and I am not about to deny it. Christians can play wishy-washy with God's Word, and while they are at it, they can play wishy-washy with the curses that God declares upon anyone who takes away from the words of his book or adds to them.
1 Timothy 1 (New American Standard Bible)
1 Timothy 1
Misleadings in Doctrine and Living1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope,
2To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines,
4nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.
5But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincerefaith.
6For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion,
7wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.
8But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,
9realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers
10and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
11according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.
12I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,
13even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;
14and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.
15It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
16Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
18This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight,
19keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.
20Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.