Rob Bell, author of the best-selling and controversial book Love Wins, which challenges Christian teachings on Hell, is set to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday to discuss his new book What We Talk About When We Talk About God.
The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) has announced that Bell recently sat down with Winfrey for a taping of the broadcast, which is set to air on November 3rd. The network outlined that Winfrey’s Emmy Award-winning show “presents an array of perspectives on what it means to be alive in today’s world,” by “exploring themes and issues including happiness, personal fulfillment, wellness, spirituality and conscious living.”
Winfrey praised Bell in a post on her website, entitled What Oprah Knows for Sure About Spirituality.
“When Rob Bell—pastor, best-selling author, provocative thinker—recently joined me on the show, we talked for two and a half hours, and I could have kept going,” she wrote. “The ideas Rob sets forth in his books Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God opened my heart and my mind. People like him are the reason I set out to build OWN in the first place: to be able to gather a global community of like-minded seekers.”
Bell explains in his new book–the focus of the interview–his belief that “God is for every single one of us, regardless of our beliefs or perspectives or failures or mistakes.”
“I got an email from my friend Gary last year, saying that he’d decided to visit a church with his family… They’d heard a sermon about how resurrection means everybody who is gay is going to Hell,” he writes. “And then my friend Michael recently told me about hearing the leader of a large Christian denomination say that if you deny that God made the world in a literal six days, you are denying the rest of the Bible as well, because it doesn’t matter what science says.”
“Christians and a growing number of pastors–believing or trusting in that God, the one they’ve heard other Christians talk about, feels like a step backward, to an earlier, less informed and enlightened time, one that we’ve thankfully left behind,” Bell continues. “There’s a question that lurks in these stories, a question that an ever-increasing number of people across a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives are asking about God: Can God keep up with the modern world?”
While some like Winfrey praise Bell’s writings, others have expressed deep concern, stating that Bell is apostate and is leading many down a dark and dangerous path.
“Plain and simple, Rob Bell’s teachings are not true to the words of Scripture,” Eric Ludy, pastor of Church at Ellerslie and president of Ellerslie Mission Society in Windsor, Colorado told Christian News Network. “They are a sly attempt at blending the philosophies of our post-modern age with the vernacular of pop-Christianity. The end product is highly dangerous to the human soul because it is the forging of a golden calf god–a God of our culture’s making–and certainly not the God of the Bible.”
Other guests on Winfrey’s network have included Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes.
Photo: Harpo Productions