American Morning

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April 14th, 2011
08:59 AM ET

"The Christian story has lost its plot"

Rob Bell, author of 'Love Wins: A book about heaven, hell and the fate of every person who ever lived,' says heaven and hell are choices we make and live with right now. Bell sees no infinite torment for things people did in their lives. Bell argues that a loving God would not send people to a place of eternal suffering after death and death doesn't cut off the ability to repent. He believes anything that happens after death is speculation and that speculation turned into dogma. He points out that many on this planet may not even know the Holy Trinity but Jesus makes salvation possible even for people who never know his name. He speaks with CNN's American Morning on his views and the attention it has garnered.

Filed under: Controversy • Religion
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. nate

    Its guys like this that make religion relevant in the 21st century. The more fanatical and dogmatic will see their numbers dwindle and their standings reduced to cult status.

    April 28, 2011 at 2:16 am |
  2. Brian - Milwaukee

    Just because something is on TV (pbs) doesn't mean it is true. Those are publically funded atheists running the show, so you would expect no other opinion from them.

    April 27, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  3. Livelystone

    The good news is everyone gets to heaven someday

    The bad news is that heaven is place of righteousness where no evil exists

    Therefore everything about everybody that is not righteous will never make to heaven.

    For some people the cleansing and purification process will be much more difficult then it will be for others

    April 27, 2011 at 7:19 am |
  4. Ardwulf

    Heaven forfend someone actually encourage believers to think about what they believe and how those beliefs interact with their moral codes that exist independently of those beliefs.

    April 27, 2011 at 6:59 am |
  5. Mark

    I cannot subscribe to a religion with a supposedly loving god who sends 65% of the worlds population to hell just for being unlucky enough to be born in the "wrong" religion".

    April 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  6. Daniel


    People do not risk their lives and die for a legend or a tale. Romans put Christians to death for their faith in Jesus.
    Jewish historian Josephus writes about Jesus at the time of Jesus.
    The evidence shows that Jesus did in fact live, die and his tomb is empty because he rose into heaven as witnessed by hundreds of on-lookers.

    PBS has an opinion that there is no God, especially not a Christian God because that would require them to obey or suffer hell.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  7. Charlie

    Sadly, as one commentor said already, yes, the Bible appears to be - to a large extent - a collection of modified pre-Christian and pre-Mosaic (i.e. "pagan") myths. However, in between the non-sense, there's good in the bible. After all, that's the thinking that caused Thomas Jefferson to literaly cut out the idiocy he found in the Bible when he created his own version of it, now known as "The Jefferson Bible." So, maybe the Bible isn't all bunk. In between its imported and updated pagan myths, there's some good advice in it.

    April 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  8. Sheridan

    Basically, he is just saying what the Unitarian Universalist church has been teaching for years. If you actually like what Rob Bell is preaching you should check out your local UU church.

    April 26, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  9. truthbknown

    I agree with zelvis–study your history before one attaches him/herself to such an evil ideology! Too utopic- and such writings which are man-made belongs with the rest of the man-made fairy tales such as: micky mouse, snow white, etc...I live by the golden rule which is universal wisdom thoughout all of history!!!!

    April 26, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  10. Stephanie

    Paul, this guy is quite right. The bible was written by man, taken from oral history/legends passed down from the very begginning of the tribal lifestyles. Noah? He is actually a figure called Gilgamesh (spelling?) from waaayyy back. People told stories/parables about people and situations to teach the younger generation how to live and how to avoid problems. Just like when your own family gets together and they talk about "Uncle Joe" who used drugs and then died from an overdose. About the floods in their local area or country and then God saved them by stopping the rain. Over time these events become epics and teaching moments for whoever wants to use them as such. Your own family stories get bigger, funnier, sadder whatever as time goes on. That is what the bible is. The story of mankind as seen from the eyes of ancient people.

    If you look at the bible as it was originally written, how many translations are there? Even just from the King James version there are hundreds of translations, and not all of them are approved of by everyone. Whos to say in 100 years which edition will become the "approved" version.

    April 26, 2011 at 8:52 am |
  11. sosa

    The Bible is real. If people would just stop and pay attention to whats happening in the World and compare it to the Bible, they find that what it says is coming to pass.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  12. jamingna

    I'd like this on facebook...but I'd lose my ministry job. Ha! Love Rob Bell!

    April 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  13. Paul

    Wow....and this guy calls himself a Christian minister. Sad

    April 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  14. zelvis

    Archeologists and biblical historians continue to uncover concrete evidence that the Bible is, primarily, a collection of ancient legends and tales, not unlike "The Illiad". I would encourage everyone to watch the episode of the PBS program, "Nova", entitled "The Bible's Buried Secrets". It is segmented on YouTube, and is quite eye-opening to anyone whose bible study never goes beyond the words on the page.

    April 14, 2011 at 9:18 am |