Rob Bell to Teach Teens That Christian Beliefs About Hell are ‘Misguided and Toxic’

Author and speaker Rob Bell is set to release a teen version of his book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived nationwide next month.

In a promotional video created for Love Wins: For Teens, Bell explains that the book is designed to teach youth that God is the life of the party, rather than the one that spoils everyone’s fun.

“What do you believe about God?” he begins. “Is God somewhere on a cloud with a long beard, making a list of no’s?”

“For a lot of people, when you mention God, the first thing they think of is, ‘Oh yeah, God shuts the party down,'” Bell continues. “But when Jesus talked about faith, when Jesus talked about God, one of the dominant images He uses again and again is that of a party.”

He explains that Christianity is not about saying no; it’s about saying yes.

“It’s not about long lists of regulations and things you can’t do” Bell says. “It’s about saying a giant ‘yes’ to the world. So what you believe God is like really, really matters. It shapes you and it forms you in a thousand different ways.”

While the promotional video does not necessarily underscore the book’s central theme of misconceptions about Hell, Bell’s summary on Amazon reveals this aspect.

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“What if the idea of Heaven and Hell that we have been taught is not, in fact, what the Bible teaches?” he writes. “What if Jesus meant something very different by the concepts of Heaven, Hell and salvation from how we’ve come to understand them?”

Although the original release of Love Wins achieved best-seller status, many others who read the publication expressed deep concern about Bell’s teaching. Reviewer Elliott Nesch notes that even in the preface of the book, he laments that “a staggering number of people have been taught that a select few Christians will spend forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity spends forever in” Hell. Bell then asserts that such a belief is “misguided and toxic.”

“[I]s this belief truly misguided and toxic or is it the truth? Why is it that a staggering number of Christians believe that only a ‘select few’ will be saved while many will be damned? Because Jesus said so,” Nesch states, pointing to Luke 13 and Matthew 7.

He decries Bell’s universalist insinuations that all men will be saved.

“Rob Bell asks, ‘Will all people be saved, or will God not get what God wants?'” Nesch notes. “Bell likens God not getting what He wants to failure. Bell goes on to say that ‘God does not fail,’ obviously implying that all people must go to Heaven.”

“To Rob Bell, if Hell is real, then God is ‘terrifying, and traumatizing, and unbearable,’ and ‘can’t be loved.’ To Bell, the whole idea that ‘God will punish people for all of eternity for sins,’ is an ‘unacceptable, awful reality,’ Nesch said. “Thus, Bell is exchanging Biblical reality for his own reality, and teaching a god of his own image.”

“Bell is operating under the fear of man and not the fear of God,” he concludes.

The book is already among the top five religion and spirituality books for teens on Amazon.

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  • Unfortunately for Rob Bell, hell is a real place and those who reject God and Christ on earth will spend an eternity there.

  • Tony Paskitti

    Rob Bell better be careful he is not causing a child to sin. How does he explain these passages:
    But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 8:12
    and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:42
    and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:50
    Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 22:13
    and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 24:51
    And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 25:30
    There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. Luke 13:28

  • Mark Fitzgerald

    If you read the book you will see what he does with those verses, do you really think he would write a book on the subject of hell and not read those verses?

  • Bob Pitre

    sorry There is a haven and there is a hell the bible say it and i belived it i love my god with all my heart

  • Stephanie

    The Holy Scriptures actually speak more on hell than heaven.

    Without mincing words, Rob Bell’s teachings are anti-Christ. It’s quite apparent that he has no fear of God. His “god” is one created by his own depraved mind.

    • Mark Fitzgerald

      So which words does the Bible use when speaking of hell and who were the primary audience that Jesus spoke about hell to?

  • The Struggle

    Are you playing God? No? Then let Him decide.

  • Ort

    Apostate rob bell says “it’s about saying a giant yes! To the world.”
    I got news for you bell, you heretic, you false teacher, you wolf in sheeps clothing “whoever is a friend to the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:1.

    Oh, I know, rob, you will say that is not interpreted right, or it was translated wrong, or some other song and dance. I tell you truly rob, it would have been better if you tied a millstone around your neck and drowned yourself in the sea, with the harm you are doing to these children with your damnable false teaching.

    • Bob

      There is NO HELL Everyone. The Evangelicals, The Catholic Church and other right-wing religious organizations say this to control you!! Do you think an all-loving God would persecute you? NO WAY!!! Human beings seeking power are the people persecuting other people, for they are EVIL and there is NO HELL for their wrong -doings too!! Love and care about other people is the number one state of mind.

      • Ort

        Bob, that is foolish and wrong. Jesus/Y’shua, God made flesh, spoke often of hell—more often than heaven, if you read the Bible. For you to gainsay this is calling Almighty God a liar. And since “God is not a man, that he should lie” (Numbers 23:19) then it is YOU who must cease this nonsense. You are unequivocally wrong. For you to keep perpetrating this lie, if you should cause another to believe this lie, you will answer not only for your own blood, but for theirs! Think on that.

  • Kostya

    What a Judgment Day awaits Mr Bell, he WILL believe in hell once he is there…

  • Alan Finch

    “WOW,” I was taught and believed that multitudes upon
    multitudes of humans will suffer “eternal torment” for 100 trillion years, and
    then another 100 trillion years, and then another 100 trillion years, and it
    goes on and on with no hope of it ever ending.

    I am certain that each one of us, deep inside of our very
    being, know that something just does not add up concerning this picture. But,
    we just can’t quite figure out what is it that we are not understanding

    The true biblical teaching is neither the traditional
    Christian view of hell, nor the view of annihilation. Our great God is neither
    a great torturer nor a great annihilator, but He is the great
    Saviour of the world.

    I have written upon this topic, but it is much too lengthy to
    post on this site. Below is a sample. If anyone would like a copy in it’s
    original Word Document Format, feel free to e-mail me and request a copy, and I
    will e-mail you a copy.

    ………. What is the “GOOD NEWS” of the Gospel of Christ? ……….
    (Re-examining the widely held belief of “eternal torment” in “Hellfire”)

    There are some Biblical topics which in order to get a better and clearer understanding of,
    require a lengthy Biblical explanation. This Biblical topic is certainly one of them. After all, there is certainly NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT than “our eternal purpose” & “our eternal destination!”
    Therefore, it is of the utmost importance for us to have a better and clearer Biblical understanding concerning this most important topic.

    My purpose for this writing is to Biblically “expound” upon (1) is there really going to be “eternal torment?” (2) is there really going to be “eternal annihilation?” (3) to give a Biblical answer to the question “If there is no “eternal torment,” and if there is no “eternal annihilation” of our very being, then what are we being saved from, and what is our being here during this present time on earth really all about?”

    I was a Christian for 38 years before the Lord opened up my Spiritual understanding to see more clearly some Biblical truths that I had not properly understood in regards to the finished work of Christ on the Cross.