by John Ellis
I first became familiar with Rob Bell around 2007. During my first few years as a new Christian, I had heard several friends speak glowingly of books like Velvet Elvis and Blue Like Jazz; the tag “Emergent” was beginning to become more and more commonplace in friends’ vernacular. To keep up, I begin reading books written by pastors and authors within the Emergent Community, including both Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller and Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. Both books intrigued me, yet worried me, too.
The way Rob Bell seemed to worship doubt and questions in Velvet Elvis flew in the face of the comforting truth found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I mean, Jesus claimed to be the truth, and Rob Bell was acting like loving truth claims was problematic, arrogant, and unloving. Bell’s flirtations with relativism in Velvet Elvis was a warning flag that I couldn’t ignore. Whenever I shared my concerns with friends who liked the book, my concerns were dismissed and I was cautioned about becoming too strident and too in love with systematic theology.
Well, flash forward a decade, and my concerns have proven true. Sadly, many of the friends who defended Bell have abandoned the orthodox Christian faith, just as Rob Bell has. Needless to say, my heart grieves for the friends (and strangers) whom Rob Bell has led astray.
Wolves in sheep’s clothing need to be exposed, and CNN has provided me with the opportunity to do just that. In a recent article, a CNN writer gushed over Bell and lauded his brand of faith as true and good, especially compared to the stereotypical Christianity of the Bible Belt. Upon reading the article, I immediately emailed my editor at PJ Media and made a pitch for an article of my own. She accepted. Below is a link to that article.