Point Loma Nazarene University Brings Heretic Rob Bell To Speak To Pastors

Matthew 7:15-20 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

“What should a Christian do in the face of clear evidence that a school that calls itself “Christian”, gets off the “narrow way” and enters the broad road to destruction?”  Especially if that Christian has children who may go to that school, or who is sending some of his money to this school?

Would you want a “pastor” to come speak to your congregation who DOES NOT believes the following?

- That “scripture alone” is our guide,
- There is a literal hell,
- The Bible is a product of divine inspiration,
- The doctrine of original sin,
- The virgin birth.

Apparently, Point Loma Nazarene University has no problem with that.  It would be difficult for me to say that they are ignorant or unawares of this kind of teaching.  Let’s see who I am talking about (I only touched on a small portion of his heresies).  I have forwarded this email to the Board of General Superintendents to let them be aware of the following serious issue.  I recommend anyone else concerned with this to address that concern to our leadership.

Pastor’s Day With Rob Bell

False prophet and so-called “pastor”, Rob  Bell, will be the main speaker at Pastor’s Day at San Diego First Church of the Nazarene on Feb. 18, sponsored by Point Loma Nazarene University.  Perhaps the pastors who will attend this event may want to heed the words of Jesus, and inspect the fruit produced by Rob Bell.  If it is rotten to the core, there is no choice but to cut that tree down, in other words, reject Rob Bell as anything other than a false teacher.

It seems that PLNU is working very hard to become known as one of the top schools to send your child so he can be indoctrinated with the “best” of the apostasy movement within the Nazarene denomination and practically all evangelical denominations now.  I call it the apostasy movement now because it not only includes emergent ideology, but also a rise in Dominion theology, the Alpha Course, soaking prayer and other experiential phenomena, social justice, extreme environmentalism, ecumenism, universalism, evolutionism, to name a few.

So now it is pastors who are being introduced openly to the heretical and dangerous viewpoints of Rob  Bell.  One of the biggest promoters of process theology, Dr. Michael Lodahl of Point Loma, is a Sunday School teacher at SD First.  (Process theology teaches that God makes mistakes and learns from them, and therefore this heresy rejects the sovereignty of God).  Point Loma also is home to Dr. Darrel Falk, one of the foremost proponents of the heretical teaching of theistic evolution, which rejects the truth of the Genesis account of creation.

I will not spend a lot of time here on Bell’s theology, his promotion of mystical practices, or his rejection of the authority and inerrancy of scripture.  It has been widely documented, and I have written some posts on him, including this one (Rob Bell: A Modern Day Gnostic).  I have attached other links at the end for further reading.  He is a danger particularly to young people and new Christians, many of whom do not have the maturity and discernment to spot such a deceiver.

It is truly sad to report the kinds of things Point Loma Nazarene University is doing, because I am sure not everyone attending or working at this school goes along with it.  Yet, what should one do when a “Christian” school insists on continuing down the road of apostasy.  (Apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia,  and means “a defiance of an established system or authority; a rebellion; an abandonment or breach of faith”).  In this case, it is an abandonment of clear scriptural teachings to stay away from and reject false teachers.  There is no doubt anymore what Point Loma has become.  So what should a Christian do in the face of clear evidence that a school working under the banner of a Christian school, gets off the “narrow way” and enters the broad road to destruction?

Do you prefer to do what scripture tells you to, which is to expose the false teachers and the enablers of these false teachers?  First and foremost, if you do this, you will have obeyed the very commands of Jesus Christ and the apostles, and obedience as a Christian to all that scripture commands is not an option when it involves any clear teaching.

The only other alternative for us as Christians is to keep quiet and say nothing.  Those with that attitude perhaps believe that God will sort it all out, and take care of things in due time.  And so perhaps with that excuse, they can escape the inevitable result of speaking out.  That result would be to become unpopular, to be labeled a hateful person, and lose friends and colleagues, or be shunned by their church as a divisive person.

Point Loma leadership ought to be held accountable for the many poor decisions they have been making over the last few years.  I have documented some of these, as well as have others.  They have embraced false teacher Richard Foster, including hosting a retreat sponsored by his Renovaré organization.   They hosted a bizarre conference called Nurturing The Prophetic Imagination, as reported by Rev. Peter Migner.  I have listened to a chapel message in which the chaplain promoted mysticism.  They have consistently promoted contemplative mysticism.  Students have even publicized on their school blog about their dabbling into attempts to contact the spirit world. It seems there is not much that can be frowned on at the school anymore.

Recommendations:

  1. Do not send your child to this Point Loma Nazarene University.
  2. Write or call the leadership including the board of directors and ask why are they continuing down this road.
  3. Write or call our Board of General Superintendents and ask their opinion on whether Rob Bell conforms to orthodox biblical teaching, and offer to send them documented evidence of his unbiblical ideology.
  4. Suggest that withholding funds to the school, either from private donations or from your local church or even your District, is a serious possibility.
  5. Pray that if nothing else works, that God will shut down this school rather than let it continue deceiving students, and apparently, pastors as well.

As far as I know, the leadership of this school has not been responding seriously to anyone’s concerns.  The time for political correctness and politeness is long past due for Point Loma and many other Nazarene schools, and those of other denominations.  As I have stated before, I would prefer a millstone be hung around my neck and be thrown into the sea, than to negligently allow one young student at these schools to stumble.

What about you?

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68 responses to “Point Loma Nazarene University Brings Heretic Rob Bell To Speak To Pastors

  1. My student’s faith was NOT affirmed at PLNU and the college president does not see danger in this speaker or any other “emergent” speaker that is invited to this campus. It is my opinion that unless the boards of trustees at the Nazarene universities are made aware of these very non-biblical teachings on their campuses, there is little hope for the future of these universities as institutions of “faith”. Post modernism is the leaven that destroys biblical truth and the Nazarenes will go the way of progressive liberalism. Biblical pastor/teachers in southern California need to sign up and attend this conference and infiltrate these forums with biblical truth. Watchmen take a stand. Writing letters to the president has been unproductive.

  2. Manny,
    I believe a former student of PLNU summed it up on your link “Contact the spirit world.” His post was dated 01/26/2011. He or she states: “PLNU is lost and far from the Lord. Their professors spend every breath degrading Scripture and miracles. They are a school driven by the emergent church.”

    Added to what you wrote this speaks volumes against Point Loma especially coming from a former student who know first hand what is going on.

    Our leadership mainly BGS should investigate what is going on and put a stop to it. If they do not have the time or courage appoint someone who will investigate and give them their unbiased recommendation of action to be taken.
    Lige

  3. I’m surprised the link is still up there (the student seance). I did a screen shot of it, because some of these tend to disappear after a while if it is especially embarrassing. Apparently it is not embarrassing enough to anyone there yet.

  4. this is the most ignorant article i have ever read – it literally gets EVERY fact wrong.

    i’m embarrassed for you.

    do your home work.

  5. They need to have Prayer Meetings & Bible Studies that are close to the campus with mature Christians leading them. It’s clear that they will not tolerate Biblical principles on campus or in the churches there.

  6. So Rob Bell is coming to speak to some pastors? I hear he’s a really good speaker with some really interesting ideas (the gods aren’t angry). He has his finger on the pulse of the post modern generation and can explain what it is they are looking for in a church. Too bad he doesn’t preach the gospel (poets, prophets and preachers). I hear he comes right up to it but never quite explains the purpose of the cross. Maybe some of those pastors who show up for Pastors Day will notice that.

  7. Let us all agree to pray that “may-be some of those pastors who show up for Pastors Day will notice”. Pray also that students in the chapel who have been trained up in Godly homes with the Word of God can have ears to hear that Rob Bell does NOT preach the Word or rightly divide it. Pray that the Holy Spirit be powerful to expose the darkness to those in attendance at this forum that they are able to discern Rob Bell’s non-biblical faith. Rise up watchmen for a time as this.

  8. admin,
    you are a first-time commenter, I’ll give you the opportunity to show even one- one thing that is mispoken, ignorant, or in error. If so, I will be the first to admit it. I’m willing to be corrected, sir.

  9. Would it be possible to create a committee consisting of Nazarenes across the nation and this group find a way to keep general funds from ending up in the coffers of the universities?

  10. Ann, I agree there are Pastors and students that want to speak. If you say too much you are a gossip if you say nothing you are silent on the issues, it’s a really hard thing.

  11. LOVE PLNU. God is alive and working in the lives students, staff and faculty to embrace each other and the community. Further, it is fact that President Brower is a man after Gods own heart. Also, inviting one person to speak whether you agree with them are not, does not mean PLNU is ignoring God and the Bible. PLNU follows Christ example in that its mission is not to condem the world, its students, staff and faculty but to compel them in to a relationship with Christ. Friends, your actions tell of Nazarene Religion. Be careful to judge so quickly. . .

  12. Anonymous,
    With all due respect, you either have no clue what is going on at PLNU- or you totally embrace the heresies being promoted there.
    No, my actions tell me that I am standing up for biblical truth, sir or madam.

  13. P.S. Theistic Evolution is not heretical:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution

    “Extreme Environmentalism” is not dangerous or in opposition to the fundamentals of the Nazarene faith. “We are stewards of God’s earth, ruling over that which is not ours. ‘You [God] made humans ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under our feet: All flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.’” Ps 8:6-8.

    ….I also fail to see how the promotion of social justice is a negative.

  14. I am curious where you are getting your information and about your affiliation with Point Loma Nazarene, where are your facts coming from?

  15. I am a current student at PLNU and have attended this school for years. It is not only a place for a great education, but it is also a school that nurtures spiritual growth and discovery. It’s teachings and chapel services strive to align with the Bible and serve Christ. The statements in this article are wrong and offensive! I would suggest getting your facts straight

  16. I would not use wikipedia as my primary source to make arguments.
    And as a Nazarene, I first and foremost uphold the Christian faith, not necessarily everything the “Nazarene” faith teaches.

    The emphasis on environmentalism and social justice to the detriment of the gospel is spreading not only in the Nazarene church but many others.

    http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/nazarene-social-justice-and-it%E2%80%99s-socialist-connections/

  17. To the young folks and others who have commented but not been approved, please make your arguments somewhat rational and biblical if you can. I don’t approve all comments. It would be great if you could address the specifics which are written here, and refute what I said about Rob Bell- with biblical support for some of these things he has said or taught.

    I feel really bad for students when they cannot make a decent biblical argument anymore. And I am not attacking the President or anyone else personally- however, I am attacking the teachings of Rob Bell, and and advising people to stay away from him. But if the leadership of the school is not making wise decisions as to who will speak to their students, then they will be called out on it and asked to justify these speakers.

    To one of the students who commented, if my statements are wrong, please point out where they are wrong please. I don’t mind being corrected, but don’t just say they are wrong.

  18. Anonymous said, Also, inviting one person to speak whether you agree with them are not, does not mean PLNU is ignoring God and the Bible.

    If you call yourselves Christians and your group a Church and your speakers don’t stand on these Biblical doctrines, then you have invited a heretic to speak from your pulpit.

    - That “scripture alone” is our guide,
    - There is a literal hell,
    - The Bible is a product of divine inspiration,
    - The doctrine of original sin,
    - The virgin birth.

    B said, ““Extreme Environmentalism” is not dangerous or in opposition to the fundamentals of the Nazarene faith.”

    Psalm 96:13
    Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.

    Romans 1:20
    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    Creation Worship vs Worship of the Creator

  19. The concept of “biblical truth” as you use it is sketchy at best. Truth is found in the Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ. We look to Him in everything. Not isolated bible verses taken out of context. We read everything through the lens of Jesus.

    There are reasons to be concerned about a lot of the things you talk about. But let’s talk about it intelligently, rationally. And refusing to post peoples comments who disagree is neither.

  20. It sounds like your judgement of Rob Bell is based off his first book Velvet Elvis (2005) and the rumors spread by other conservatives. I listen to his preaching every week (which I doubt you do) and I can assure you this man holds the highest regard for the scriptures. These are serious judgments of a brother in Christ and for you to make these claims without knowing him or his ministry is very serious.

  21. Tony,
    Jesus Christ is THE TRUTH, but His word in the scriptures is our guide. We look to the words that Jesus left us- the words of the Bible- to direct our lives. The “lens of Jesus”- I hear that a lot. The lens of Jesus is His written word- nothing else.

    Could you also give me some examples of what we should be concerned about? You did not give me that.

    Again, I don’t post every comment- that’s my right on this blog. I suggest you start one where everything is allowed no matter what.
    Frankly, if someone can’t defend the emergent church or mystical practices with the word of God, they will most likely be shut out here.
    Read my About page for further explanation. Sorry you don’t like that, but those are my rules. You should see the many unintelligent and irrational comments I have not allowed here.

  22. Jamie,
    Can you specify which statements are wrong that I have written here? (As far as offensive, yes, they can be offensive to a lot of people. The truth does that often).

    But I would be glad to be corrected if I got anything wrong here.

  23. My facts are coming from the very words of Rob Bell, and from events that happened at Point Loma.

  24. We cannot allow what divides us to become more important than what unites us. So many are too focused on sustaining this institution of Nararenedome. Have we forgotten how to have a Kingdom perspective? I’m not an incredible fan of Rob Bell – but I heard him in chapel today. It was a good and encouraging word. Nothing controversial. I pray that the clarity that can only come from God almighty will be with us all. I pray that his love and peace which we are called to share with His people will be seen by all in each of our lives.

  25. Tony said, “The concept of “biblical truth” as you use it is sketchy at best. Truth is found in the Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ. We look to Him in everything. Not isolated bible verses taken out of context. We read everything through the lens of Jesus.”

    Sketchy, isolated, out of context, through the lens of Jesus?? Surely you jest, sir.

    Optimism of Grace said, “I pray that the clarity that can only come from God almighty will be with us all.”

    The Bible has never been more readily available to people who look for clarity and a Biblical in context Jesus.

    You are without excuse.

  26. Optimism,

    I have to agree in one way, we should be united. But also disagree in the following way: when obedience to doctrines taught by Christ and the apostles is ignored, there should and must be division. When “pastors” teach contrary to scripture, there MUST be division.
    We cannot fellowship with those who teach another gospel. What do you think Jesus meant when He said that He came to bring a sword- to divide even between brother, sister, father, mother if necessary? I would rather divide and stand alone on the side of the true gospel, than compromise for a false gospel. Don’t you agree?

    Rob Bell may have given what seemed to be a great talk in chapel today- although I have not heard it. I hope to hear the archived audio. However, his theology is very flawed, I have read much of his writings, and heard many of his NOOMA videos.

    I certainly agree with your last two sentences. Yet, when people like Rob Bell are distorting the truth, and bringing uncertainty to God’s word, we have no choice but to refute, and to call them out for what they are.

    I pray that you will consider the links I gave in this post, and search for more information on Bell’s ideology. He may have delivered something nice and safe today, but I believe he is one of the most dangerous threats to true Christianity today.

    Please remember that the best and most effective false teachers are the “nice ones” who preach 99% truth, and throw in just enough poison, and when that is mixed together, that is a false gospel. I pray you will diligently study the scriptures and compare Bell’s teachings with the only measurement of truth- God’s word!
    Blessings

  27. Rob Bell said, “[The Bible is a] “human product…rather than the product of divine fiat” – Emergent Mystique, Christianity Today)

    Does that sound like a high regard of scripture to you?

    “The Bible is a collection of stories that teach us about what it looks like when God is at work through actual people. The Bible has the authority it does only because it contains stories about people interacting with the God who has all authority”
    -Velvet Elvis, p.65

    “I affirm the truth anywhere in any religious system, in any worldview. If it’s true, it belongs to God.” – Velvet Elvis

    Do you think the truth is found in any religion, as Rob Bell says here? I pray that you disagree with that view, because it is not biblical.

    From all the other twisting of scripture he does, I cannot call Rob Bell a brother in Christ. I’m sorry to say that, but I have read his work extensively, and seen his videos. I hope you spend time on his material, and compare it with the word of God.

  28. I’m sorry, who are you? What do you do for a living? Do you go to Point Loma? Are you directly involved with the inner workings and spiritual life of Point Loma?
    You can have your opinions about Rob Bell, you can believe that he isn’t good, that’s your deal. But, as far as Point Loma and your accusations against their beliefs and standards… You are crossing a line. You may believe that Rob Bell is just compeletly evil, but Point Loma staff and faculty are well aware of his beliefs, your accusations, and the students needs and range of belief. Do not for one second act like you are some high and mighty person who knows better than a group of people determined to aid all of us students in our spiritual walk. You may think he’s spreading lies, but you know what, there is truth in what he is saying.
    I was in chapel today when he spoke, he didn’t say anything untrue or contrary to the Bible, granted it was a more broad talk, but he claimed truth in Jesus Christ. And through that truth, even if it was only one person sitting there, someone was changed. In fact, a lot of people reacted very well to his talk in chapel today, and I think it was nothing but good.
    So don’t, do not judge this school based on your own opinions of Rob Bell. I happen to disagree with you entirely about Rob Bell and who he is and what he believes, I’ve read some of his books and seen some of his Nooma videos and have found nothing wrong or evil about them. But, that’s my opinion.
    But seriously, leave Point Loma alone. He came. He spoke. The world continues to move on. Nothing bad happened. The Earth didn’t stop turning. Demons didn’t appear. No. God spoke through Rob Bell and reached people who maybe wouldn’t have been reached. I saw a difference in some friends when talking to them about chapel, people who were changed, even just slightly, who were more open to the possibility of a God who loves.
    Think about it.

  29. Anonymous,
    You seem to think this is a one person crusade against Rob Bell or Point Loma. I have received emails from PLNU students, from parents, who are just as concerned as I am, even more perhaps because of their close association with the school. Unfortunately, the leadership has refused to take them seriously also about their concerns. What does that tell us?

    Who am I? The only relevance here is that I am a Christian, concerned with minds being poisoned with false teachings at many Nazarene schools. I was born and raised Nazarene, and it kills me and many others to see what is going on in a supposed “Christian” Nazarene school. To see students posting proudly of their attempts to hold a séance and communicate with the dead is appalling, not to mention that apparently that is not a problem with the leadership of the school. To see Richard Foster bring his mysticism to a Christian school is appalling to me and many Nazarenes and other Christians who may send their kids there. To see the denial of the facts of the creation account is appalling, and the teaching of process theology by one of your professors. Embrace of a feminine “god” by some of your professors is appalling. I could go on and on.

    You may disagree with me about Rob Bell, but I pray your eyes will be opened someday, and the only way that will happen is if you read less of man’s words, and read more of God’s infallible word, something many teachers at Point Loma do not believe in.

    Your school is in serious trouble spiritually, and it is the duty of every Christian to warn about false teachings and false teachers when they see it. That is a biblical command we ought not to disobey. If the PLNU staff are well aware of Rob bell’s teachings, then I feel sad for their lack of discernment and inability or unwillingness to separate from those who promote another gospel. Rob Bell is such a person.

  30. Here’s my primary complaint against your “biblical truth” diction: it is in fact a cover for a very low Christology. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The fulness of God’s revelation is not seen in the pages of a book near as much as it is in Christ crucified. The Bible is of the utmost importance, don’t brush aside my arguments in thinking I’m saying anything different, but without Jesus coming tangibly to the world and living the way He did, it makes no sense and is utterly useless.

    Rob Bell was okay today. It wasn’t phenomenal, but it was good. He spoke and referenced Christ and the Eucharist. However, I always think there can be more focus on Jesus.

  31. B.,
    How does theistic evolution explain Genesis 1;9-19? Trees and vegetation were created on the third day. The sun and moon on the fourth day. If a day was an age of undetermined length on the order of millions of years, how could plant life have survived without sunlight?

  32. I have had my faith affirmed at Point Loma more than anywhere else I have been. I feel that you are under-educated, and can not actually give a valid opinion on the subject of other Christian’s faith. I believe that you will be in heaven, I will be in heaven, and Rob Bell will be in heaven. We all believe that Jesus is the Savior. What else matters?

  33. Tony said, “Here’s my primary complaint against your “biblical truth” diction: it is in fact a cover for a very low Christology. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The fullness of God’s revelation is not seen in the pages of a book near as much as it is in Christ crucified. The Bible is of the utmost importance, don’t brush aside my arguments in thinking I’m saying anything different, but without Jesus coming tangibly to the world and living the way He did, it makes no sense and is utterly useless.
    Rob Bell was okay today. It wasn’t phenomenal, but it was good. He spoke and referenced Christ and the Eucharist. However, I always think there can be more focus on Jesus.”

    1. I don’t think any of your words are brushed aside here. It’s the exact opposite. Your words tell the world of your indifference to the basic tenets of the Christian faith.

    2. Where is there “very low Christology”?

    3. “He spoke and referenced Christ and the Eucharist.”

    If Rob Bell’s Eucharist sermon wasn’t about the Jesus who was born of a virgin who came to set us free from original sin by death on the cross then you have skirted the issues and have sanctioned a heretic in Point Loma’s pulpit.

    - That “scripture alone” is our guide,
    - There is a literal hell,
    - The Bible is a product of divine inspiration,
    - The doctrine of original sin,
    - The virgin birth.

  34. “The fullness of God’s revelation is not seen in the pages of a book near as much as it is in Christ crucified.”

    And where do we learn about Christ crucified? (New Testament) And how do we know it’s important? (Old Testament)

    “Biblical truth” is a cover for a “low Christology?”

    Does the Bible teach a virgin birth or not? Bell allows that it may not and if it didn’t it shouldn’t matter. Christianity can go on without it. Keep jumping on that trampoline. It doesn’t matter if we find evidence that shows that Jesus’ father was a guy named Larry.

    Jesus had the highest regard for the written word (according to what I read about him in the Gospels) and he claimed that God was his father. So if we find out that his father was really some guy named Larry then Jesus is a liar and he can only pay for his own sin.

  35. Jim,
    I understand what you are saying. The thing to remember in any discussion regarding Theistic Evolution is that while the Bible says that the Earth was created in seven days, it says nothing about whether or not those created species adapted and evolved from their original form over the following millenniums, just as the earth and environment changed and adapted. It does make sense that as the earth and its environmental conditions shift, so do the lifeforms that the earth sustains. In this way, it is possible to consider both seven day Creationism and Theistic Evolution as simultaneously true.

    To truly get into the semantics of the Genesis account, one could also ask themselves how it is that light was created on the first day and light-giving sources (sun, moon, stars) on the fourth day. What then does “light” of day one refer to and from whence did it come? It cannot be the light we experience in the modern world if it is generated by anything other than the aforementioned sources. …Many theologians reconcile this by attributing the “light” on the first day of creation to a metaphorical light, such as truth, or an end to nothingness outside of God. But to believe that this light is metaphorical, is to call into question the literal interpretation of the entire following account. As I am sure you can see, this becomes a slippery slope for many Biblical scholars and believers who adhere to strictly literal hermeneutics.

    I obviously don’t have all the answers, but I think they are interesting factors to consider.

  36. The low Christology is seen in the fact that you view the Old and New Testaments as being about different things. They both reveal God’s Faithfulness, and the fundamental Christian belief is that they are all about Jesus. We read every page, every chapter, every verse with Jesus in mind. It shapes our understanding of The Law, every part of the Old Testament as well.

    When you minimize the meaning of the bible to isolated statements, when you create your own set of regulations based on your own insufficient (by definition of you being human, and thus not God) interpretations, you are oversimplifying and minimizing the importance of the Christ as well. Jesus was a man (who was also God). This is a strange concept. The fullest revelation of God’s self was a Man (who was[and is] God). How can you claim to have it and so much else firmly in your grasp?

    Finally, I do most definitely believe in a literal hell. Hell is being apart from God. Whatever pictures we can imagine of hell, they fall short of the true horror that is being separated from God, apart from whom there is no Good.

    Rob Bell spoke well yesterday. Just because someone doesn’t toss out every “tenet” of Christianity every time they speak does not make them a heretic. It means time is limited, and sometimes in order to convey meaning we must leave some things unsaid. In this case, he spoke very much of Christ Crucified, and the importance of the Eucharist, which are both things you fail to affirm in your most recent messages. Even though you failed to affirm them, I’m not going to call you a heretic.

    I also believe Judgement rests firmly at God’s feet. I’ll not be tossing around damnation willy-nilly, but neither will I, like Billdred did, state that I, or you, or anyone else, have salvation firmly in hand. That’s God’s realm. What I will do is continue reading the scriptures while trying to figure out the implications of Christ Crucified in my life, my thought, my actions. I advise you do the same.

  37. Dear Reformed Nazarene,
    I have a couple things that i would like to set straight:
    1) I understand your concern for I am Nazarene as well and happen to attend Point Loma. I was interested in the choice of Rob Bell to speak here because i have heard of some of his crazy ideas but, as many other students, was excited to hear him speak for myself to see whether he was a wise man or a wicked man.
    2) If he is a wicked man then we should not worry because in Psalm 37 it says that evil men will soon wither and die away, if they are not of God. So why dont we let God handle Robbby B?
    3) If you have a problem with another believer such as Rob Bell, as stated in acts, You should appose him to his face. It is unfortunate that, as we see here, people are posting things about Rob Bell without asking him to examine his theology. In a question and answer time after his sermon (which was more of a extremely motivational speech) on friday, he said that no one has ever come to him face to face and asked him to examine his theology and that is one of the foundational teachings of Christ. I wish that someone would do that and show him love rather than post a blog that widens the gap between believers.
    4) The article about the “spirit world” was a complete joke so you should make sure you know what you are talking about next time, sorry.

    God Bless

  38. Rob Bell does not believe in a literal hell, therefore he contradicts what scripture teaches clearly and unambiguously.
    Rob Bell does not believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, but believes that it is merely the product of fallible men.

    At the Seeds of Compassion event in Seattle a few years back, which included the Dalai Lama and many other teachers of false religions, Rob Bell sat and held hands with the purveyors of satan’s religions, and did not once affirm the uniqueness of Christ when he had the opportunity. How sad for a man who calls himself a Christian pastor.

  39. B.

    I grant not all of Biblical literature is woodenly literal. Jesus often used hyperbole, for example, saw dust in a brother’s eye and a log in your own. Yet, we need to be careful in our determination of what should and should not be taken literally. I am aware of the difficulty of the initial “Let there be light” which is why I focused on the fourth day which attributes the light of the sun and moon directly for the benefit of the earth.

    I am not aware of anyone worth their salt that denies micro evolution, change within species. How much change is allowed within the scope of theistic evolution? The fossil record shows no transitional forms to conclusively support macro evolution. The attempts to explain the lack of transitional forms by punctuated equilibrium is unprovable. The simple sample of puntuated equilibrium is a lizard egg containing a fully formed bird; no intermediary stage. I still have an issue with plant life survivabilty during millenia of darkness by the way.

    If macro evolution were true, why do we still have lower life forms? Shouldn’t they all have evolved if only the fittest survive? The necessity to stay behind as food for a higher life form seems to indicate not all lives are equal. That smacks of design intent or you have to make the creation sentient. Either militates against what I grew up thinking about evolution.

    Does theistic evolution embrace the big bang theory as the tool God used to kick things off? Dr. Jason Lisle (astrophysicist, Ph.D., University of Colorado) has some questions about that. The big bang requires high heat at the onset which should have created monopoles (objects with a magnetic north or south but not both). These would have been stable; none have been found. Anit-mater and matter should have been created in equal amounts. Anti-matter is rare. Only hydrogen, helium, and lithium would have been available to form the first stars. Astromers say they should have a lifetime greater than the big bang until now, but only stars with traces of the heavy elements have been found, no population iii stars.

    Given an all powerful God, why would He require more than literal days that the Genesis text supports with it bounding the narrative of each day in the context of evening and morning? I’m not seeing an aceptable rationale devoid of serious scientific problems that replaces or enhances a literal understanding of day in the Genesis account.

    Respectfully,
    Jim

  40. Dear Sinner Saved By Grace,

    Your #2 point said: “So why don’t we let God handle Robby B?” Is there a biblical support for this position? No. I have never seen it. If you can point that out to me, I would appreciate, since my authority comes solely from the word of God.
    On the other hand, I can give you tons of biblical directives to us Christians that command us to expose false teachers- to rebuke them- to watch out for false prophets.
    If you could take the time to read this excellent lesson on judging, this should show you all you need to know as to why we are exposing Rob Bell:

    http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/judge-not/

    Your #3 point: “You should oppose him to his face.” Really? There are so many others that I oppose such as Mclaren, Pagitt, Sweet, Campolo, etc, etc, and you think that is feasible to do that? These men speak publicly, therefore, there is no private sin happening there. They speak to thousands, perhaps millions at a time with their false doctrine, and you expect me to go chase around Rob Bell while he deceived hundreds at a time? As if he would let me speak to him anyway. But the point is, these teachers who spread their lies publicly, are not under the mandate of Matthew chapter 18. Yet, I am sure Rob Bell has heard from others personally and privately, and he apparently will not see the truth. I pray that God will open his eyes to believe in His word, and stop creating his own theology, and confusing the faith of many young people. You see, I don’t hate Rob Bell- but I will not stay silent while he messes with so many young minds.

    Point #4: Did I miss the disclaimer on that article of the spirit world, that it was a joke?
    If so, then surely I will apologize. However, that does not seem to be the case. I read that article several times.

    I don’t know where you are in your walk with God, but I urge you to not trust the “religion of man”, and just rely on God’s word.
    Blessings.

  41. Not even Richard Foster considers the spirit world a joke. If the article was a joke, it was ill-advised.

  42. Dear Reformed Nazarene,
    There was no disclaimer in the article because it was widely known that this was a joke but since you dont go to school here and ( i would suppose by the way you condemn) have no actual connection to the campus, you would not know that. The two guys that wrote this are close friends of mine and have assured me that it was a complete joke, so we would appreciate if you retracted your statement about point loma students trying to come in contact with the spirit world. Another thing that your off on is: I was a Biblical Studies major before switching to christian ministry and have had 6 courses in our theology department in the last two years and have never heard talk of the following ” but also a rise in Dominion theology, the Alpha Course, soaking prayer”. There is no need to spread things about Point Loma which are not true, so please, as a brother, I ask you to stop.
    As for Judging Rob Bell when it is not your place but the Lord’s, The first scripture that comes to mind is Romans 14:4 “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” Rob Claims that the Lord is his master and then it is before his master that he shall be judged, Not you.
    I would think that Rob would let you speak to him if the words you said came out of love desiring to help another believer see the truth in something where he is mistaken, but when the first thing you call him is a heretic how then should he respond?
    I may not even disagree with your statements about Rob Bell that much (if what you say is true) but when i read this blog all I see is judgment and hate and when we are following a God who calls us to Love above all else it makes it really hard to even attempt to agree with you.
    Now, as for Point Loma, Stop. Our administration builds us up in Love daily while making sure that we are making our faith our own. Your recommendations are, honestly, excessive. Pray that Point Loma be shut down? What good would that do anyone? I would probably be at some state school where i would never be able to find a daily group of brothers to pray with or a tri weekly service where i can go and worship my savior.
    I think you should examine the words of Paul in 1st Corinthians 9:19-23 “19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” I dont even believe what you are saying about Point Loma but if i were to agree then is it not true that we are taking all means necessary “that we might save some”? Not all who come to Loma are Nazarene and there are even some who are not believers but the staff and faculty here make sure they do a great job in building us up in spirits of love and leading us towards Jesus Christ, every day.
    It’s not all about politics, its all about love (Matthew 22:36-40), and you my friend seem to be missing that.

    I do however appreciate your concern no matter how much I may disagree with you.
    God Bless

  43. Dear Sinner Saved By Grace,

    There is a whole lot more I want to reply to, but perhaps someone else can to some other points you made. I will say this: there is not hate here on this blog, except for perhaps that thing called sin. As I said, I don’t hate Rob Bell or McLaren or any of the others. Believe it or not, I actually pray for them.

    Note that Jim’s comment says it all: at the very least, it was ill advised to put that post up about the spirits. However, anyone reading that today or tomorrow will only come to one logical conclusion about it, so I don’t see any need to apologize. Perhaps they need to put a disclaimer if it truly was a joke. If it was, it should never have been put up anyway. What they ought to do, is take it down altogether, with an apology for poor judgment.

    As far as judging Rob Bell: you really need to spend more time reading more scripture than what you just quoted, in an attempt to convince me that the Bible says we should not judge. Either you do not know the scriptures well, or you deny what it teaches about judging, for whatever reason. (What I have said about Bell is completely true, yet you seem to be reluctant to disagree with anything specific that he has said).

    Frankly, it seems as if you just simply brushed aside my suggestion to read the post on “Judge Not”, and you used one isolated passage to justify your belief- wrong that it is- that I should not judge Rob Bell’s teachings. It sounds a lot like the same argument I get from many of those in the emergent movement, including pastors who should know better.

    So I’ll give you one more suggestion: read that post on Judge Not, and perhaps even listen to the following sermon by Voddie Baucham, a preacher who is not Nazarene- but he is a resource on some theology programs at some Nazarene schools.
    Beware False Prophets: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=112091641129

    Please pay careful attention to the post, and if you can, to Voddie’s sermon. I think you will learn something. There is probably nothing more twisted than the scripture in Mathew 7 that says, “judge not, that ye be not judged.” When you finish, please tell me what you have learned from that.

    Finally, you said: “It’s not all about politics, its all about love (Matthew 22:36-40), and you my friend seem to be missing that.”

    It’s really all about honoring God, and obeying Him. The true measure of love is this, which I shared on Facebook the other day:

    Words are not enough. This is the measure of a Christian’s true love for God:

    John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.
    John 14:23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

    1 John 2:3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.

    1 John 5:3 This is… love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,

    2 John 1:6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

  44. I graduated from plnu and have seen numerous heretics first hand, both as guests and in the classroom. The school is a white-wash tomb of liberalism, mysticism, and post modernism. Truth and plnu are polar opposites.

  45. A comment on the two professors you mentioned. . . Falk has been praised for his work on evolution by the atheists coalition of San Diego and lodahl believes the Koran is as holy as the Bible.

  46. Sinner Saved by Grace said, “I may not even disagree with your statements about Rob Bell that much (if what you say is true) but when i read this blog all I see is judgment and hate and when we are following a God who calls us to Love above all else it makes it really hard to even attempt to agree with you.”

    1. You are confusing judgement and hate with logic, the Bible and Absolute Truth.

    2. It’s all about Love as long as people agree with PLNU.

    3. How are people allow to publicly disagree on campus with PLNU’s controversial speakers who disagree with basic tenants of the Christian faith? Is there a place where they can peacefully and respectfully voice their concerns? If there was there would be no need for this blog.

    4. “God who calls us to Love” no God calls us to obey him. The PLNU teachers are not speaking the truth. They bring in bad boy rock star preachers to divide then say anyone who speaks against the heresy doesn’t have love. It’s a false premise and it’s transparent to the world.

    John 14:24
    Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

    1 John 2

    1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

    3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

    You can not separate love, truth and obedience and call it Christianity.

  47. Hi Manny,
    Once again great post. For those of us through no understanding of our own, but through what has been given to us through our Lord Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit, we are able to discern what is true, right and worthy and what is evil, false and unworthy. Through conviction, repentance and regeneration, we are returned to a right fellowship with the Lord. Through sanctification, the Holy Spirit fills us and we are given His Wisdom, His Grace and His Holiness, none of this is of our own work. The entire debate on judging is an old one, perpetrated by Satan to turn babes in Christ from completing their sanctification. If he can sidetrack them on this issue then all of Scripture is debatable and questionable. The issue is false teaching, the Scripture is extraordinarily clear to all who read them with the Holy Spirit in their hearts and minds. There is no doubt in the Words of the Lord. He is the Standard, He wrote the Bible, He is the Lord God Almighty and He is the Judge. If we as disciples of Christ don’t use His Word for discernment, then what do they think the Word of God is for?
    Eph. 5:1-7
    Matt.13:10-17
    In Christ,
    Beth

  48. I am a PLNU alum and so is my husband. I have two children who are currently students there. I have very valid reasons to speak about the university and my concerns. There is a lot to be concerned about. I have also listened to many, many sermons by Rob Bell, read his books and viewed most of his DVDs. His messages are not based on biblical Christianity.

    I heard Rob Bell speak this weekend at the chapel service, at the Pastor’s Luncheon and at the Writer’s Symposium. He was true to his unbiblical beliefs at every talk. I heard him compare what Jesus did on the cross when he, the perfect, sinless sacrifice, gave himself for our sins to what ordinary people do when we pour ourselves out for our passions. I listened to him discuss ego-centric, tribal-centric, global-centric philosophy at the luncheon for Nazarene pastors and wondered how many of those nodding, affirming pastors knew that this was a reference to the Buddhist philosophy of Ken Wilber who believes that Christianity is fourth on a continuum of nine stages of spiritual development and will soon be replaced by more “enlightened” methods of spirituality? Ken Wilber is one of Rob Bell’s favorite authors. I listened at the Writer’s Symposium as he said that this planet is not going to burn (see 2 Pet. 3:10) He also said excitedly that in the next 10 years, the church will rush to the ancient mystics, and I wondered, “How about a rush to the Word of God?” The ancient mystics gathered many of their practices from Buddhism and Hinduism. They were not rooted and grounded in the words and practices of Jesus, the Apostles or the early church, but they are heroes to Rob Bell.

    I firmly believe that Bell’s teachings contribute greatly to what is wrong in our churches and universities today. I think he believes and teaches a false gospel, which I’ve described below. I’ve also included some quotes by Rob Bell. Please read the quotes, taking into account that in all of my studies and hours of listening to him in his own words, I have never read about or heard him say anything regarding the need for repentance of sins or that Jesus died in our place to take the punishment for our sins.

    Even in Bell’s church’s statement of belief, there is no mention of Christ’s substitutionary atonement or of heaven or hell. One sentence says, “God created us to be relational as well and marked us with an identity as his image bearers and a missional calling to serve, care for, and cultivate the earth,” yet there is no call in the statement to evangelize the lost. Having read the New Testament, I don’t think the Apostles viewed caring for the earth as their primary calling. There is no mention of this theme that we find throughout the New Testament: “(A)nd He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” (1 Pet. 2:24)
    The new “gospel” below, which I believe accounts for Rob Bell’s theology, explains virtually every concern in the letter we sent about the new provost including the promotion and teaching of open theism, process theology, monastic mystic practices, Darwinian evolution, the tolerance of homosexuality and the maximization of social justice concerns, environmentalism and pacifism versus the minimization of the biblical gospel’s emphasis on the sin, the atonement of Christ on the cross, repentance, forgiveness and eternal life either with God in heaven or apart from God in hell.
    Here is a simplified version of the new “gospel”:
    The theology of this false gospel is based on the theories of Buddhist philosopher, Ken Wilber,* the worldviews of Stanley Grenz, Wolfhart Pannenberg, LeRon Shults and in German theologian Jurgen Moltmann’s “theology of hope”, developed from the philosophy of Friedrich Hegel, Karl Barth and Rudolph Bultman.
    In this “gospel”, the universe is a part of God (panentheism) or is God (pantheism) and is continually evolving into better forms. God, who contains the universe and everything in it, also evolves and stands in the future pulling everything toward Himself. He is immanently involved in the present world creating and causing it to move toward the future world. As all things (both physical and spiritual) evolve, the universe will continue to improve until a sort of utopia is finally achieved. Humans further this evolution toward God and this utopia by doing two things:
    1. Good works – helping to eradicate poverty and suffering, working to restore the environment, calling for an end to war, etc.
    2. Engaging in contemplative, mystical experiences that “connect” one to God in higher ways than the intellect will allow.
    Thus, everyone who adheres to these practices achieves salvation by working together to help the world and everything in it evolve. In this theology, Scripture does not convey a fixed meaning determined by Holy Spirit-inspired authors. Instead, spiritual experiences become the true source of meaning for individuals and groups of people. Therefore, God’s commands are no longer universally binding. Christ was crucified not because he was the sacrifice for our sins but because the world rejected His message of love. According to this view, the resurrection is merely a view of history with a hopeful future. Hell and heaven are not experienced in the hereafter but are part of the human condition in this life. There is no need for repentance of sins and no future judgment. Christ may be the best way to God, but He is not the only way. Everyone will eventually be saved and live together on this present earth in peace and unity.

    Some people endorsed by Rob Bell:

    Velvet Elvis, p. 192: “For a mind-blowing introduction to emergence theory and divine creativity, set aside three months and read Ken Wilber’s A Brief History of Everything. Rob Bell.

    If you had a book club, what would it be reading?
    A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber — I really do think this book is about everything. You can’t help but discuss this book.

    Here is some info about Ken Wilber:
    Mark Driscoll (If you read Blue Like Jazz, Mark Driscoll is Donald Miller’s “cussing pastor”. I think he is right on in his thoughts about this movement, though.) wrote a great article called “Navigating the Emergent Church Highway.” http://www.equip.org/articles/navigating-the-emerging-church-highway In the article he writes, “To learn more about Wilber I contacted author Peter Jones (the author of One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference), who is perhaps the leading Christian expert on paganism and the new spirituality. In a personal e-mail, he told me, “The arch pagan philosopher is Ken Wilber.” Jones went on to say,
    Wilber is a practicing Mahayana Buddhist who believes that reality is ultimately a non-dual union of emptiness and form. He speaks of “unitary non-dual (monistic) consciousness,” what some call “the dharma of non-dual enlightenment,” he is a promoter of the Perennial Philosophy (…a name for the religion of esoteric paganism) and the “great chain of being.” Wilber promotes yoga, Zen, Kabbalah, [and] tantric Yoga (Hindu sex techniques). His think tank, Integral Institute, includes such luminaries as Deepak Chopra, Michael Murphy (of Esalen and a key figure in the Human Potential movement), Jon Kabat-Zin, Buddhist healer and professor of medicine at UMass, [and] Francisco Varela, a Chilean biologist and Tibetan Buddhist.”62
    Jones went on to explain that according to Wilber (the author McLaren and Bell so enthusiastically recommend) in A Theory of Everything, Christianity is fourth among the nine levels of human evolutionary spiritual consciousness and will be outgrown and replaced with more enlightened understandings of God and the world, such as green egalitarianism, ultimately culminating in the integration of varying religions and ideologies into a global utopia of a sort—all without Jesus.

    Also in Velvet Elvis, Bell endorses Marcus Borg, a fellow of the Jesus Seminar who has said of Jesus: “We’re making him a Buddha-like figure, not just another philosopher but a really big one,” and “I find it literally incredible that the God of the whole universe has chosen to be known by one religious tradition.”

    On March 19, 2006, Bell invited a Dominican sister to speak at his church. He said as he introduced her, “I have a friend who has taught me so much about resting in the presence of God.” During the service, Bell and the sister led the congregation in various meditative exercises. The sister who spoke at Mars Hill during that service is from the Dominican Center at Marywood in Michigan where a wide variety of contemplative/mystical practices are used and taught. One of the practices at the Center is Reiki. The belief behind Reiki is that everything in the universe is united together through energy. In Japan, the word reiki is the standard term for the occult (or ghost energy). It is ghost energy because when Reiki is practiced, spirit guides are reached. William Lee Rand, the head of the International Center for Reiki Training, states:
    “There are higher sources of help you can call on. Angels, beings of light and Reiki spirit guides as well as your own enlightened self are available to help you…. The more you can open to the true nature of Reiki which is to have an unselfish heart centered desire to help others, then the more the Reiki spirit guides can help you.”

    Some Rob Bell quotes:

    “Well, for our community, this [living an environmentally conscious life] isn’t rooted in the fact that it’s gaining steam in popular culture. It’s always been rooted in the very nature of God. The central Hebrew prayer, Deuteronomy 6, says, “Hear O Israel the Lord your God, the Lord is One’, so we live with awareness that all of reality is one. We are connected with all things everywhere, and I would argue that in the last couple hundred years, disconnection has been the dominant way people have understood reality. And the Church has contributed to that disconnection by preaching horrible messages about being left behind and that this place is going to burn-–absolutely toxic messages that are against the teachings of Scripture, which state that we are connected to God, we are connected to the earth, we are connected to each other. When any of those connections fracture, the whole thing starts to fall apart. Your relationship with God is tied into your relationship with the soil. Go back to Genesis.” –Rob Bell (Relevant Magazine, “Rob Bell Tells it like it is,” January/February edition, 2008)

    Interviewer: “Let me ask you, do you believe in a literal hell that is defined simply as eternal separation from God?”
    Rob Bell: “I don’t know why as a Christian you would have to make such declarative statements. Like your friend, does he want there to be a literal hell? I am a bit skeptical of somebody who argues that passionately for a literal hell, why would you be on that side? Like if you are going to pick causes, if you’re literally going to say these are the lines in the sand, I’ve got to know that people are going to burn forever, this is one of the things that you drive your stake in the ground on. I don’t understand that.” http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/rob-bell-and-hell-ooze-interview/

    “This is not just the same old message with new methods,” Rob says. “We’re rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life…. “(The Bible is a) human product…rather than the product of divine fiat.”—Rob Bell, “The Emergent Mystique”, Christianity Today
    “It’s interesting how many traditions (pause) When you read the great enlightened ones; meditation, centering prayer, reflection—in every tradition you can find the mystics—and what’s always at the heart of the spiritual lives, the everyday lives of the great ones was always a period of time. Whether it’s prayers, chanting, meditation, reflection, study—whatever you call it—what is it essentially; it’s taking time to breathe. Because when you’ve been breathing, (slight pause) in a proper sort of way, you’re far better equipped to handle what life throws your way.”
    Excerpts from an interview in Christianity Today, Apr. 2009 http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/article_print.html?id=81195 :
    Interviewer: “How would you present this gospel on Twitter?”
    Rob Bell: “I would say that history is headed somewhere. The thousands of little ways in which you are tempted to believe that hope might actually be a legitimate response to the insanity of the world actually can be trusted. And the Christian story is that a tomb is empty, and a movement has actually begun that has been present in a sense all along in creation. And all those times when your cynicism was at odds with an impulse within you that said that this little thing might be about something bigger—those tiny little slivers may in fact be connected to something really, really big.” –Rob Bell, Christianity Today, 5/09

    Interviewer: “You say, ‘Jesus is leading all creation out of the land of violence, sin, and death.” You’ve added the word violence to the Pauline “sin and death.’ Why?”
    Rob Bell: “The myth of redemptive violence—Caesar, peace, and victory—is in people’s bones so deeply, we aren’t even aware of it. You crush the opposition, that’s how we bring peace.”

    Interviewer: “You say, ‘Jesus wants to save us from making the Good News about another world and not this one.’ What do you mean?”
    Rob Bell: “The story is about God’s intentions to bring about a new heaven and a new earth, and the story begins here with shalom—shalom between each other and with our Maker and with the earth. The story line is that God intends to bring about a new creation, this place, this new heaven and earth here. And that Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning, essentially, of the future; this great Resurrection has rushed into the present. The evacuation theology that says, “figure out the ticket, say the right prayer, get the right formula, and then we’ll go somewhere else” is lethal to Jesus, who endlessly speaks of the renewal of all things.”

    Interviewer: “You’re essentially reframing the gospel—at least the gospel you inherited, the gospel we have known as the gospel in North America for the last couple hundred years.
    Rob Bell: “I am leery of people who have very clear ideas of what they’re doing from outside of themselves: ‘You have to understand that I’m doing this and doing this.’ I would say that for 10 years, I have tried to invite people to trust Jesus. You can trust this Jesus. You can trust him past, present, future; sins, mistakes, money, sexuality. I think this Jesus can be trusted. I often put it this way: If there is a God, some sort of Divine Being, Mind, Spirit, and all of this is not just some random chance thing, and history has some sort of movement to it, and you have a connection with Whatever—that is awesome. Hard and awesome and creative and challenging and provoking. And there is this group of people who say that whoever that being is came up among us and took on flesh and blood—Andrew Sullivan talks about this immense occasion the world could not bear. So a church would be this odd blend of swagger—an open tomb, come on—and humility and mystery. The Resurrection accounts are jumbled and don’t really line up with each other—I really relate to that. Yet something momentous has burst forth in the middle of history. You just have to have faith, and you get caught up in something. I like to say that I practice militant mysticism. I’m really absolutely sure of some things that I don’t quite know.”

    “When people use the word hell, what do they mean? They mean a place, an event, a situation absent of how God desires things to be. Famine, debt, oppression, loneliness, despair, death, slaughter–they are all hell on earth. Jesus’ desire for his followers is that they live in such a way that they bring heaven to earth. What’s disturbing is when people talk more about hell after this life than they do about hell here and now. As a Christian, I want to do what I can to resist hell coming to earth. He (Jesus) talked very little of the life beyond this one…” Velvet Elvis, p. 148

    “So this reality, this forgiveness, this reconciliation, is true for everybody. Paul insisted that when Jesus died on the cross he was reconciling ‘all things, in heaven and on earth, to God. This reality then isn’t something we make true about ourselves by doing something. It is already true. Our choice is to live in this new reality or cling to a reality of our own making.” p. 83

    “I don’t follow Jesus because I think Christianity is the best religion. I follow Jesus because he leads me into ultimate reality. He teaches me to live in tune with how reality is. When Jesus said, ‘No one comes to the Father except through me’, he was saying that his way, his words, his life is our connection to how things truly are at the deepest levels of existence. For Jesus then, the point of religion is to help us connect with ultimate reality, God.” –Velvet Elvis, p. 139

    “What if tomorrow someone digs up definitive proof that Jesus had a real, earthly, biological father named Larry, and archeologists find Larry’s tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the virgin birth was really just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of the Mithra and Dionysian religious cults that were hugely popular at the time of Jesus, whose gods had virgin births?” –Velvet Elvis, p. 146

    “This is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that “Scripture alone” is our guide. It sounds nice, but it is not true… When people say that all we need is the Bible it is simply not true.” – p. 68

    “Maybe, sometimes, it takes suffering to get the other stuff out of the way, so you can get at the greatness that’s inside you…” (Drops Like Stars Tour, Apr. 2009)

    The Biblical Gospel:

    In the biblical Gospel, God interacts with His creation, but it is not part of Him. He is fully independent of and separate from it. He existed before time and is not trapped within it or limited by it. The Bible tells us the world is not getting better; it is getting worse due to the fall of man. This planet will pass away and be replaced by a new earth. The horrible consequences of sin, which separate us from God, are played out in the here and now as well as in the hereafter. Sin must come under God’s judgment, which either falls upon Christ who is God and who was the perfect, sinless sacrifice in our place, or it will fall on unredeemed humans who refuse to repent and believe the gospel. God raised Jesus from the dead to show His power over death and sin and as proof to all men that Jesus will judge the world, making them accountable. Through the death of Jesus on the cross and through the gift of the Holy Spirit, God provides those who repent and believe, Christians, with a new nature that follows His commands joyfully. Christians study God’s Word, the Bible, attempting to understand the meaning the Author of the Bible wished to convey and to apply it to their lives. Good works are a by-product of salvation, but they do not in any way contribute to it. Those who repent and believe will spend eternity with God, but those who don’t will suffer future judgment apart from God in hell. (Isaiah 46:9, 10; 1 Cor. 15:1-5; Acts 17, 31-32; Matt. 7:13-14; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; 1 Cor. 15:21-26, 54-55; Col. 2:13-14; 1 Pet. 2:24; Psalm 119:89-91; Psalm 115:3; John 18:36; John 14:1-3)

  49. June,
    Thank you for this reply. Excellent work revealing more details on Bell’s connections and philosophy.
    Can I re-send this out as a post and to my email list?

  50. June, well said. I spent 4 years there and ended up deciding to get an MDiv afterwards. Their Theology is so screwed up and so indoctrinating that I decided to learn elsewhere. I was determined to get a “Christian education”. I could name dozens and dozens of specifics and have made references to their beliefs in my current seminary studies. I’ll pray your 2 children make it out better than many people i know who are now have a completely liberal, post modern, Darwin, metaphor, “Israel is worse than hitler ever was”, “Some miracles didnt happen”, “some Books do not need to be included in the Bible, some Books are false”, view of Scripture.

  51. I listened to every free sermon Rob Bell produced for over two years. I did NOT find him to be biblically faithful.

    I do have to correct you though.
    To be fair, Bell does not deny the virgin birth, but rather he does deny that it is of any notable importance. This is the danger.

    1. The alternative to the virgin birth offered in scripture is that Mary was a sexually sinful woman who conceived Jesus illegitimately
    2. The story of Jesus changes dramatically. Mary is a con artist. The deity of Christ can now be questioned.
    3. The trustworthiness of Scripture is shot. The prophets were wrong. The inspiration of Scripture as the very words of God is rejected or God is a liar. The authority of scripture is gone.
    4. The body of the Christian church throughout its existence has been wrong.

  52. It’s hard to know what Bell really believes because he defines words differently. He mostly just questions God. Kinda like that serpent in the garden.

  53. To PLNU alum,
    It is my hope that you have taken the time to write to the university president, with copies to the board of trustees, spiritual development director, chapel director, and dean of theology regarding the theology you were taught at this institution and the post modern “indoctrination” you experienced there as a student. Otherwise they will not know.

  54. Ann;

    Sadly, I get the impression some of these concerns have been communicated in the past to no avail. We are usually ignored as uneducated and unqualified, therefore untrusted when we speak against the false teachings.

  55. I have a daughter who is a junior at PLNU. I’m glad she is there and I’m glad she had the opportunity to hear Rob speak. I have to take issue with the statements made by this author concerning what Bell does not believe. I would encourage you to read through Bell’s church narrative statement of faith and draw conclusions for yourself. He addresses virgin birth, original sin and inspiration of scripture among other things.

    http://marshill.org/believe/

  56. Jim,
    The author is a PLNU alum who states she listened to Bell speak, and gives a report on what he said, and makes distinctions between his words, and what scripture teaches.
    And even if someone accepts his church’s statement of faith as solid, which I don’t, how do you reconcile his promotion of people like Ken Wilber who is a Buddhist? How could you be okay with him when he speaks favorably of Marcus Borg, whose words at times have been blasphemous? Does this mean you approve of how he promotes mysticism, breath prayers, prayer labyrinths and all sorts of other contemplative spirituality practices, which are derived from Eastern mysticism? You can have the best statement of faith in the world, but Rob Bell apparently does not practice what the scriptures statement of faith- obedience to Christ and His commands.

    Could you just elaborate on that if you can? I just don’t understand how Christians can look favorably on a man who promotes- clearly promotes- unbiblical practices, and promotes those of other faiths as good examples for Christians to follow. I just don’t understand- except the answer to me is, there is a great deception going on as the Bible said there would be.

    At the end of this post are the very words of Rob Bell. I ask you to reconsider who you follow or approve, and test their teachings with the word of God.

  57. ReformedNaz,

    I don’t expect to change your position with my comments here, but did feel compelled to at least respond to your questions.

    While I have not read Wilber or Borg, I have read and listened to much of Bell’s teaching. Bell has drawn inspiration from many including Dallas Willard (author of Divine Conspiracy) and C.S. Lewis. Some have considered parts of Lewis’ teaching to be blasphemous but most of the mainstream church embraces his contributions. In Mere Christianity, Lewis makes the observation that in some ways a Buddhist might be closer to experiencing Christ than one who professes Christ yet does not live as such. Does this statement in Mere Christianity make Lewis a heretic and cause us to throw out the rest of his work?

    I’m also not sure I understand your concerns around Eastern mysticism. I don’t see Bell embracing mystic teachings. If Eastern practices are more meditative and contemplative, is it really wrong for us to learn from these practices? Concerns over “breath prayer”, really??? That’s a little like saying that if Eastern practice says that we should pray on our knees then really as Western Christians we shouldn’t pray on our knees. Does this mean that if I eat Hummus I’m embracing Eastern mysticism?

    Ruth Haley Barton, a respected mainstream evangelical author speaks about “breath prayer” in her book Sacred Rhythms. She advocates this practice as a way to commune with God by praying a simple prayer with the rhythm of our breathing. Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing. This practice of breath prayer seems to be consistent with scripture to me, regardless of who else might be using it.

    This post has gotten a little long, but let me close with Paul’s instruction by example that we can and should be all things to all people for the sake of Christ. Rob may not appeal to everyone and like all pastors I know is human and not always perfect. He does however seek to bring Christ’s message to a world that needs Him.

    II Corinthians 9:
    19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

  58. Jim,

    I have pasted your comments with italics and then responded. By the way, this is far from just my position of course. The writer of this post, and many Nazarenes, reject Rob Bell’s ideology and his influence on their kids attending PLNU.

    1. You said: “While I have not read Wilber or Borg, I have read and listened to much of Bell’s teaching.”
    Jim, what about the documented evidence just from this post? As a Christian, you would promote a Buddhist as a good role model or help for Christians?

    2. Regarding “Dallas Willard”. He is a major promoter of contemplative mysticism. There is much documentation on him regarding that, if you wish to see it.
    Regarding CS Lewis” – He NEVER promoted mysticism, he never (like Dallas Willard) implied that a Buddhist might be able to go to heaven without knowing Christ. Never.
    By the way, if anyone says anything that is clearly heretical, they ought to be called out on it.

    3. You said: “I’m also not sure I understand your concerns around Eastern mysticism. I don’t see Bell embracing mystic teachings. If Eastern practices are more meditative and contemplative, is it really wrong for us to learn from these practices?”

    Yes, it is wrong! It is forbidden in scripture! We are forbidden to take on the practices of the heathen. And to equate that with praying on our knees- you are really stretching that.
    Pagans might borrow from us, but we ought not to borrow from their practices, including prayer labyrinths, which I don’t know if that’s acceptable to you.
    And of course he is embracing Eastern mysticism! In his own words, and practice!
    Here’s one quote: “This is not just the same old message with new methods,” Rob says. “We’re rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life…. “The Emergent Mystique”, Christianity Today

    Jim, did you actually read this post carefully??

    4. “Ruth Haley Barton”- along with Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, a heavy promoter of contemplative prayer. She also teaches false doctrine as do all who promote contemplative prayer.

    5. You said: “This practice of breath prayer seems to be consistent with scripture to me, regardless of who else might be using it.”
    Please show us where this is consistent with scripture. We are clearly taught how to pray in scripture, and this and other forms of CP are never taught!

    5. Your application of II Cor. 9 seems to be a way of justifying anything for the sake of reaching others for Christ.

    I’m afraid you are not looking at the facts and comparing with what the Bible teaches us. I strongly recommend you prayerfully consider what so many of us are saying- including the author of this post and many other concerned PLNU alums, many who also have children attending PLNU as you have. Souls are at stake here, Jim, and unless you or the university president or other leadership at PLNU, can clearly come out and justify what is going on there, we will continue to call them out on this. But… it must have a clear biblical basis, and you have not shown that here.

    We will continue to pray for eyes to be opened at PLNU.

  59. A few observations about the Corinthians passage. It’s actually from I Cor., not II Cor.

    It follows Paul speaking of limiting his personal freedoms so as not to offend those weaker in the faith.

    Paul is not going to do anything to sabotage the gospel. He IS going to be practical; to the Jew he will use the backdrop of the law — something a Jew would relate to. To the Greek, he appealed to nature and logic.

    He did not literally endorse becoming a sinner or using sinful ways to reach them. For example, he preaches against homosexuality in Romans chapter 1. He would still be called an intolerant, hateful homophobe by folks today because he would NOT become a homosexual to reach a homosexual with the gospel.

    There is a framework within to understand this passage, it does not give license for any type of outreach itchy ears want to hear. Anything we do in becoming all things must still be Scriptural.

  60. Jim Howe,

    You mentioned that Rob Bell’s church’s statement of faith affirms the virgin birth, original sin and inspiration of scripture, but just as a reference point, I’d like to point out the differences between the Mars Hill statement and the stated beliefs of the Nazarene church.

    Where in the statement of faith at http://marshill.org/believe/ is Jesus’ atonement for our sins on the cross mentioned?

    Here is a statement about the atonement in the Nazarene Articles of Faith:

    VI. Atonement*

    6. We believe that Jesus Christ, by His sufferings, by the shedding of His own blood, and by His death on the Cross, made a full atonement for all human sin, and that this Atonement is the only ground of salvation, and that it is sufficient for every individual of Adam’s race. The Atonement is graciously efficacious for the salvation of [the irresponsible] those incapable of moral responsibility and for the children in innocency but is efficacious for the salvation of those who reach the age of responsibility only when they repent and believe.

    Does Bell’s church mention repentance for the forgiveness of sins in their statement of faith? The Nazarene church does:

    VIII. Repentance

    8. We believe that repentance, which is a sincere and thorough change of the mind in regard to sin, involving a sense of personal guilt and a voluntary turning away from sin, is demanded of all who have by act or purpose become sinners against God. The Spirit of God gives to all who will repent the gracious help of penitence of heart and hope of mercy, that they may believe unto pardon and spiritual life.

    How does Bell’s church deal with the issues of individual accountability and judgment or of heaven for those who have repented and believed and hell for the finally unrepentant? Here’s how these concepts are worded in the Nazarene Articles of Faith:

    XVI. Resurrection, Judgment, and Destiny

    20. We believe in the resurrection of the dead, that the bodies both of the just and of the unjust shall be raised to life and united with their spirits—“they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

    21. We believe in future judgment in which every person shall appear before God to be judged according to his or her deeds in this life.

    22. We believe that glorious and everlasting life is assured to all who savingly believe in, and obediently follow, Jesus Christ our Lord; and that the finally impenitent shall suffer
    eternally in hell.

    Can Rob Bell truly preach/teach the gospel without including the atonement, repentance, heaven and hell? The Bible doesn’t leave those things out. Why does Bell? I believe it’s because his gospel is not the biblical gospel.

    You can read the Nazarene Articles of Faith at http://www.nazarene.org/ministries/administration/visitorcenter/articles/display.aspx. You will also find there something else that’s missing from the Mars Hill statement – scripture references to support each belief.

  61. I feel like I’m going down a path that is probably not all that beneficial to anyone here, but I will say a couple of things as I part ways with this conversation.

    ReformedNaz: One of the points I was hoping to make in bringing in C.S. Lewis and others was that man will always be imperfect and that we can find elements from most teachers that we don’t agree with. Does this mean we should point fingers and label Lewis, Willard, Barton and others as heretics? As someone here pointed out, we need to look at the fruit of their teaching and the totality of their message.

    C.S. Lewis does indeed imply in Mere Christianity that one might come to know Christ without ever being introduced to Him. He says on page 209 that, “There are people in other religions who are being led by God’s secret influence to concentrate on those parts of THEIR religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it. For example, a Buddhist of good will may be led to concentrate more and more on the Buddhist teaching about mercy and leave in the background the Buddhist teaching on certain other points…”

    While I may not agree with Lewis here, I’m not willing to throw him out as a heretic.

    Jim Scullin: Sorry about the reference mistake, 2 Cor instead of 1. I fully agree that we cannot take this to mean that Paul would advocate becoming sinful for the sake of the sinner. For an example of this “becoming all things” I think about Acts chapter 15 where we see the early church making a decision to set aside the early scripture (the Law) and determine with the help of the Holy Spirit that the Gentiles should not be burdened by circumcision.

    June: I think the Nazarene statement of faith is excellent and is in many ways more thorough than Mars Hill. I hope your children are being blessed by their experience with the community at PLNU. I know my daughter has been.

    Blessings and Peace to you all!

    Jim

  62. Yes, we will pretty much wrap this up here. You have obviously been taken in by the deception of Rob Bell. And then you bring in CS Lewis to somehow try to prop up Bell’s twisted ideology. Rob Bell is a heretic, it is clear to those who know the scriptures.

    The video he posted about his upcoming book will be posted on Monday with a review by Lighthouse trails and Ken Silva. It is stunning how Rob Bell is becoming even more obvious in his heresies, yet he has fooled so many people at PLNU, pastors, and students. I have to assume you will continue defending him, even after you watch the video.

    Thnak God, not all have been fooled, and we will keep shining the light of truth on this dangerous man.

    I will keep you in my prayers along with all those who attended that Pastor’s Day, and celebrated a man who doe snot have much respect for God’s word.

  63. Jim Howe said, “ReformedNaz: One of the points I was hoping to make in bringing in C.S. Lewis and others was that man will always be imperfect and that we can find elements from most teachers that we don’t agree with. Does this mean we should point fingers and label Lewis, Willard, Barton and others as heretics? As someone here pointed out, we need to look at the fruit of their teaching and the totality of their message.”

    My response to this is, “Words matter”.

    Other faiths have elements of truth but Jesus is the Truth and the only way to the Father. If you preach in a Christian Church and call yourself a Christian pastor and teach other faiths lead to heaven you are a heretic. This is the idea that put Jesus on the cross, he claimed to be the son of God not a fun guy with some fun ideas. You can’t have it both way forever.

    Luke 22:66-68

    66 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. 67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.”
    Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68 and if I asked you, you would not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”

    John 19:6-11

    6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

    But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

    7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

    8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

    11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

    From C.S. Lewis’ , “Mere Christianity” Macmillan Publishing Co, New York, NY. Copyright 1952.

    …I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him, “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

  64. Anonymous,
    You could not be more wrong. But hey, it’s expected. You say you are a student at PLNU. I spent 4 years there. I graduated from there. During my senior year, I decided to get my theology elsewhere. I overlapped graduate classes towards an MDIV while still attending PLNU. I think they are completely lost and they are starting to realize it. Why else would they fire a Bible professor mid-school year, despite him teaching there for over 5 years? Do you not realize all of the theological garbage they are shoveling?
    • Why is a biology PLNU professor praised by the Atheists Coalition of San Diego for his work on Darwinism and evolution?
    • Why would PLNU have Karl Giberson speak in chapel, a writer who says that Jesus was an evolutionist, a chapel guest who mocked the “unintelligent creationists.”
    • Why would PLNU hire a chapel speaker such as an emerging church leader, Brian McLaren, who calls God a “woman and a chick” and refuses to call homosexuality a sin?
    • Why would PLNU host a pastor conference in honor of Rob Bell, a pastor who is a proponent of universalism, or the no-vacancy-sign-is-hell- is-lit-up so all people go to heaven? Pretty diminishing to Jesus, wouldn’t you think?
    • Why would the administration not speak up when a professor emailed the school about a “Good Friday Walk With the Suffering” who compared “Jesus being nailed to the cross” to “[illegal] immigration reform” and “Jesus being laid in the tomb” to the “environment and global warming?”
    • Why would the administration not ask their director of spiritual development to step down after claiming, ““THANKS BE TO GOD THAT HE MADE ME GAY. THIS IS MY PROCLAMATION: I AM GAY. I AM CHRISTIAN. AND I WILL CONTINUE TO LIVE IN THAT MANNER.”

    Anonymous, do you believe in Truth?

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