Rob Bell’s recantation: first thoughts

Posted on April 1, 2011

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So justice won after all.

By now you’ll have seen Rob Bell’s astonishing recantation. The revelation that he has been reading the complete works of John Owen, including all seven volumes of the Hebrews commentary, was shocking enough, but the road-to-Damascus like language of his described change of heart was utterly remarkable. ‘I was just reading and re-reading the Death of Death,’ Bell is quoted as saying, ‘thinking “what a communicator! Why can’t I write like this guy?” and not really focussing on the ideas at all. But then I thought “He’s right – Jesus did just die for the elect only” and with that I knew I had to change my teaching, my way of life, my style of writing, my glasses – everything!’

Bell apparently is already planning his next speaking tour, provisionally entitled ‘Approaching the mercy seat only possible by the blood of the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, with an account of the proper translation of hilasterion, and some reflections on the impropriety of indiscriminate gospel offers,’ and offering an account of his new theology. The only prop will be a dark wooden pulpit, thirteen steps high, and Bell has revealed that he intends to wear a dark suit, tie, and Genevan gown. And contact lenses.

As far as I can see, no-one from the Gospel Coalition has yet commented publicly on Bell’s most recent announcement, or on his application to join.

If you’ve not seen the video yet, it’s available here.

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