Christian author's book sparks charges of heresy
Rob Bell is under fire for his latest book before it even hits the shelves.
March 1st, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Christian author's book sparks charges of heresy

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Rob Bell, a pastor and author who has achieved rock star status in the Christian world, is preaching a false gospel, his critics say. And some of those critics are Christian rock stars in their own right.

The pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Bell has authored a book called Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, which ignited a firestorm of controversy over the weekend, weeks before it arrives in bookstores.

On Saturday, in a blog post on the popular Christian website The Gospel Coalition, Justin Taylor blasted Bell's new book, out March 29, for teaching "false doctrine":

I’m glad that Rob Bell has the integrity to be lay [sic] his cards on the table about universalism. It seems that this is not just optimism about the fate of those who haven’t heard the Good News, but (as it seems from below) full-blown hell-is-empty-everyone-gets-saved universalism.

Universalism, in its broadest terms, preaches that everyone goes to heaven and that there is no hell. Critics say it represents a break from traditional Christianity, which they say holds that heaven and hell are very real places. In most Christian circles, universalism is a dirty word.

Taylor's post was quickly tweeted by several prominent pastors, including John Piper and Mark Driscoll, connected to the Gospel Coalition, a coalition of theologically conservative evangelical churches, and a full-blown theological controversy was on. By Monday, Taylor's response post had racked up a quarter million hits.

Other bloggers, meanwhile, are calling Bell an outright heretic.

Bell is not the first prominent Christian pastor to be recently accused of wading into theologically troubled waters. Bishop Carlton Pearson, once a mentee of famed Pentecostal televangelist Oral Roberts, has been run out of two churches and branded a heretic for preaching what he says is a gospel of inclusion with broad universalist themes.

Last year, Brian McLaren - a popular Christian author and a former pastor - was accused of breaking with Christian orthodoxy and delving headlong into universalism in his book A New Kind of Christianity.

But it's rare that theological arguments become top ten trending topics on Twitter, as Rob Bell did on Saturday.

“To be honest, it was a pretty rough weekend,” Taylor said in a phone interview. The 34-year-old heads the editorial content for Crossway, a Christian publishing company in Wheaton, Illinois.  Taylor he says his blog expresses his personal opinion not the opinion of the coalition.

"We’re talking about the big things here, things that have been historically defined as orthodox, " he said. "I have a high degree of confidence in what God is saying and what we can understand."

Though many things that separate Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians, “this isn’t one of them," Taylor said. "We’ve historically agreed on many things, the person of Christ, heaven and hell. This isn’t a peripheral academic debate. What Rob Bell is talking about gets to the heart of Christianity.”

Taylor has not read Bell's forthcoming book in its entirety. His blog post was in response to the description released by Bell publisher HarperOne and a promotional video that features Bell.

"Rob Bell hasn’t sinned against me personally,” Taylor said, which is why he did not go to Bell before making his comments public. Instead, Taylor said, Bell's book represents a clear example of false teaching.

In the promotional video Bell refers to the nonviolent Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu, and asks, "Gandhi's in hell? He is?"

"And someone knows this for sure?" Bell continues. "Will billions and billions of people burn forever in hell? And if that's the case how do you become one of the few? "

The video follows a trend in Bell's career as a pastor: he has long asked tough theological questions and challenged traditional answers. The short promotional video raises lots of questions without offering definitive answers.

"What we believe about heaven and hell is incredibly important because it exposes what we believe about who God is and what God is like," Bell says in it. " The good news is that love wins."

Those lines raised eyebrows for Taylor and others. "It is not preaching the gospel as found in the New Testament," Taylor said. "The New Testament is pretty clear if someone preaches a false gospel… that we are to reject that and have nothing to do with them."

For all his hipster leanings - including black rimmed glasses - Bell has a traditional pedigree. He went to Wheaton College, the Harvard of Christian schools, and later graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity.

But the Mars Hill Bible Church, which Bell founded, is not attached to any denomination. Were it attached to one - the Presbyterian or Catholic church, say - his book and video could raise eyebrows in the hierarchy and might lead to a church trial that could result in Bell's expulsion.

"A larger denomination would take his credentials and excommunicate him like they did to me,” Bishop Pearson told CNN.

By Sunday evening, Pearson was getting sent articles about the Bell flap. He said it reminded him of his days as a charismatic leader of a big church in the largest Pentecostal denomination. His questioning of hell from the pulpit led to his ouster.

"What happened to me is happening to Rob Bell," Pearson said. "If you denounce hell, it's like you are denouncing God. You’re going to be called a heretic."

“I thought my people loved me and would walk through the valley of the shadow of death with me, but they didn’t,” Pearson said.

Bell's church did not respond to requests for an interview. His Twitter feed has been silent since he posted about writing a piece for CNN's Belief Blog a few weeks ago. His publicist at HarperOne said he would not be doing publicity until his book hits shelves.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Leaders • Michigan • United States

soundoff (2,200 Responses)
  1. Servant of G*D

    humans are all light beings and thy dont know not why???

    March 1, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • edmundburkeson

      a servant who has trouble communicating

      March 1, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • BADGUY

      Is "Heresy" still a crime? Can the church fathers have him burned at the stake (like they did in the middle ages)j? Sounds llike they think, it's a "Crime" to me. No, maybe in this enlightened age, they can only run him across the "Rack" a few times to bring him into the "Divine light".

      March 1, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • iswimalot

      But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only A FEW find it. – Matthew 7:14

      March 1, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  2. Servant of G*D

    Love and unconditional love is what drives the spirit and behold it will always destroy the evil watchers.

    March 1, 2011 at 9:50 am |
  3. georgem

    Hell is not even in the bible. It's a Catholic invention. For those that need religion, isn't somewhat petty to worry about who goes where? Shouldn't you be more concerned about treating your fellow human with dignity and respect?

    March 1, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Tom C

      I agree that we should treat everyone with dignity and respect, but hell is in the bible:

      Matthew 25:41
      Matthew 3:12
      Mark 9:45&47
      Revelation 20:10

      Just to name a few.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Something

      Tom C:

      "but hell is in the bible:"

      Ahem, who do you think added those books to the final rendition of the Bible? (hint: the early (Catholic) church.)

      March 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Tom C

      Something –

      "Ahem, who do you think added those books to the final rendition of the Bible? (hint: the early (Catholic) church.)"

      The argument wasn't over who put it there. georgem said it wasn't even in the bible. I just pointed out a few verses to show that it was.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  4. David Johnson


    There isn't any proof that Jesus actually existed. Some believe He was just a legend.

    Do you think god wants everyone, or most everyone to believe in His existence?

    Curious in Arizona – The most racist state in the union.

    March 1, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Tom C

      Proof outside of the bible:

      Roman Tacitus – Annals 15.44
      Flavius Josephus – Antiquities 18:3
      Julius Africanus – Extant Writings, 18
      Pliny the Younger – Letters 10:96
      The Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a)
      Lucian of Samosata was a second-century Greek writer who admits that Jesus was worshiped by Christians.
      Mara Bar-Serapion confirms that Jesus was thought to be a wise and virtuous man.
      Then we have all the Gnostic writings (The Gospel of Truth, The Apocryphon of John, The Gospel of Thomas, The Treatise on Resurrection, etc.) that all mention Jesus.

      In fact, we can almost reconstruct the gospel just from early non-Christian sources: Jesus was called the Christ (Josephus), did “magic,” led Israel into new teachings, and was hanged on Passover for them (Babylonian Talmud) in Judea (Tacitus), but claimed to be God and would return (Eliezar), which his followers believed, worshipping Him as God (Pliny the Younger).

      March 1, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Mark

      @Tom C...

      YES!! Thank you...

      But, DJ's "logic" won't allow him to accept that all these guys were real either. They were just myths....right Dave?! No proof they ever existed...huh? All their writings made up after the fact...huh? All forgeries and fakes...right?


      March 1, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Magic

      Tom C,

      All of the writings to which you refer simply report on the existence of a group of people who followed a Jesus figure and what they claimed about him... they do not authenticate the person of Jesus' existence.

      An almighty, omniscient "God" would have left better evidence.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Tom C

      Magic –

      "An almighty, omniscient "God" would have left better evidence."

      Since we are expressing opinions now, I think there is plenty of evidence already. That being said, how much evidence would it take for you to believe? I don't think there could ever be enough.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Magic

      Tom C,

      If "God" is all-knowing, as is claimed, 'he' knows precisely what would serve as sufficient evidence for each one of us.

      He cannot provide it? (not all-powerful)... or he will not (not all-loving)?

      More likely, the "God" that you proffer does not exist.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Mark


      WOW! You guys truly are UN-believable. WHAT evidence do you want for Pete's sake? What would suffice? What would do it for you?

      You say: I want proof God exists.
      I say: Here's the Bible. It's God's word to men and women.

      You say: No, I don't beleive the Bible. I want something else. Some other writing.
      I say: Here are reports from others. Other historical writings that attest to Jesus. Accounts by other people who had "no axe to grind".

      You say: No, that's not good enough. I want something else. I want evidence. Something tangible.
      I say: Look around you. Look at the immense complexity of life. Look at creation.

      You say: No that's not enough. I want proof.

      Do you want God to send you a post card from Heaven addressed straight to you? What excuse would you give then?

      You have all the evidence you need.


      March 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Magic


      See my reply to Tom C.

      March 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Tom C

      Magic –

      I'll bite. What evidence would be sufficient for you?

      March 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • paxman2

      There's been a lot of evidence that Jesus exist and is who He said He was in Medjugorje. What is your theory to explain what’s going on for the past 30 years in Medjugore? 6 kids, ages 10 to 15 dropping to their knees at the same time, focusing on the same spot (even though they have side –blinders on), bright flashing lights and hot skin probes not showing up on their EEGs, all raising their heads simultaneously when she leaves. Being arrested by the communist police and threatened with jail and torture and refusing to change their testimony. And now 30 years later, still going to church daily, praying many hours every day, all sticking to their ‘story’ while raising families. Six pathological liars? I guess the proof will be if they die without the signs happening that they say will happen in their lifetimes. Mirjana says in her u-tube videos that Our Blessed Mother doesn't refers to atheist as non-believers but as ‘those who do not yet know the love of God’, so at least there’s hope in the way she puts it, sounds like there's hope you’ll eventually come around. I’ll keep praying for you.

      March 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Magic

      Tom C,

      "I'll bite. What evidence would be sufficient for you?"

      I'll humble myself before you then:

      I do not know what evidence would be sufficient for me.

      This is my point: If, as you say, "God" loves me and wants me with 'him' for eternity, and if he is all-knowing and all-powerful, he would know what it would take to convince me and would provide it.

      I used to be a devout believer, Tom, but I slowly discovered that there is no-one out/over/under there. And it makes so much more sense.

      March 1, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Mark


      If "God" is all-knowing, as is claimed, 'he' knows precisely what would serve as sufficient evidence for each one of us.

      Yep! Exactly. And he's given it. His word (the Bible), and Creation. There are your proofs. Your words are contradictory and make no sense. On one hand you say, "He would know exactly what evidence". Then, on the other hand you assume that the evidence He HAS left isn't good enough.

      You still haven't answered Tom C.'s question. What evidence would be enough? I'm of the same opinion....I don't think there's anything that would persuade you.

      March 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Tom C

      Magic –

      "I used to be a devout believer, Tom, but I slowly discovered that there is no-one out/over/under there. And it makes so much more sense."

      I believe you. And I'm not sying you're wrong for following your convictions. I admire/encourage that. But please understand that some of us have discovered that there IS someone out/over/under there. And that makes so much more sense to us. All we are doing is following our own convictions.

      "This is my point: If, as you say, "God" loves me and wants me with 'him' for eternity, and if he is all-knowing and all-powerful, he would know what it would take to convince me and would provide it."

      And I believe He will convince you if you truly want to know. Jeremiah 29:13 says "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

      March 1, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • ScottK

      @ Mark – You "say: Here's the Bible. It's God's word to men and women."

      And then I say "Lets see if there are any differences between your book & actual fosil evidence that has been discovered over the last few centuries and see how they line up....Uh, looks like your book must be a misprint or been written before humans found proof of the earths very very very long 4.5 billion year history... Might want to get your editor in chief to come down and make some revisions, updates and rewrites and maybe remove that picture of Jesus on the Dinosaur...

      Silly wabbits, tricks are for kids!! As are fairy tales about invisible men who watch them while they are sleeping...

      By the way, to all those who believe in the magic man, check it out, the word Gullible isn't even in the dictionary...

      March 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Magic


      "All we are doing is following our own convictions."

      That is fine, generally, unless and until those convictions harm anyone else in any way.

      I wish you peace.

      March 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Mark


      "And then I say "Lets see if there are any differences between your book & actual fosil evidence that has been discovered over the last few centuries and see how they line up....Uh, looks like your book must be a misprint or been written before humans found proof of the earths very very very long 4.5 billion year history..."

      Uh...and I say just because you and your athiestic brood "hija-cked" science and now claim that the fossil "evidence" and the Bible don't match up doesn't make it so. You guys are all the same. ALL of you.....the same.....ALL.....same. There is no fossil "proof" and to say otherwise is complete cr-ap. It also makes you a liar, or just ignorant. There are some bones that were dug up in some remote part of Africa, or Asia, (or anywhere else) and then some artist from the evolutionist "camp" comes up with a "rendering" of what it may have looked like. Of couse, he/she always stay true to their preconcieved notions and evolutionary biases. Then, it gets slapped into a textbook and called "proof".

      All of the methods used to "date" material used to "establish" the 75 gazillion year old history of the Earth are ambigious at best and very much succeptable to the biases of the individuals performing the tests. Actually, a lot of the fossil and geological "evidence" support a young Earth.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Tom C

      I have found that secular writings are hearsay. Hearsay is not acceptable evidence. Ever watch Judge Judy? LOL

      Assumption: Jesus died in 30 to 33 CE.

      Well, lets have a look:

      All dates etc. from Wikipedia, unless otherwise stated.

      >Roman Tacitus – Annals 15.44
      Cornelius Tacitus (AD 56 – AD 117) – Note the birth date. He was born after Jesus was in the grave.

      >Flavius Josephus – Antiquities 18:3
      Jewish historian, born A.D. 37, at Jerusalem; died about 101. Note the birth date. He was born after Jesus was dead.

      >Julius Africanus – Extant Writings, 18
      Julius Africanus (c.160 – c.240) Note the approximate birth date. He was born after Jesus was dead.

      > Pliny the Younger – Letters 10:96
      Gaius Caecilius Cilo ( 61 AD – ca. 112 AD) *Yawn* Note the birth date. Jesus was all nestled in his grave by this time.

      >The Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a)
      There are great difficulties in stating that any of these texts refer to Jesus. We will see that a large number of historians and talmudists have addressed these issues and have concluded that either none of these passages refer to Jesus or that they refer to a proto-Jesus, whose life was later obfuscated by the theologically motivated rewriting of history.

      >Lucian of Samosata was a second-century Greek writer who admits that Jesus was worshiped by Christians.
      Lucian of Samosata was a second-century Greek writer. Hmmm... Jesus was no longer among the living.

      >Mara Bar-Serapion confirms that Jesus was thought to be a wise and virtuous man.
      In the British Museum is a manuscript preserving the text of a letter written some time later than A.D. 70, but how much later we cannot be sure. What he writes, is hardly eyewitness news. Hearsay.

      >Then we have all the Gnostic writings (The Gospel of Truth, The Apocryphon of John, The Gospel of Thomas, The Treatise on Resurrection, etc.) that all mention Jesus.

      The Gospel of Truth was probably written in Greek between 140 and 180

      The Secret Book of John (Apocryphon of John) is a 2nd-century AD Sethian Gnostic text of secret teachings. Since it was known to the church father Irenaeus, it must have been written before around AD 180.

      I grow weary of this now.

      Your secular writings are all hearsay or disputed. There is no eyewitness testimony about Christ.

      You would think that an all powerful, all knowing god, could have done better. Yet, He did not.


      March 1, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "DJ's "logic" won't allow him to accept that all these guys were real either. They were just myths....right Dave?! No proof they ever existed...huh? All their writings made up after the fact...huh? All forgeries and fakes...right?"

      Most, were hearsay. The writers weren't even born or barely born when Jesus was rotting in the ground.

      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God.

      We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
      -Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (The Gnostic Gospels)

      The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
      -Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

      Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
      -C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

      There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE!
      Most of the writings came from people who lived AFTER Jesus was dead. Can you say hearsay?

      We don't even have a wooden shelf that Jesus might have built. Or anything written by Jesus (He was probably illiterate).

      The Dead Sea Scrolls did not mention Jesus or have any New Testament scripture.

      Jesus, if he existed, was not considered important enough to write about by any contemporary person. The myth hadn't had a chance to flourish.

      Paul's writings were the first, about Jesus. But, Paul's writing was done 25 to 30 years after Jesus was dead. In a primitive, ultra-supersti_tious society, 25 years is a lot of time for a myth to grow. Paul never met Jesus.

      Some people feel that Paul, not Jesus, is the real father of what most Christians believe today (Pauline Christianity).

      Questions on the Crucifixion story:
      "Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save." Mark 15:31

      "Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe..." Mark 15:32

      It would appear, that the chief priests are admitting that Jesus "saved" others. If they knew this, then there was no reason for them to demand that Jesus descend from the cross, in order for them to believe. They already admitted to knowing of Jesus's "miracles".

      It would seem that this is just an embellishment by Mark. A work of fiction.

      Here is some more:

      According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."

      Yet not a single mention of a three hour ecliptic event got recorded by anyone. 'Cause it didn't happen!

      Mathew 27 51:53
      51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

      How come nobody wrote about zombies running through the cities? 'Cause it is all b.s.


      March 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • paxman2

      Yes, the Bible can't stand as proof or any historic writings, if you don't believe them. But you're all still avoiding answering the question about the six 'kids' then, now adults and the evidence collected by scientist who studied them. But of course, you will never believe until you see the proof yourself. Watch the u-tube videos of Mirjana. If you believe she's a pathological liar then I don't know what proof you will accept, short of the proof for all of you which they say is coming, within their life time. But they also say you will regret waiting until the sign, maybe your hearts will be too hardened to be converted even with absolute proof. I'll keep praying for you. Pax.

      March 1, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Mark

      @David Johnson...

      Yeah, you already said that. (On your blog the other day, "Spirituality and the Oscars...."). You were late responding...remember?

      I already read it...Sparky.

      It's as much nonsense today as it was the other day.

      Nice try though.


      March 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • ScottK

      @Mark – "There is no fossil "proof" and to say otherwise"

      Its hard to have any kind of debate with a person who will not accept the mountains of fosil evidence that at least disprove the biblical creation timeline, if not creationism. Go ahead and keep believing in fairy tales if you wish, or you could try going to any junior college in America and find out that the earth is not 6000 years old.

      "Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference." ~Author unknown, attributed to Mark Twain

      March 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Mark


      That's so funny. I was going to recommend the same thing to you. Better yet, before you enroll, you might try looking at some of the OTHER evidence that's just a click away on the internet. I know, I know... you watched the NOVA special the other night on TV right? But, there's some other stuff out there that's a little more believable. A little more scientific since that seems to be your thing. Something a little more substantial than...."just add a pinch of this, and a dash of that, and poof.......life".

      March 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  5. someoneelse

    In all first world nations (even second world, as long as there is education and decent living standards) religion is dying, and not soon enough to be honest. There is no need to fight over religion, it will eventually disappear (as it is even now). Still, I wish I could have been born in a time where reason and intellect would factor more into a presidential election than their place of birth and their religion.

    March 1, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • graceonfire

      Religion is dying? BAHhahahahahahahahaha.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • yeshua1

      If its true that religion is dying, and religion is the source of evil and conflict, that must mean humanity and the world is getting better, right? It sure doesn't look that way...

      March 1, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • CatholicMom


      Many are saying that they do not need religion but call themselves ‘spiritual’. They have seen what has been happening to those who followed Martin Luther and now there are 38,000 ecclesial communities all crying that they have the Truth…and they each and everyone can see the dilemma this has caused; so instead of looking at Mother Church from which they broke away 500 years ago they decide to go it alone…becoming their own popes.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Hayden71

      Catholic mom, are you trusting in a church or Jesus? If your trust is in a church than you do not have everlasting life. Jesus is the "way, truth and the life" as he said it. Not a church, baptism, pope etc. I used to believe that the pope was infallible and the church as the only way to God, but that was before I started reading the bible.

      "And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven" were Jesus' words in Matthew 23:9. I don't care if a church calls itself the "mother church". If it's teachings contradict the teachings of the bible, then it's false.

      Jesus is the only true way and though I'm not Lutheran, I will say that Luther was exposing hypocrisy and false teaching within the church and he was persecuted for it...just as Jesus promised in John 16:2 – "yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service."

      March 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      Call no man your Father as in ‘God our Father in Heaven’ except God our Father. Even Abraham is called Father because He was not referred to as God our Father… we call our paternal Father ‘father’ because we know he is not God our Father. We call Priests our Father because we know they are not our God, our Father in Heaven…. but they are our Father in taking care of our spiritual needs and we are as his children in need of his ability to provide us the Sacraments which we need to live a sanctified life.

      March 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Because I trust in the Catholic Church which is the Church that Jesus founded, I trust Jesus. His Church is the pillar and foundation of truth; She is without stain, wrinkle or any such thing; the Church was founded for sinners!

      March 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  6. svann

    I think God would not expect me to take Jerry Falwell's or any other preacher's word for it. I believe if there is doubt in anyone's heart then God will make himself clear before he forces the choice. At that time there will still be those who choose to go against God, and naturally those would not get in heaven.

    And christianity is not about following what the pope says. It is about following what Christ says.

    March 1, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Anglican

      very good post. Peace.

      March 1, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • CatholicMom

      There are many who profess to be their own pope...it is called private interpretation of the Bible...which Scripture speaks against. What is Scripture? Truth! Jesus said He is Truth...so He said Scripture is not a matter of private interpretation!

      March 1, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • WWG

      Nicely put. It is about your faith in Christ and HIS word, not what someone has told you to think or believe.

      March 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • ScottK

      "What is Scripture? Truth! Jesus said He is Truth...so He said Scripture is not a matter of private interpretation!"

      Well, thats all fine & dandy, and you as a Catholic believe in the Pope who by Catholic law is Christs right hand on earth with the ability to change/alter scripture at will... so its not a matter of private interpretations? If a human has the authority to change G od's laws then I think that invalidates that G od, who would not have made an apparently flawed law in the first place. Its OK to use a con dom now as long as you are a prosti tute... so sayeth your Pope.

      March 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      No one has the authority to change scripture.
      The Pope stated that if a prost!tute used a condom it might show that he is thinking about the well-being of another person. The Pope did not condone the use of condoms.

      March 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  7. Servant of G*D

    Behold the KING of kings, Oh my precious Lord I hear your calling from the fountains of the unseen waters;for thy has cursed evil in dark places.

    March 1, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • Blacktooth Grin

      @Servant of G*D

      What exactly are you trying to accomplish with your preaching? You should share your own opinion on this, not quote from a book that YOU believe in. That would be like me quoting Shakespeare to you.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Servant of G*D

      blacktooth Grin behold it is God who dwells from within and let my words be thy sword for the world to see what a good boy Id be under the presence of Lord thy God, you must be a sheeple to think not God dwells amongs his people and we hear his calling. Many shall mock me but Woe to those who know thy truth is set upon man to wake up and find Lord thy God dwelling from thy soul, our Holy spirit! oh my heart makes much noise.!!!! Behold the King of kings

      March 1, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Blacktooth Grin

      You know... religion is like a penis.... It's ok to have one and it's even good to be proud of yours. But it's never ok to try to cram it down someone's throat.

      That is all.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • ScottK

      Is that how you got the Blacktooth? 🙂

      JK, I agree with you 100%, great analogy.

      March 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  8. Doc Vestibule

    The divity of Christ did not become Christian dogma until some 300 years after his death.

    March 1, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Doc Vestibule

      You are a wealth of knowledge, my friend. I actually doubted you...Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa.

      Yo! gerald! Doc is right. Check this out:

      Most Christians identified Jesus as divine from a very early period, although holding a variety of competing views as to what exactly this implied. Early Christian views tended to see Jesus as a unique agent of God; by the Council of Nicaea in 325 he was identified as God in the fullest sense, literally 'of the same substance, essence or being', hence in the further wording of the Creed, "Θεόν αληθινόν εκ Θεού αληθινού" Theón alēthinón ek Theoú alēthinoú 'true God from true God'.
      Source : Wikipedia – Divinity of Christ

      March 1, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Doc Vestibule,
      The divinity of Christ was preached the moment Jesus Christ Sent the Apostles out with His Authority. Scripture was used by Jesus and then by the Apostles and it wasn’t until the Catholic Church compiled the Scriptures that were being used that it was then called the Bible. The Church knew which Books were sacred and now everyone would know through the setting of them apart from those Scriptures which were not sacred.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  9. gerald

    This author isn't Christian. Sorry. The divinity of Christ, the atonement and his death and resurrection are not negotiables. He can deny them if he wants but that takes him out of Christianity.

    March 1, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  10. Anglican

    Ah, the finite wisdom of men. May Holy God have mercy on us all. Peace.

    March 1, 2011 at 9:28 am |
  11. David Johnson

    This is truly a revelation from god!

    Evangelical churches are losing young people. Especially college educated young people.
    Source: signsofthelastdays.com/.../the-decline-of-christianity-in-america And http://www.spectrummagazine.org/.../why-do-young-people-leave-church

    WoW! Wonder why? Can you say "improved critical thinking skills"?

    Many of the Evangelicals, have adopted theistic evolution, in an effort to align their beliefs with the findings of science.
    It is a last ditch effort, to keep their god alive. Can you say "life support"? LOL!

    Universalism is a great idea. Believers would have something to cling to in times of trouble and death would be more palatable, believing they would not really die.

    Fundies screaming: "Your gonna burn in Hell", would be a thing of the past. Gay bashing would cease. Women would have the right to choose. No more religious strife.

    You can't ask for more than that, in a religion.

    Yep! Universalism for the masses! I love it!


    March 1, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • Bill

      Thinking Christian DO believe in theistic evolution. Otherwise, you're forced to come up with more and more convoluted excuses to deny the realities that science brings to light. In short, you have to accept evolutionary theory in order to not portray yourselves and other Christians as medieval dolts.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • David Johnson


      Yep! You are a wise man!


      March 1, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  12. secular truther

    If you really belive the Bible is truth then you really should educate yourself. Just like Rob Bell making up whatever he wants, just like the original authors of the Torah, the Bible and the Quran. Not saying there isn't a his but if any of these books are your proof or because you've been told this since birth well here are some truths. Santa lives in the north pole and every christmas he goes around the world giving presents to good little children. On Easter Sunday there is a rabbit going around putting painted eggs all over the place for children to pick up. Dracula became the first vampire after he sold his soul to the devil because he was do heart broken over his wife dying. The 13 families of the global elite known as the illuminati (freemasons, bovarian grove, bilderberg group, skull & bones) control every aspect of your life and are about to depopulate the planet to 5 hundred million by giving you posionious prescription drugs, vaccinations that are really going to kill you, create major disasters through their HAARP project and lock up people in FEMA concentration camps. Oh yeah the illuminaries forced the American government to cause 9/11 and blame it on al-queda which was created by the CIA during the Regan administration. Now they are going to put the anti-christ in power and use fake space aliens to attack the world through project bluebeam. Not only all of that the illuminati are mixed with demons or space aliens but regardless of what they are mixed with they eat babies. I swear people belive anything.

    March 1, 2011 at 8:13 am |
    • Servant of G*D

      secular truther, Lord thy God is the all seeing eye behold those who know the truth and do not commit evil has no power under our Lord thy Gods eyes. Behold the KING of kings. Jesus Christ is Lord of lords through him all shall know thy father Amen

      March 1, 2011 at 9:46 am |
  13. Richard McCarthy

    You rock, Rob! But, Rob's message is not new. The New Thought Movement has been teaching this type of theology for almost 100 years, and as a former fundamentalist Christian myself, Rob's approach makes much more sense. Fundamentalist ministers teach that God is loving and good as long as you do things His way. Otherwise, God is jealous, vengeful, and condemning. Hmmm. Those last few adjectives sound more like a human tyrant than a loving God, and I just no longer buy it. Either God loves us unconditionally, or He does not exist.

    March 1, 2011 at 8:03 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Richard McCarthy,

      Jesus Christ died on the Cross so that we might have life everlasting not so that we can sin without guilt.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Glam

      Richard, you are making up a "god" that fits your lifestyle, not the God of the Bible. If God is a good God, which he is, then he has to be all things... loving, merciful, JUST... when we only pick and choose what part(s) of God we like and ignore the rest... we then are not serving the God of the Bible, and are not loving God at all. Thats serving/loving your own god, which in turn is idolatry.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Church of Suicidal

      Dear Richard,

      You're not allowed to think for yourself, silly boy. Only the Church knows the truth. It says so right here. Obey or burn, baby!

      March 1, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Jacob


      You're only picking and choosing the parts of God that support your ideas, which seem to be conformity and intolerance. I don't believe there's much to the whole God argument, but on the off-chance that you're right, I might as well head down to hell anyways to take care of all the poor unbaptized, Hindu, and Muslim kids that your God is punishing for eternity. Put in a good word for me and Richard and all the kids!

      March 2, 2011 at 4:15 am |
  14. CatholicMom

    The story stated, ‘But the Mars Hill Bible Church, which Bell founded, is not attached to any denomination. Were it attached to one – the Presbyterian or Catholic church, say – his book and video could raise eyebrows in the hierarchy and might lead to a church trial that could result in Bell's expulsion.’

    The Catholic Church is not a denomination. Christian ecclesial communities that derived their part of Christianity from Mother Church, the Catholic Church, are denominations.

    March 1, 2011 at 8:00 am |
    • Jimmy James

      That is Patently false. The Roman Catholic church is a denomination of Christianity. While all other denominations may have its roots in catholicism (notice the little "c" here, it's important), it does not mean that the Catholic Church (notice the big "c") is not a denomination. Much like most Romance languages are derived from Latin bases does not mean they are just dialects. All are languages and Latin, as a language, has died out. Think about that for a minute.

      March 1, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • Blacktooth Grin

      So, what you're trying to say is that there wasn't a church of Christ prior to the Catholic Church? I wonder what Jesus would say about that, you know, since he was teaching LONG before the Catholic church was even a twinkle in the Pope's eye.

      March 1, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • Bill

      The Catholic Church is not a denomination, but the Church. It wasn't called Catholic until early the 2nd century, but it is the same Church Christ founded through Peter. It remained the only Christian Church for 1000 years when the Orthodox split and until protestanism came along 600 years later. That was the beginning of denominations. And please, no nonsense about an invisible church. It didn't exist, left no writings or any evidenc3e of it's existence. It's a fairy tale.

      March 1, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Blacktooth Grin


      The Bible wasn't even put together until the 3rd century, so, where's the proof of Peter's church? You talk of nonsense of an invisible church due to the lack of evidence, yet you give yourself to a God and to a doctrine that has no proof of existence or fact. You can't bash one without the other, that turns into hypocrisy...

      March 1, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Davey Jones

      Well said sister! Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church. Anyone doesn't believe that, go back and read the writings of the Apostolic Church Fathers, St Polycarp of Smyrna, St Clement of Rome, and St Ignatius of Antioch. These men were taught directly by the Apostles, and their writings make it very clear that Jesus founded the Roman Catholic Church. The Bible even says it is necessary to follow both written word AND SACRED TRADITION.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Davy Jones,

      Yes! There is a way to read the Bible….

      The following Bible verses help us understand how we are to read the Bible……[Douay-Rheims]

      2Peter 1
      Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation.

      "No prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation"... This shows plainly that the scriptures are not to be expounded by any one's private judgment or private spirit, because every part of the holy scriptures were written by men inspired by the Holy Ghost, and declared as such by the Church; therefore they are not to be interpreted but by the Spirit of God, which he has left, and promised to remain with his Church to guide her in all truth to the end of the world. Some may tell us, that many of our ‘divines’ interpret the scriptures: they may do so, but they do it always with a submission to the judgment of the Church, and not otherwise.

      For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost.
      Acts Chapter 8
      Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzbSeOoBXu0 Father Corapi on how to read the Bible, [after the Mass readings]

      March 1, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Blacktooth Grin

      CatholicMom and Bill are correct.

      "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18).

      I know the protestants try to spin this, that the rock Jesus spoke of , was not Peter, but Jesus Himself. They do this, because if the verse is true, then the Catholic was/is the Mother Church. Also, if the verse is true then protestants would not have apostolic succession.

      I think the verse should be taken literally.

      Evangelicals did not exist until about 1730. Hard to imagine that Jesus had no church on earth, for 1700 years.


      March 1, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • CatholicMom

      David Johnson,
      You are listening to your Mother and using your head! God bless you!

      March 1, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • dittrimd

      If Jesus founded the Catholic Church and he was born and raised a Jew doesn't that make the Catholic Church/Christianity a denomination of Judiasm?

      Also if the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus in the middle east why is it referred to the Roman Catholic Church?

      I close with my favorite bumper sticker, "I Belive in God, not Religion"

      March 1, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • garza2526

      I haven't read Bell's book or seen the video, but I'm guessing from the comments he's saying that grace and love will save a bunch of people that some Christians believe, or have believed, will go to hell. OK. Maybe like little babies that die before being baptized? If the Catholic Church believes that, I have a hard time buying it's Christ's church...and maybe Bell is on to something.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • ScottK

      "Definition of denomination – 4. a religious organization whose congregations are united in their adherence to its beliefs and practices" Merriam-Webster

      The Catholic Church is one of many denominations worldwide. It does not matter who came first, the Churckin or the Egg.

      The Greek word καθολικός (katholikos) means "universal" or "general" so they are the Roman "General" Church which was meant to of course include everyone since they would put you to death if you did not convert which is why they have centuries of blood on their hands. I cannot for the life of me imagine why anyone would want to associate themselves with such a group that has such a violent and non-christlike history.

      March 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Scott

      Just a little church history. Peter did not start the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). He, Paul, and many others started churchs around Turkey, Greece, Rome, etc This is the story of Acts. These churchs in the next generation started more churchs through out the land but no overall organization like the RCC. The council of Nicea came along 3rd centruy after Constintine made Christianity an acceptable religion of Roman Empire. The churchs got together and went through the docturines and created one official catholic (means union) church. Thus starting the overall organization of the RCC with popes, priest, saints, etc.

      March 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      Some Jews did not believe Jesus is the Son of God and they are those who believe in Judiasm, not Christianity.
      The Catholic Church is often called the Roman Catholic Church because the seat of Peter is in the Diocese of Rome in the Vatican. But the Church’s name is the Catholic Church and not the Roman Catholic Church.

      The rest of my post was written by Kenneth D. Whitehead.

      Around the year A.D. 107, a bishop, St. Ignatius of Antioch in the Near East, was arrested, brought to Rome by armed guards and eventually martyred there in the arena. In a farewell letter which this early bishop and martyr wrote to his fellow Christians in Smyrna (today Izmir in modern Turkey), he made the first written mention in history of "the Catholic Church." He wrote, "Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" (To the Smyrnaeans 8:2). Thus, the second century of Christianity had scarcely begun when the name of the Catholic Church was already in use.

      Thereafter, mention of the name became more and more frequent in the written record. It appears in the oldest written account we possess outside the New Testament of the martyrdom of a Christian for his faith, the "Martyrdom of St. Polycarp," bishop of the same Church of Smyrna to which St. Ignatius of Antioch had written. St. Polycarp was martyred around 155, and the account of his sufferings dates back to that time. The narrator informs us that in his final prayers before giving up his life for Christ, St. Polycarp "remembered all who had met with him at any time, both small and great, both those with and those without renown, and the whole Catholic Church throughout the world."

      We know that St. Polycarp, at the time of his death in 155, had been a Christian for 86 years. He could not, therefore, have been born much later than 69 or 70. Yet it appears to have been a normal part of the vocabulary of a man of this era to be able to speak of "the whole Catholic Church throughout the world."

      The name had caught on, and no doubt for good reasons.

      The term "catholic" simply means "universal," and when employing it in those early days, St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Polycarp of Smyrna were referring to the Church that was already "everywhere," as distinguished from whatever sects, schisms or splinter groups might have grown up here and there, in opposition to the Catholic Church.

      The term was already understood even then to be an especially fitting name because the Catholic Church was for everyone, not just for adepts, enthusiasts or the specially initiated who might have been attracted to her.

      Again, it was already understood that the Church was "catholic" because - to adopt a modern expression - she possessed the fullness of the means of salvation. She also was destined to be "universal" in time as well as in space, and it was to her that applied the promise of Christ to Peter and the other apostles that "the powers of death shall not prevail" against her (Mt 16:18).

      The Catechism of the Catholic Church in our own day has concisely summed up all the reasons why the name of the Church of Christ has been the Catholic Church: "The Church is catholic," the Catechism teaches, "[because] she proclaims the fullness of the faith. She bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation. She is sent out to all peoples. She speaks to all men. She encompas-ses all times. She is 'missionary of her very nature'" (no. 868).
      So the name became attached to her for good. By the time of the first ecu-menical council of the Church, held at Nicaea in Asia Minor in the year 325 A.D., the bishops of that council were legislating quite naturally in the name of the universal body they called in the Council of Nicaea's official docu-ments "the Catholic Church." As most people know, it was that same council which formulated the basic Creed in which the term "catholic" was retained as one of the four marks of the true Church of Christ. And it is the same name which is to be found in all 16 docu-ments of the twenty-first ecu-menical council of the Church, Vatican Council II.

      It was still back in the fourth century that St. Cyril of Jerusalem aptly wrote, "Inquire not simply where the Lord's house is, for the sects of the profane also make an attempt to call their own dens the houses of the Lord; nor inquire merely where the church is, but where the Catholic Church is. For this is the peculiar name of this Holy Body, the Mother of all, which is the Spouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ" (Catecheses, xviii, 26).

      The same inquiry needs to be made in exactly the same way today, for the name of the true Church of Christ has in no way been changed. It was inevitable that the Catechism of the Catholic Church would adopt the same name today that the Church has had throughout the whole of her very long history.

      March 1, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Da King

      The Pope says that the people can only understand the Bible through the church. The problem is they don't teach it and many priests do not read the Bible or know the Bible. They are stuck in the liturgy and they have not been born of the Spirit of God so they can not understand the Bible, 1 Cor 2.14. A Spirit filled nondenominational church may be worth a try.

      March 2, 2011 at 2:10 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Da King,
      We listen to the Bible continually in the Catholic Church at every Mass. It takes about 3 years to cover it all and then we start over! We are to hear the Word by the mouth of someone SENT.
      Priests are very well educated! How do you know they have not been born again? Nearly all if not all Catholics have been Baptized and most assuredly every Priest has been Baptized before receiving Confirmation and Holy Orders.
      Being there are now at least 38000 ecclesial communities which have split from Lutheranism after Luther split from the Catholic Church…how do you go about finding the one which is Spirit filled?

      March 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  15. Reality

    More book hyping by Gilgoff and Marrapodi!!! One assumes they get a "slice of the mumbo jumbo pie".

    March 1, 2011 at 7:47 am |
  16. HeavenSent

    We are suppose to read the Bible on our own to comprehend what Jesus wants for us and from us.


    March 1, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • The Bobinator

      We are supposed to read the bible and critically analyze it to see if it's valid, then and only then, should we read it to see what Jesus wants us to do.

      Fixed it for you.

      March 1, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "We are suppose to read the Bible on our own to comprehend what Jesus wants for us and from us."

      If god had created a bible that was not ambiguous, you could do that. But since He didn't , you cannot.

      There are 38,000 different Christian denominations. All read the Bible. All came away with a different comprehension.



      March 1, 2011 at 8:32 am |
  17. The Truth

    U2's Bono is now a Christian author? lol

    March 1, 2011 at 7:04 am |
  18. KJN

    Correction needed:

    The article states: "What we believe about heaven and hell is incredibly important because it exposes what we believe about who God likes," Bell says in it.

    But the video actually says "What we believe about heaven and hell is incredibly important because it exposes what we believe about who God is, and what God is like."

    Big difference there.

    March 1, 2011 at 6:58 am |
    • Upperhand

      This is liberal CNN, it should'nt be a surprise. They detest anything that is truth in regards to Christianity. Lies about Christianity are okay though. Notice how they ALWAYS pain Islam in the best light possible.

      March 1, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • WWG

      KJN, the wording changes the entire meaning of the phrase.

      March 1, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  19. Denny Burk

    Thank you for your faithfulness to the truth, Justin.

    March 1, 2011 at 6:57 am |
  20. doctore0

    All gospels are false, all gods are fake; Religions are scams made to control you, made to make you accept poverty, made to take your money.
    This is your only life, don't let religion take it away from you.

    March 1, 2011 at 6:25 am |
    • shawn


      March 1, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • HM1968

      So a book that's been around for over 2,000 years is false?? What proof do you have that it's false? Everything that is in the bible that has been prophecized has either happened, or going to happen. Maybe you should read the bible to see that what was prophecized thousands of years ago is now coming true. No all Gods are fake...there is only one true God. It's a shame that you are wasting your life condemning Christianity when it appears you know nothing of what you are talking about.

      March 1, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • gerald


      March 1, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Jcork

      Yup. Preach on, brotha!

      March 1, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • gerald

      Well said HM1968

      March 1, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • gerald

      So we all get a flash in eternity and then we're dust again. Hey that gets me excited. Christianity is not about accepting trials. It's about dealing with them. We all have them.

      March 1, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Upperhand

      So says an atheist with enough faith to believe God doesn't exist.

      March 1, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Chris

      HM1968 How about we turn your argument on its head. You think a book written over 2,00 years ago by semi-nomadic herders is 100 percent acurate? It doesn't strike you as odd that God commands people not to kill in one chapter, and then allows his "chosen people" to unleash whole sale slaughter of innocent people to take the "promised" land??? You think someone who is so ignorant of the world around them they literally think sailing too far out in the ocean means falling off the edge of the world wrote a book with the answers to the universe in it....of course, why wouldn't that make perfect sense.

      March 1, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Chris

      BTW HM1968 is you took a moment to read a history book along with your bible you may be surprised to find out that the bible you read is no more than a collection of random religious texts voted on by Bishops of the Holy Roman Empire during the Council of Nicaea under Emperor Constantine. There are literally hundreds of books and texts left out of the Bible that were all at one time considered by many to be "the absolute word of God", but since the Bishops wanted to consolidate power, they voted to make one book with a collection of their favorites. Sounds reliable right?

      March 1, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Theology 101

      I've learned over the years that a person's religious views cannot be changed by someone else. While it can be fun to debate our points of view, in the end, it's futile to try to "prove" one side or the other. Your own religion only comes into question in your own mind when you study other religions and mythologies in depth. Almost every religion there has ever been believed that it was the one true religion and it's god/gods were the only real ones. This makes you question why your religion is any different. Ultimately, Faith is just that – belief without direct evidence. There is nothing wrong with that as long as it doesn't involve harming or killing others that do not hold your belief. The reality is that there is no real evidence (much less proof) that any god/gods exist, otherwise there would be no debate.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • verily

      And we are supposed to believe you, because...? If you know who Jesus is, there is liberty and peace. Not as the "world" gives, as the world is fallen. Where is the control in that? Seriously, you don't know what you are talking about. Not that I know everything, there are many things I'm ignorant about. But for you to say that my or anyone else's relationship with God is "false", thats ridicoulous. That's like me telling you that you don't have a relationship with your mother, father, brother, sister, or son, etc.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • graceonfire

      I would say that since that is your belief, don't let religion take your life from YOU. My beliefs give me peace, strength, and comfort, which means MY beliefs help MY life. My beliefs, my life, my business. Looks like it doesn't have anything to do with you, or your beliefs. Imagine that.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • Drbbt

      To Chris: You operate under the assumption that a history book is correct and absolutely truthful. Also, it is much easier to "turn an argument on its head," rather than answer the question.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You said "So a book that's been around for over 2,000 years is false??"
      The age of a story has nothing to do with its veracity.
      The Epic of Gilgamesh is twice as old as The Bible and continues to be read and studied. In fact, many of the core stories from teh Bible are torn right out of Gilgamesh, including:
      1) a mystical snake who costs humanity immortality
      2) the ejection of Man from Paradise (Eden in your bible, Enkidu for Gilgamesh)
      3) Gilgamesh XI is almost exactly the same as the Noah Flood story
      4) The speech of one character in Gilgamesh is repeated in Ecclesiastes 9:7-10
      There is some archeological evidence that Gilgamesh was a real person – more than Jesus has.

      So, do you believe in the reality of a Sumerian king who lived 125 years and travelled to Hell and back?

      March 1, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Godless

      "But for you to say that my or anyone else's relationship with God is "false", thats ridicoulous. That's like me telling you that you don't have a relationship with your mother, father, brother, sister, or son, etc."

      @ verily: Um, I can prove that my father, mother, brother, sister, etc. exist, therefore I can prove the relationship exists. Your relationship with god exists only in your mind. See the difference?

      March 1, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • gomezbaby

      How do you know? Pretty arrogant don't you think?

      March 1, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • John Richardson

      @HM1968 Hindu and Zoroastrian books have been around even longer and I'd wager you wouldn't even consider the possibility of their being true. Christians casually dismiss any number of religions that have been around for thousands of years w/o ever reading even the Cliff's Notes version of their texts, which would seem to be the absolute minimum you'd have to do to have a worthwhile opinion. But when people who have been raised in Christianity, gone to church and read the bible reject Christianity, they get all shrieky. This is why so many consider religious Christians to be illiterate imbeciles and raving hypocrites: because they generally speaking ARE!!!

      March 1, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • 4 Life

      Religion is man made but GOd is real. What you choose to believe is your decision. But one thing is for sure, one day you will died and I would rather decide now what I believe and choose Heaven, than to die and find out I was wrong and end up in hell trying to figure out what I can do. Nothing, Absoultely Nothing at that point. It's too late.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Nathan

      Nice troll. You win. (You lose)

      March 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Adrien

      @Drbbt: I would be much more inclined to believe what I read in a history book than what's written in the bible as there's actual PROOF that the events in history books ACTUALLY HAPPENED. No historian has had to defend their information with "You just have to have faith."

      March 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Another Larry

      @HM1968: "So a book that's been around for over 2,000 years is false?? What proof do you have that it's false? Everything that is in the bible that has been prophecized has either happened, or going to happen."

      Claiming something is going to happen isn't really proof of anything, it's just another desperate attempt to claim there's proof when there is no proof at all.

      March 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Another Larry

      @HM1968: "No all Gods are fake...there is only one true God."

      “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” — Stephen Roberts

      March 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Texasbull

      any of you ever seen or heard god before?

      March 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Starman

      There are 1500 different "Christian" religions and each one is different and each one thinks the other teach false doctrine (as well as the other going to burn in ever fire). Get over it

      March 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • callen

      Chris are you getting all your information from atheist.com? How about you actually do your own research. You want to know the truth history, archaeology science, medicine, astronomy, physics all confirm the bible. Any before you give me that evolution stuff explain the laws of thermodynamics, law of conservation of energy and law of entropy and then tell about evolution. Thanks!

      March 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • HM1968

      To John Richardson: Thank you for stooping down so low as to pretty much call me an imbecile. Why don't you go back home, put on your big boy underwear, and try not to act like a child by doing the name calling?? I have my beliefs and you have yours. Just because I voice mine and you don't agree does does not give you the right to get snarky. You have a right to disagree and that is fine. We will all see the truth at the end of time. Just be sure to have you a fan to take with you where you as you will need it where you are going. I will be praying for you now that I have your full name. Also, you may not believe in God, but he believes in you. Just remember that and maybe there will be a lot less anger in your life.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Kings-X

      Wicked. Glad you have all the knowledge, bro. Can you tell me how you know all of that? Like, how did you figure it out and stuff? Just curious. I keep hearing stuff like that, but I can't seem to find anyone who has a source...

      March 1, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • Da King

      Jesus is opposed to religion too because it is of man. The kind of fear experienced by doc is sad. If you only knew how God loves you. You would know peace and you would prosper in all things. Doc, it could happen to you. Jesus said "I give not as the world gives, my peace I give to you. Jesus did not come to condemn you but to save you. This world and life is only temporary. May Gods kingdom come to you. It's good to be a sheep.

      March 2, 2011 at 1:44 am |
    • Servant of G*D

      Behold the One who dwells from within you souless goat. God is not about religion is about the Force.!! if this is too imaginarry for you then you must be a sheep or a goat. Not yet a son of a living God. Behold i am son of Living God.

      March 2, 2011 at 5:01 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.