Just when I was sure Bell's new book tour wouldn't be even close to as controversial as his last one!
Turns out this issue, and not the universalism issue may be the reason his Christian publisher dropped him last book out).
Some reflections by Tony Jones (and David Fich) can be read by clicking "Why Rob Bell Matters."
(BTW, on that book title, a great book about Rob Bell is this..but it will now need a new chapter ...already!
Bell has now done follow-up interview below:
What we’re seeing right now in this day, I believe God pulling us ahead into greater and greater affirmation and acceptance of our gay brothers and sisters and pastors and friends and neighbors and co-workers. And we’re realizing that God made some of us one way and some of us another. And it can be a beautiful thing. And so instead of throwing stones and causing more pain and suffering in the world by excluding some and writing off others and speaking in incredibly unkindly about some, we embrace that we’re all on a journey and all of us together, whatever our particular perspective is, let’s work together on the real problems we have ahead of us.
A lot of people when they say, by God ahead, do you mean like same sex marriage and – yes. And we live in a world where we have friends, neighbors, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, people we’ve journeyed with for years who are gay. And we need to love, affirm and all of us together work on the real problems we have in the world.
And I think that’s one of the things you’re seeing right now, is you are seeing God pulling us all forward into a greater realization that we need more love. We need more fidelity. We need more monogamy. We need more people who are committed to each other. It’s not good for us to be alone. So this is a huge moment when I think lots of us are realizing the old way of seeing things doesn’t work. It causes so much pain and heartache. And God’s inviting us to see things in new ways. And we need to say yes and then we need to step into the future together.
Probably every generation had this sense of, “Man we’re living in the midst of history.” What’s interesting about this – and if you look through history, generally great new technological breakthroughs caused a ripple effect across culture. So technology seems to spur all sorts of social, economic, cultural and religious effects. And I think what has happened with the Internet – and lots of people are saying this – is simply you cannot live in your own tribal bubble anymore. You cannot stay cocooned off from how the world actually is.
And what happens when you are all suddenly exposed to thousands of different viewpoints is it can call your own into question and it can have this refining fire sort of dimension to it when you realize, “Wow, I’ve been living with a bunch of views and perspectives that don’t actually work and don’t actually bring life. So I need to be honest about that.” And that can be painful, but it’s also liberating. It’s where the life is. -link