So to the next chapter.
Questions are powerful things. And Rob Bell is the master of them. With a question you can cynically demolish a position without appearing to take sides, or genuinely respond to the problems and stumbling blocks many people face.
Sometimes it seems that Bell is describing positions which people think Christians hold. Repeating the misunderstandings about the Christian faith which genuine seekers after truth have, because that’s what they’ve been taught, or what someone has told them Christians believe or the Bible says.
So by picking different parts of the Bible, Rob Bell comes up with verses which seem to say that becoming a Christian happens in so many different ways it’s no wonder we are confused. I can see how people could on the face of it become confused from a casual reading on bits of the Bible. So how can we know for sure? Let’s hope later in the book he explains that. After all, that’s pretty important isn’t it? That determines both our life now and our eternal future doesn’t it?
Or does it?
Do people who are not followers of Jesus spend an eternity in Hell? Is having a personal relationship with God something which the Bible even talks about? What happens if the missionary that was supposed to be coming to tell you how to become a Christian gets a flat tyre? How can God send some people (many people) to Hell, and still be a God of love?
I just really hope he answers some of these questions, but I worry that he won’t.