“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6)

Rob Bell Denies Sola Scriptura

As pointed out in Part One Rob Bell’s view of Holy Scripture is at best neo-orthodox and/or neo-liberal. And we can begin to see it here in the following comment which comes from his book Velvet Elvis (VE):

This is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that “Scripture alone” is our guide. It sounds nice but it is not true… When people say that all we need is the Bible, it is simply not true (067,068, emphasis mine).

First we must resist the urge to wrestle with the serpent here because Bell has misstated the doctrine of sola Scriptura in order to appear to make his point. It also needs to be pointed out that we are not saying “all we need is the Bible” at the expense of the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, so it is simply not true to state the Reformed position as such. But there can be no doubt by his own words in VE Rob Bell has clearly stated that the position of the historic orthodox Christian Church which says “Scripture alone” is to be “our guide” in doctrine “is simply not true.”

Instead Bell’s view as a neo-orthodox would be along the lines that the text of Scripture itself is not necessarily inspired but rather it becomes inspired and comes to life as the Holy Spirit inspires a particular passage to a particular person. Then we would breathe it in, so to speak, and existentially live it out. This is the predominant view of the Hollow Men of the Emergent Church and is a very dangerous spiritually subjective and experience-oriented approach to the Bible. Not to mention being heretical because it denies what the text of Holy Scripture claims for itself which I will show you as this work progresses.

The New Postmodern Cult Of Liberalism

First it will prove helpful to understand a bit of the worldview men like Rob Bell espouse because it underlies the reason why they make studying the texts of Holy Scripture far more difficult than it needs to be. In his article Postmodern Liberalism: Repainting a Non-Christian Faith (I) A Christian Critique of Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis pastor-teacher Casey Freswick gives us some important background into Bell’s faulty philosophy:

Rob Bell’s repainting of false teaching looks like a merger of the dialectic philosophy of Hegel, the liberalism of Rudolph Bultmann and the neo-orthodoxy of Karl Barth. Rob Bell has embraced these and other errors and merged them into postmodernism, an anti-Christian philosophy teaching the impossibility of absolute truth. Both postmodern 21st century philosophy and 20th century “modern liberalism” have influenced Rob Bell.

A more appropriate title for Rob Bell’s painting, his “Velvet Elvis”, is “Postmodern Liberalism”. Rob Bell accomplishes what he sets out to do. His painting includes “every person everywhere who has asked big questions of a big God” even when their answers deny the truths of the Bible.

One needs to be ready to sidestep what is becoming a classic apologetic by Emergents. Whenever you begin to question the doctrines of the Emergent leaders, and particularly Rob Bell who is one of the younger Emergent’s most revered “Buddhas,” immediately you’ll hear: You must understand that the emerging church movement is so diverse that no one really speaks for it. Hogwash. Read the most prominent books and articles coming from people aligned with this rebellion against the authority of the Word of God and the same names are invariably cited within their own literature.

And aside from that we inform the Emergent that before there was diversity there was the very beginning through the Leadership Network and the Terra Nova Project. Research this and you will find the men who were there at the very beginning of the emerging church were by and large neo-orthodox (at best) in their view of the Bible. This means their view of Scripture was already compromised and it has only grown worse since. And although its taboo in their circles to go to the Bible for the source of authority as one teaches, after very careful consideration, I really don’t care.

Questioning…Well, Everything

Jesus informs us of something that should arrest the attention of any one and any church that has foolishly decided to align themselves with this doomed Emergent rebellion against God. Keeping in mind here that this Emerging–now fully Emergent–Church had a beginning, which is its root, the Master clearly said:

“By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” (Matthew 7:16-18)

And then for good measure our Lord reiterates this absolute Truth again in Matthew 12:33 – “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” For you see the whole idea behind postmodernism is questioning the very concept of absolute truth itself and Emergent teachers like Bell have now made the horrific mistake of then dragging this hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ (Colossians 2:8) into our Lord’s Church.

However, this constant questioning is actually a lack of faith in God and more than just a little irritating to Him. The truth is that Lord takes a very dim view of having people question Him about things He has already made clear. O I can just see my Emergent friends jump up and point their fingers at me and say: “So again you’re claiming to speak for God here! You are telling us you’re some kind of modern day prophet.” Ah, nope. Matthew 15:15-16 – Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them.

And in VE Bell reveals to us that indeed this might the case because consistent with other fools in the Ecumenical Church of Deceit Bell simply casts aside the Reformation as he writes:

“I am learning that my tradition includes rabbis and reformers and revolutionary and monks and nuns and pastors and writers and philosophers and artists and every person everywhere who has asked big questions of a big God.” (014)

This now begs the question: What tradition is this you come from there Rob because it certainly can’t be the Body of Christ, the Church. But this repainting Church history with a giant brush is the basic premise behind the Emergent Church in general and VE in particular. However Freswick is right when he says that:

The false teaching that the Christian faith needs to be repainted for every culture has a long history. Sadly, these historic attacks on Christian truth are alive and well. Hegel replaced the Christian faith with declarations about a thesis always having an antithesis that results in a synthesis that becomes the new thesis in a never-ending quest for truth. Truth is redefined as the never-ending quest itself. There is no absolute truth. Truth is a constant experience of paradox. Every time you think you have truth, its opposite enters into your experience of reality.

Bell Absolutely Knows There Are No Absolutes

What we need to grasp here in order to understand why the new liberal cult of the Emergent Church is so dangerous to the young in the Body of Christ is that men like Bell have jettisoned the Bible as the anchor of the true Christian faith. You also need to understand that one simply makes a decision to adhere to postmodernism. In other words, it’s not like mankind is forced to think this way. It is a conditioned response and the logical outgrowth of the relativism produced by the theory of evolution. Simply stated people in pagan America have become conditioned to believe there are no absolutes in any area of our existence.

And Feswick brings out the key issue when he points out that in VE:

Rob Bell repaints this error. There are no absolute answers to our questions. Doctrines are springs that must be flexible, for the answers to our doctrinal questions only produce more questions, whether about God’s love or the Trinity. “An answer… raises even deeper questions. …Truth always leads to more…truth. Because truth is insight into God and God is infinite and God has no boundaries or edges. So truth always has layers and depth and texture. …It’s like a pool that you dive into…no matter how hard and fast you swim downward the pool keeps getting…deeper.

The bottom will always be out of reach.” He writes, “The very nature of orthodox Christian faith is that we never come to the end. It begs for more. More discussion, more inquiry, more debate, more questions” (Rob Bell often breaks grammatical rules to emphasize his point that there are no absolutes). In language close to Hegel’s anti-Christian philosophy of truth, Rob Bell writes, “It’s not so much that the Christian faith has a lot of paradoxes. It’s that it is a lot paradoxes (sic). And we cannot resolve a paradox. We have to let it be what it is.”

Since the focus here is bringing out what Rob Bell teaches about the Bible itself let me simply point out that while it sounds humble to Bell to state the above it is actually the reverse. And for the true Christian to attempt to understand these Emergent false teachers of counterfeit Christianity like Rob Bell you will have to think backward. Bell’s statement regarding all the alleged paradox associated with the Christian faith is actually focused on man and not God. Frankly as a Self-existent infinitely intelligent other dimensional Triune Being of pure Spirit, if our Creator hadn’t condescended to reveal Himself to us in the first place then we’d have no real knowledge of Him anyway.

God Created Scripture

And this brings us back to the subject of the Bible. By the grace of God those whom He saved will be eternally grateful that He did choose to reveal Himself through the inspired writers of Holy Scripture. When will people wake up and realize that Emergent leaders like Rob Bell and Guru Brian McLaren are actually teaching anti-faith, they are cultivating doubt. Being neo-orthodox in their view of Scripture Hollow Men like Bell would believe that the Bible is a divine mailbox where we receive our messages from God. However you must understand that the proper view is that the Bible itself is the message.

2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. As I have previously pointed out elsewhere this verse begins by saying – All Scripture – not some, and the faulty foundation of neo-orthodoxy begins crumbling right here. All Scripture is God-breathed – created through the Spirit of God as was all of creation. And since God is perfect then the autographs were inerrant and therefore infallible. As Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse put it the Bible is just as much an act of the Holy Spirit as was the Virgin Birth.

The rest of the verse also begins to clear away the postmodern fog because if – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, then it logically follows that we would have to be able to understand it or teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness would be impossible. And then again in 2 Peter 1:20-21 we see:

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

These verses teach that the human authors of Holy Scripture were overshadowed and guided by God to record that which He wished recorded. So once again being that God is perfect then we know we have exactly what He wanted man to know about Him. And because we know that the Lord Himself chose to reveal these things to us and guided the human authors to write them down accurately, then it logically follows that God has communicated in words we would then be able to understand. Men and women, again I must point out to you at this point the sheer absurdity that I am actually presenting an apologetic defending the Word of God from the false claims of Emergent pastor Rob Bell who claims that it was God Who sent him to teach!

Spiritually Appraising Bell’s View Of Scripture

Another problem we have with people who are followers of this postmodern spiritual atrocity of the Emergent Church, the new Cult of Liberal Theology, is they do not seem capable of focusing on a text long enough to think it through. And we also have to keep in mind at this point what God the Holy Spirit tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. (1 Corinthians 2:12-14, NASB)

Those who are in this Emergent “conversation” end up making things so difficult and speak in such vague terms out of fear of offending anyone that they often confuse themselves. In his review of VE for TheOoze Joel Kiekintveld tells us the chapter:

Yoke, is arguably his most controversial. In this chapter he digs deep into what the Bible is and is not. Readers who are not careful to follow the reasoning and intent of the chapter could find themselves going away from that chapter believing that Bell does not believe that Bible is the word of God. This impression would false. Bell clearly sees that Bible as God’s word, but refuses to make it something it’s not or to worship it. His belief is that scripture has to be interpreted, but that this fact has many implications.

First of all since there are no absolutes in the Emergent world then we can’t be sure Kiekintveld is accurate in his assessment of Bell’s beliefs. In fact he hasn’t quite expressed it correctly because you may recall I pointed out earlier that the neo-orthodox view of the Bible is that it is not God’s Word in and of itself but rather it becomes the Word of God as the Holy Spirit illumines a particular portion of it to a given individual. And this is yet another reason that nothing good is going to come by sitting around and trying to have a spiritual “conversation” with people who cannot understand what you are saying because these things of God are spiritually appraised.

In his excellent series The Emerging Church pastor-teacher Gary Gilley refers to the Christianity Today article I referenced in Part One:

Rob Bell and his wife Kristen, in an interview with Christianity Today, reflect this view. They started questioning their assumptions about the Bible itself – “discovering the Bible as a human product.” “I grew up thinking that we’ve figured out the Bible,” Kristen says, “that we knew what it means. Now I have no idea what most of it means, and yet I feel like life is big again – like life used to be black and white, and now it’s in color.” To the postmodern mind it is more important to, as Rob Bell says, “embrace mystery, rather than conquer it.”

And if this is your desire Rob then it might not be a bad idea for you to go ahead and slip into the matrix so you can emerge into another religion because the passage from 1 Corinthians 2 above just told us – Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God. Well, no mystery there as the Lord just told His sheep again in different Words: “My sheep follow Me because they know My Voice” (see–John 10:4). Again, for the true Christian there’s no mystery in following our Great Shepherd.

You may also recall in Part One that following Bell’s outright denial of sola Scriptura, which of course is one of the five solas of the Reformation, I quoted Jesus Himself from Matthew 4 as he responds to Satan’s opening taunt – “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” Then I pointed out that this is in fact where the doctrine of sola Scriptura actually originated. Thus we set fire to a favorite straw man argument of the Emergent rebellion that this is simply something dreamed up by the Reformers. This fallcious idea plays a very important part in the indoctrination process that one undergoes into the theology of the Emergent Church.

But as you can now see the absolute Truth is the Hollow Men like Rob Bell are wrong because the doctrine of sola Scriptura originates with Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the LORD God Almighty Himself in human flesh.