Many of you are aware of a shadow website of Christian Research Net, an outreach of Apprising Ministries, that’s run by Chris Lyons who often functions as an unofficial apologist for the Elvis of the Emergent rebellion against Sola Scriptura Rob Bell. That aforementioned site, in its mockery of CRN, calls itself CRN.Info and Analysis.

There’s an interesting discussion going on there concerning Christian Universalism aka Universal Reconciliation, which is a subject AM also touched on in Rob Bell and Christian Universalism. Self-appointed Bell apologist Lyons first points out:

If we should hope (expect) that all will be saved in the end – then shouldn’t Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25 been about the Sheep and the … well … just the parable of the Sheep? Otherwise, he is implying that goats may (even theoretically) exist. And if any (even theoretically) exist, then some of them will be told “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” and not everybody would be saved, and our hope (expectation) would be for naught…

Henry (Rick) Frueh, once a friend of mine, says:

Chris – as it applies to the word “hope”. When we find ourselves “hoping” against the clear teaching of Scripture it is not hope, it is unbelief. The Word seems to temper within me any ungarded thought about total reconciliation, which I admit I have had as a passing thought.

To which Lyons then replies:

Chris – as it applies to the word “hope”. When we find ourselves “hoping” against the clear teaching of Scripture it is not hope, it is unbelief.

Again, you’ve summed up my thoughts more eloquently and succinctly than I have done…

I’d link to it specifically for you but unfortunately my personal IP Address is blocked from even accessing their site and the Proxy scrambles the link. In any event, this is certainly quite an interesting developement because if this is how they feel, and I would definitely agree, then they have just said Rob Bell is in unbelief.

Here’s what Bell himself said in an interview with The Ooze of the Emerging Church about a year and a half ago:

I don’t know why as a Christian you would have to make such declarative statements. Like your friend, does he want there to be a literal hell? I am a bit skeptical of somebody who argues that passionately for a literal hell, why would you be on that side? Like if you are going to pick causes, if you’re literally going to say these are the lines in the sand, I’ve got to know that people are going to burn forever, this is one of the things that you drive your stake in the ground on. I don’t understand that.

Especially when so many fail to recognize the hell that many people are experiencing today and do little about it.

Yeah, I would think it would be your duty as a Christian to hope and long and pray for somehow everybody to be reconciled to God. If you are really serious about evangelism, as I’m sure you friend would claim, and you wanted to save people from hell, then wouldn’t your hope be that everybody reconciles with God? Why would you hope for anything else? It would be your duty to long for that. I would actually ask questions about his salvation. (Online source)