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Does Rob Bell's New Book Preach Heresy?

Rob Bell, Christian author and pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church, is accustomed to controversy; he often asks troubling theological questions in his books and messages. But his newest book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, has sparked a debate among prominent church leaders about whether or not the book endorses universalism. Although the book isn’t out yet, a promotional video trailer and description of the book have been released by the publisher HarperCollins. In the video, Bell asks, “Will billions and billions of people burn forever in hell? And if that’s the case, how do you become one of the few? … What kind of God is that, that we would need to be rescued from this God? How could that God ever be good? How could that ever be good news?” And the book description on the publisher’s web page reads, “Rob Bell … argu(es) that a loving God would never sentence human souls to eternal suffering.” Justin Taylor from The Gospel Coalition was the first to sound an alarm on Saturday in a blog post where he accused Bell of teaching “false doctrine” and “full-blown hell-is-empty-everyone-gets-saved universalism.” The post was tweeted by pastors John Piper—who simply said, “Farewell, Rob Bell”—and Mark Driscoll, and from that point the debate sprang up on Twitter and Christian blogs across the Internet. To view the book’s video trailer, click here. Love Wins releases on March 29.

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including churchleaders.com and SermonCentral.com.