Rob Bell’s Scripture twisting

(interpreting the) parable of the prodigal son, Bell maintains that heaven and hell exist side by side. It’s not always clear what Bell thinks, but it seems he believes everyone goes to the same realm when they die; but for some people it is heaven, and for others it is hell (170). If you don’t accept God’s story about the world and resist his love, heaven will be hell for you, a hell you create for yourself. We are supposed to see this in Luke 15 where both brothers are invited to the same feast but one can’t enjoy it. Heaven and hell at the same party (176). To call this is a little stretch is like calling pro wrestling a little fake. Jesus told all three “lost” parables to explain why he was eating with “sinners” (Luke 15:2–3), not to posit a thoroughly un-Jewish notion that the afterlife is whatever you make of it. If the parable of the prodigal son teaches Bell’s theology of heaven-and-hell-at-the-same-time, then the Bible can teach anything Bell wants it to.

Kevin DeYoung, God Is Still Holy and What You Learned in Sunday School Is Still True: A Review of “Love Wins”

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