March 19th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Rob Bell punches back against claims of heresy

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

New York (CNN) - For two weeks while controversy swirled around him, Pastor Rob Bell stayed silent. His critics said he was playing fast and loose with heaven and hell, salvation and damnation. The eternity of souls was on the line, they said.

All this was over Bell’s new book, “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.” Critics tore into it before the book even hit store shelves on Tuesday, some going so far as to label Bell a heretic. The controversy pushed the book into the third spot on Amazon’s sales ranking, virtually assuring the book a place on The New York Times Best Sellers list.

On Monday night, dressed in black and sporting his trademark black-rimmed glasses, Bell strolled quietly into the auditorium of the New York Ethical Culture Society. This was his chance to hit back.

“I never set out to be controversial,” Bell told CNN before the event. “I don’t think it’s a goal that God honors. I don’t think it’s a noble goal.

“What’s interesting to me is what’s true. And what’s interesting to me is what’s inspiring. And what’s interesting to me is where’s the life? Where’s the inspiration? That’s what I’m interested in. If that happens to stir things up, that was never my intent, but I’ll accept that.”

Bell said he was surprised by the controversy around his book. Critics said he was preaching universalism, a theology that suggests everyone goes to heaven and hell is empty.

“I’m not a universalist. So that’s just not true.” He reiterated that again in the event that evening where he expounded on that idea and said that he didn’t believe God reaches down and sweeps everyone to heaven.

'Good environment for dialogue'

After a budding career as a rock star was derailed by a freak illness, Bell set his sights on the seminary. Now, at 40, he has risen to become America’s hipster pastor and one of the most influential preachers in the country.

He is quick-witted, non-denominational, and he unabashedly loves Jesus. He preaches to 10,000 people at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan, the church he founded. His first four books sold nearly a million copies combined, and his short film series, Nooma, has sold more than 2 million DVDs.

He will tell you he again and again he is a pastor, not a theologian or a biblical scholar.

But for a guy who dresses in black, Bell has made his mark examining the gray areas of Christianity. His questioning of traditional approaches without always giving answers has brought him fans and made his critics gnash their teeth.

“It’s very appealing because he brings lots of facts and lots of information into it and lots of historical context into whatever discussion he has,” said Kristi Berderon, a 25-year-old Bell fan who drove an hour from New Jersey for the event. “He leaves it open-ended. He lets you think and draw your own conclusions for yourself instead of spoon-feeding what he grew up hearing or what he was taught in seminary.”

She and her friend Tommy Hayes are a lot like the others in the crowd tonight: wearing skinny jeans and dark-rimmed glasses - and openly exploring their faith. Berderon’s parents are Southern Baptists; she was home schooled and raised in the church. Today she attends a non-denominational church and self-identifies as a “Christ follower” but bristles at being called a Christian.

Danielle Miller and Maryalice Spencer took a two-hour train ride from Walden, New York, to hear Bell speak. They walked 25 blocks and stood in line in the cold to get in. Miller uses Bell’s short films as a discussion starter in her church. “I think it’s always good to ask those hard questions, and I think that’s what he’s doing, and it creates a good environment for dialogue,” Miller said.

Bell was in New York City to sit down with Newsweek’s Lisa Miller for a conversation on stage and take questions from the 650 audience members and thousands more watching the event streaming live on the Web.

Bell and Miller on stage at the New York Ethical Culture Society auditorium.

Before the crowds arrived, a contemplative Bell settled into a pew to talk with CNN about the book and to answer his critics.

The book began, he said, five years ago. “As a pastor, you interact with so many people [that] some of the same questions keep coming up. And ultimately you keep bumping up against what people really think about God.”

In his church and around the country, he saw what he considered a misrepresentation of the Christian narrative in the Bible.

“At the heart of the Christian story is [the message that] God loves the world and sent his son Jesus to show the world this love. So that’s fundamentally first and foremost the story. God is love and God sent Jesus to show this love.

“In our culture Christians are known for a number of other things. … Rarely do you hear people say, ‘Oh yeah, those are the people who never stop talking about love. Oh a Christian church - that’s where you go if feel beaten down and kicked and someone has their boot on your neck. You go there because it’s a place of healing and a place of love.’

“I’m passionate about calling people back to [Christianity’s] roots,” Bell said.

'Theology of evacuation'

In his new book, Bell challenges the traditional notions of heaven and hell.

“For many people the fundamental story was one of escape - Jesus is how you get out of here. I think for many people in the modern world, the way they heard it was fundamentally, ‘This place is bad, and there is some other place, and Jesus - believe, accept, trust, confess, join, get baptized, whatever sort of language got put on it - Jesus is how you get to some other realm where things are good.’

“So essentially it’s a theology of evacuation. And my understanding is the Bible is first and foremost a story of restoration. It’s a story of renewal.”

“The fundamental story arc of the Bible,” he said “is God is passionate about rescuing this world, restoring it renewing it. So discussions about heaven and hell … for many people are irrelevant and esoteric. … But what happens is, what you believe about heaven and hell deeply shapes how you engage this world now.”

Bell said if a believer has their eyes on heaven, they can miss the opportunities to bring people a taste of heaven here on Earth - and they can miss seeing the hell around them.

“Greed, injustice, the sex trade in Far East Asia, we see hell all around us, whenever people reject what is good and human and right and peaceful and all that,” he said.

“I begin with this world right now and the observation that we are free to choose. It’s the nature of love. So then when you die, I would assume [given] the nature of love you can continue to make these types of choices.”

For Bell the here and now is just as important as any possible life to come. “I think it’s very very important to point out … [that] we are speculating about after you die,” he said.

“In the Jewish context in which [Jesus] lived and moved, you didn’t have that articulated belief system about when you die. It was very rooted in this life - dirt and wine and banquets, family and fishing. [In] his stories, it’s all a very visceral – this world is our home, this world that God loves, that God is redeeming - so that’s the starting point.

“I think for many people they were taught you’re either in or out. But Jesus invites us to a journey that’s a fundamentally different way to think about it, and that frees you up from a lot of things that I think haunt people, bind them up and make them miserable. Then it creates all sorts of space for wonder and awe and mystery and the unexpected,” Bell said.

His perspective does not line up with many of the traditional views about heaven and hell, of separate spaces and places with streets of gold or lakes of fire.

For Christians who see salvation and heaven as crucial elements to their faith, Bell’s message can be abrasive - which in part led to so many people pouncing on his book before it was released.

What stirred many critics was a promotional video in which Bell asks whether Mohandas Gandhi, India’s non-violent leader, was in heaven. Bell’s answer offers a good insight into his view of salvation.

Bell would not be surprised if he saw Gandhi in heaven. “Jesus was very clear. Heaven is full of surprises. That’s central to Jesus teaching.”

Bell insists there is room for mystery in salvation and that Christianity is open to discussion.

“The historical orthodox Christian faith is extremely wide and diverse,” Bell said. “No one has the last word other than God. I am taking part in a discussion that’s been going on for thousands of years. Everyone can play a part in that discussion.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Devil

soundoff (1,308 Responses)
  1. fsygywgkuyf

    He's just another Liberal Christian pushing gay marriage.

    March 19, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • HeavenSent

      If that's his agenda, he's a phony preacher teaching the ways of the world, not Jesus' truth. Only Jesus' truth saves souls. This man does not have the authority to save any souls, including his own. Preachers who do not preach Jesus' truth are the first to be judged. If he were a true follower of Jesus Christ he'd know this. Since, he doesn't know or doesn't care speaks volumes.

      I wrote it before and I'll write it again. The sin of Pride and the sin of Lust are blinding anyone living this lifestyle. The only way they can have these sins fall to the wayside is to read the Bible on their own and STOP listening to other sinners leading them to the eternal flames. Misery loves company and this guy surely is miserable (wolf in sheep's clothing) with that big ego blocking him from knowing Jesus' truth. Not knowing Jesus' truth is why he wrote his own book, leading any that pay attention to him astray.


      March 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • LJ

      "phony preacher" So are you, do you even have any credentials for being a preacher. Probably not and if you did you wasted your money. LOL!

      March 22, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  2. April

    Jesus's words about Hell utilize common ideas that the people of his time espoused. For example – Gehenna was the ever-burning garbage heap outside of town. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus brings to attention the Jewish idea of the afterlife being by Abraham's side. None of these passages are intended to give us a theology of the ins and outs of hell. Are we to believe that Hell is a real place where there is eternal separation from God? Yes, I think so, but I also agree with Rob Bell that any ideas we come up with about what that reality looks like is pure speculation. Let's get off this topic and go do something that matters.

    March 19, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • a2rjr

      The important issue is separation from God. As a Christian that should be what bothers you.

      March 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Matthew 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9;
      Mark 9:43, 23:15, 33; 45, 47;
      Luke 12:5;
      James 3:6


      March 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  3. Chris

    The world gives a collective "meh" and continues its collective slide into its self-induced oblivion.

    March 19, 2011 at 9:08 am |
  4. rodneycolma

    Why is cnn heaping so much attention on this man? His ideas may be good, but truly, it seems like they are hyping him. Seems like a proper pr campaign they are waging. It really makes me wonder about cnn.

    March 19, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  5. Horvath

    "Reality" = whatever 'Reality' says is right or wrong.

    The 'reality' of the matter is, Science has no flipping clue but insist they know the answers and those that don't align themselves with THEIR answers are narrow-minded fools. Oh, the irony: People that disagree with 'traditional science' are narrow-minded, clueless, followers of the blind leading the blind.

    Sound familiar?

    Excuse me while I go listen to Hawking once again try to explain to me how matter (the universe) created itself, using scientific, empirical evidence...............reality, you see.

    March 19, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Stephen Hawking, C student.


      March 20, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Smite Me

      Jesus couldn't even write.

      March 20, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus could write. He allowed men inspired by His Holy Spirit to scribe His truth. God is the author of the Bible.


      March 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Dave

      But...Jesus did not write the bible and it was written long after he was dead....hello,...can you hear me now....hello,...how about now

      March 21, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Dave, Jesus is God.


      March 22, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • Dave

      Jesus still didn't write the bible.

      March 22, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  6. Lee

    Luke 19:27...My favorite...Jesus sez "Run a sword through em"...Now that's a savior...


    March 19, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • collins61

      I bet he was talking about your ancestors, goof.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • Andrew

      That verse is part of a parable(story) with Jesus speaking in character. That's blatantly taking a verse out of context. I would hope you could raise a more valid objection than that. Especially when calling people idiots.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Joel

      Actually, read luke 19:11-27. It's a parable. Read the context.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Lee (LOL), the sword of Jesus is His truth. Not the lies of satan that has no sword only deceit to take as many of God's children with him to the eternal flames to be blotted out ... poof, no more.

      We all have free will to choose. Love and follow Jesus (truth) and you spiritually live while housed in human form on this earth, as well as through eternity. Love and follow satan (lies) and you die spiritually while housed in human form on this earth as well as through eternity.

      Christians read the entire Bible. We know the ending to the His story. You don't. We are trying to tell you Jesus wins and satan looses.

      Choose wisely. Your soul depends on it.


      March 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  7. Mudfoot

    One thing I've noticed, all the anti-Christians have mean and angry post. Why does Jesus/Christianity stir up such emotions?

    March 19, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • Martin

      They are not all that way, but it's the ones who are that stand out. They are miserable in this world and so desperately need to believe in another, better, one. And when other folks challenge it they get angry because someone is questioning the validity of their fantasy and they feel threatened and cornered and so they become vicious.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • Tom Shriver

      Because of the violence done throughout the ages in the name of your "jesus".

      March 19, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Babs

      Religious Pharisees tend to bring up that reaction....but Phariseeism and orthodox Christianity are two different things. (Just like heresy-ism and orthodoxy are two different things). Sometimes you gotta work through the counterfeits to find the real.

      I just wish more could be said to clarify the differences. Phariseeism, heresy-ism, AND atheism are all to be distinguished from orthodox Christianity.

      People who are orthodox in their beliefs tend to be orthopractic too (practice what they preach, or repent when they don't). It seems like the closer one gets to orthodoxy, the more honest, yet gracious, should be.

      And always remember, just because someone DOESN'T practice what they preach, even though they should, doesn't automatically make their beliefs invalid. If anything, it is further proof that they/we need a Savior.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Michael

      Why do they appear to be so angry? If you have ever had to tell a 3-year old "NO, you cannot do that" you see the same reaction. If Christianity is true there is a God who rules over all and it infuriates them that they are not in control.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • a2rjr

      Because Satan is evil and evil hates Truth. Thus, the anger.

      March 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Christians know His truth.

      The Lord has made all for Himself, yes even the wicked for the day of doom. Proverbs 16:4 (Romans 9:6-24, Psalms 92:5-7)

      We debate scriptures so others know His truth. Free will, remember. Follow Jesus (truth) and you live spiritually while house in human form then in the hereafter. Follow satan (lies) and you spiritually die while housed in human form as well as through eternity.

      We all have a choice. Choose wisely.


      March 20, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Nathan

      It's funny how you choose to reply to most of the posts here, if you really think about it it is NOT something Christ would be doing.

      March 21, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
  8. Puzzled in Peoria

    Funny how articles on religion immediately bring out atheists who base their comments on opinions of books written by other atheists, simply to be controversial. As far as Crossan and the Jesus Seminar go, they VOTED on whether sayings of Jesus were authentic, with shoddy scholarship and more opinion.

    The truth is that some people will get it and some never will. We all worship some god, whether it's the true God or self. An honest reading of the NT shows that Jesus talked about heaven and hell as real places. Mr. Bell can ascribe actions to God that contradict Scripture, but as he said, that's speculation.

    Bottom line? God cannot be known by reason, as atheists insist he must. He can only be known by faith.

    March 19, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • Magic

      "As far as Crossan and the Jesus Seminar go, they VOTED on whether sayings of Jesus were authentic, with shoddy scholarship and more opinion."

      How do you think the Bible was put together by early churchmen from old-timey writings? They VOTED on which ones to include.

      March 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36, 1 John 2:3-5).

      Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9)

      "For the wrath of God IS revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. . ." Romans 1:18-32

      They will find themselves weeping and gnashing their teeth (Matthew 8:12; 22:1-14; 25;14-30; Luke 13:28).

      Jesus warned,

      Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13)


      March 20, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Sunshine

      Yawn...more of the same old thing copy, paste, copy paste.... how original. Google can be such a great tool for those who can't think for themselves.

      March 20, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      LJ, cough, I mean sunshine, you just did (SMILE). They write directly from Jesus truth too.

      I thought you weren't going to blog again. Oh, switch those handles (LOL).


      March 22, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • LJ

      HS I said I wasn't going to continue arguing with you on the other thread. This other poster is not me, all you are doing is to continue to show you lack more in reading comprehension, please continue. LOL!

      March 22, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • LJ

      Sunshine nice catch, I caught it too that HS was using other sites to post on here. I thought it was more like biblestudy.com or something like that. HS uses the sites to look up and quote scripture like they actually know what they are talking about. There was another poster Jenn who also pointed out the pitfalls to only quoting snippets of text without including the entire scriptures around it, also putting it into historical context, taking into account the cultural habits of the time, etc. This poster is unable to do this which is why they continue misinterpret the true meaning of the scriptures.

      March 22, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  9. Dingo

    Who cares about what this guys says? He is not say or arguing anything that has not already been discussed in the 2,000 years of Christian theology. I don't find this guy extraordinary in any way.

    March 19, 2011 at 8:52 am |
  10. john

    Religion. It's over. Amen!

    March 19, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • HeavenSent

      So says john who has no eyes to see, ears to hear, spiritually walking dead among us, spewing babble nonsense as well without water.

      They will find themselves weeping and gnashing their teeth (Matthew 8:12; 22:1-14; 25;14-30; Luke 13:28).

      Jesus warned,

      Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13)


      March 20, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • john

      "spewing babble nonsense as well without water."

      Yes, you are spewing or is that foaming at the mouth.

      March 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  11. Ron

    It always happens, when someone believes differently from other Christians, it's heresy.
    What I see is a lot of, 'you don't believe as I do' syndrome but of course, I'm right.

    March 19, 2011 at 7:58 am |
    • Michael

      Plenty of people disagree with orthodox Christian doctrine without being labeled heretics. Christians even disagree among themselves over some points but there is a set of core non-negotiable doctrines that all who call themselves Christian must accept. Anyone who claims to be a Christian who teaches differently could rightly be labeled a heretic. I do not know if this man's teaching crosses that line or not but it does seem that he is at least getting close.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • I Ching

      Michael, you say there is some sort of "core doctrine"?
      Could you edify us as to the particulars in your opinion? i.e. What are they?
      For I have never heard of anyone agreeing on such a thing. Ever.
      Are you Catholic, perchance? Did you know there are "Christians" who point to the passage about "those who only believe" without any qualifications according to the words of "Jesus" himself as the basis for being "Christians"???
      Therefore you cannot have a doctrine set in stone, according to anyone who makes the claim.

      That is how religious people are ironically at a disadvantage to knowing who actually believes. It can be faked and there is no way to prove different...wait for it....because "faith" requires NO PROOF!

      March 20, 2011 at 4:08 am |
    • I Ching

      HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA !!!

      March 20, 2011 at 4:09 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I Ching, these scriptures are some of His truth.

      For the wrath of God IS revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. . . Romans 1:18-32


      March 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  12. Reality

    History not heresy:

    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment.

    2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan se-cts.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hit-ti-tes, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    For added "pizz-azz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "fil-icider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedo-ph-iliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    3. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:

    Adu-lterous and ped-ophiliac preachers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    March 19, 2011 at 7:54 am |
    • Richard

      and it all starts with "probably"

      March 19, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • Horvath

      "The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hit-ti-tes, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics." And this idea as posted by you is more speculation than fact. Do the actual research to find out how well the comparison between Mitrha and Jesus actually hold up.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • Connecticutian

      I'm guessing that in 2000 years, nobody will know who Chilton, Crossan, and Borg were. Weird that you would say Jesus and Christians throughout history were hallucinating, but accept the "Jesus Seminar" self-promoters as authoritative.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Reality

      Some references used by contemporary historic Jesus scholars and summarized previously in the updated Apostles' Creed and the History vs. heresy section:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter
      100-200 Odes of Solomon

      101-220 Book of Elchasai

      105-115 Ignatius of Antioch

      110-140 Polycarp to the Philippians

      110-140 Papias

      110-160 Oxyrhynchus 840 Gospel

      110-160 Traditions of Matthias

      111-112 Pliny the Younger

      115 Suetonius

      115 Tacitus

      120-130 Quadratus of Athens

      120-130 Apology of Aristides

      120-140 Basilides

      120-140 Naassene Fragment

      120-160 Valentinus

      120-180 Apocryphon of John

      120-180 Gospel of Mary

      120-180 Dialogue of the Savior

      120-180 Gospel of the Savior

      120-180 2nd Apocalypse of James

      120-180 Trimorphic Protennoia

      130-140 Marcion

      130-150 Aristo of Pella

      130-160 Epiphanes On Righteousness

      130-160 Ophite Diagrams

      130-160 2 Clement

      130-170 Gospel of Judas

      130-200 Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus

      140-150 Epistula Apostolorum

      140-160 Ptolemy

      140-160 Isidore

      140-170 Fronto

      140-170 Infancy Gospel of James

      140-170 Infancy Gospel of Thomas

      140-180 Gospel of Truth

      150-160 Martyrdom of Polycarp

      150-160 Justin Martyr

      150-180 Excerpts of Theodotus

      150-180 Heracleon

      150-200 Ascension of Isaiah

      150-200 Acts of Peter

      150-200 Acts of John

      150-200 Acts of Paul

      150-200 Acts of Andrew

      150-225 Acts of Peter and the Twelve

      150-225 Book of Thomas the Contender

      150-250 Fifth and Sixth Books of Esra

      150-300 Authoritative Teaching

      150-300 Coptic Apocalypse of Paul

      150-300 Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth

      150-300 Melchizedek

      150-400 Acts of Pilate

      150-400 Anti-Marcionite Prologues

      160-170 Tatian's Address to the Greeks

      160-180 Claudius Apollinaris

      160-180 Apelles

      160-180 Julius Cassianus

      160-250 Octavius of Minucius Felix

      161-180 Acts of Carpus

      165-175 Melito of Sardis

      165-175 Hegesippus

      165-175 Dionysius of Corinth

      165-175 Lucian of Samosata

      167 Marcus Aurelius

      170-175 Diatessaron

      170-200 Dura-Europos Gospel Harmony

      170-200 Muratorian Canon

      170-200 Treatise on the Resurrection

      170-220 Letter of Peter to Philip

      175-180 Athenagoras of Athens

      175-185 Irenaeus of Lyons

      175-185 Rhodon

      175-185 Theophilus of Caesarea

      175-190 Galen

      178 Celsus

      178 Letter from Vienna and Lyons

      180 Passion of the Scillitan Martyrs

      180-185 Theophilus of Antioch

      180-185 Acts of Apollonius

      180-220 Bardesanes

      180-220 Kerygmata Petrou

      180-230 Hippolytus of Rome

      180-250 1st Apocalypse of James

      180-250 Gospel of Philip

      182-202 Clement of Alexandria

      185-195 Maximus of Jerusalem

      185-195 Polycrates of Ephesus

      188-217 Talmud

      189-199 Victor I

      190-210 Pantaenus

      193 Anonymous Anti-Montanist

      193-216 Inscription of Abercius

      197-220 Tertullian

      200-210 Serapion of Antioch

      200-210 Apollonius

      200-220 Caius

      200-220 Philostratus

      200-225 Acts of Thomas

      200-250 Didascalia

      200-250 Books of Jeu

      200-300 Pistis Sophia

      200-300 Coptic Apocalypse of Peter

      203 Acts of Perpetua and Felicitas

      203-250 Origen

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      10. 7. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm
      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      March 19, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, history means His Story. Jesus' truth about Life and the hereafter (the Bible, written by men divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. Author is God.


      March 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  13. Reality

    Heresy or reality?

    The Apostles' Creed 2010: (updated based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

    I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.


    March 19, 2011 at 7:47 am |
    • Horvath

      Ya, we've seen this many times. Be original already, unless you are copying off of everyone else, which is ironically, what you say Christians did.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • Zing!

      That's gonna leave a mark. Five points for Horvath! Reality gets one demerit for his lack of proofreading skills.

      March 20, 2011 at 3:55 am |
  14. doubting thomas

    Human beings are not fit to make judgments or pronouncements about eternal destiny: that is an orthodox stance. That means that, as he understands things, there is no doctrinal quiz where, as human beings, we can go through the some finite number of key questions with someone, check the boxes and determine their ultimate destiny. Does that seem problematic? If so, why does that seem problematic? If anyone wants to read a defense of the legitimacy of Rob's ideas and how they come out of a strain within orthodoxy, check it out here: http://g0spel0fj0hn.com/2011/03/19/love-wins-by-rob-bell-initial-thoughts-2/

    March 19, 2011 at 4:54 am |
  15. Jared Farnum

    I blogged about this. http://jaredfarnum.com/blog/rob-bell-no-hell/

    March 19, 2011 at 4:54 am |
    • Buddha

      Really? I had jello for lunch.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  16. Nero the Great

    The day I see a Christian get eaten by a whale, and survive after three days in its stomach, and when one of you stops healing out-of-work actors on CBN and actually raise a dead person from the grave, then and only then will I take seriously the notion that a 32 year old carpenter who has been dead for 2,000 years is our savior and somehow lives inside of you, even though you can not measure or exhbit it without trying to tell us it's the mystery of your deluded faith. I have more respect for a 4 year old who believes in Santa Claus, since they're 4, want presents, and have a valid excuse for their ignorance.

    March 19, 2011 at 3:27 am |
    • chef dugan

      Well said. However, you left out the tooth fairy. Speculation is a nice word to cover their ignorance. The preachers tell them, they believe but nobody questions the preachers source of knowledge and it sure ain't that work of fiction called the bible.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • Mikey-A

      I think you make a good point. I am a Christian but can't stand CBN and wonder about Jonah and the whale, etc. However, the logical, common sense question that always brings me back to Jesus is this, If Jesus died, which is historically accepted, but did NOT raise himself from the dead and appear to his disciples, why would 10 of his 12 immediate followers all STILL go and allow themselves to be kiiled, after Jesus was crucified? When we see cults today, the cult usally disbands right after the leader is exposed as a fraud. But 2,000 years later, people still choose to believe. You may want to check out Ravi Zacharias at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHRP0I2SrVs

      March 19, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • Babs

      So everybody who doesn't agree with you about God is an idiot? And that makes you....?

      Atheists go around saying all those who do believe in God are idiots. Meanwhile religious Pharisees go around saying all those who don't believe in their Republicanized version of "God" are idiots. Meanwhile, heretics also go around promoting false doctrine and telling everyone they're not idiots. That's good stuff. Funny! No wonder we're all confused.

      I'm all for the orthodox center – where Jesus is and where He and culture intersect. I'll keep my orthodox Jesus in spite of all the confusion and controversy swirling around.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Bubba

      "Atheists go around saying all those who do believe in God are idiots" No, we don't. Are you an idiot or something?

      March 19, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • Rich



      We are still a primitive society if there is no way to prove a divine intervention or a loving "god" that allows children to die but murderers to live. for people who do not care for their fellow man just to make a few more dollars and allow a good man to be impoverished. ALL THIS YOU SEE IS DESIGNED BY HUMANS TO COUNTERACT THE FEAR OF DYING.


      March 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • a2rjr

      You lost the argument at 32 years old.

      March 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Another one that babbles nonsense (well without water) because he has no eyes to see, nor ears to hear as he walks around spiritually dead in this world, dry bones.

      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1. John 1:14, Hebrews 4:12-13, Galatians 3:8.

      Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! Deuteronomy 6:4 (Zechariah 14:9)

      Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord: and besides Me there is no savior. Isaiah 43:10-11 (Isaiah 44: 6-8, 24; 45:5-10, 18, 21-22)

      He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray. (Proverbs 10:17)

      Those who go astray from the word of God, are not in the truth, and are not saved; and their words are words of deceit, as Psalm 119:118 declares,

      You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is falsehood.

      God rejects all those who stray from His word. It does not matter what the subject matter is. There is no salvation for any who heed not holy writ, as Psalm 119:21 proclaims,

      You rebuke the proud, the cursed, who stray from Your commandments.

      How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge. (Proverbs 1:22)

      Their complacency will destroy them (Proverbs 1:32).

      Christ said,

      Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)

      Life is had "by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (i.e. Genesis to Revelation). It is trust in the word of God that saves, as James exhorts,

      Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

      It is the word of God that saves (e.g. Luke 8:11-12). It is the word of God that must be believed (e.g. Genesis 15:5-6; Romans 4:3). If you are directed away from faith in the word of God, whatever the issue, this can lead to the destruction of your soul.

      Ecclesiastes 12:5 Also [when] they shall be afraid of [that which is] high, and fears [shall be] in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

      Ecclesiastes 12:6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

      Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

      Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

      Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

      Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

      Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)

      He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36, 1 John 2:3-5).

      Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9)

      "For the wrath of God IS revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. . ." Romans 1:18-32

      They will find themselves weeping and gnashing their teeth (Matthew 8:12; 22:1-14; 25;14-30; Luke 13:28).

      Jesus warned,

      Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13)


      March 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Sunshine

      Why don't you just give the websites http://www.atruechurch.info/ for people to read on their own instead of copying and pasting.

      March 20, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  17. Frederica

    Heretics typically brand the plainest, emphasized teachings of the Bible as unknowable, and they cannot deal with the Bible verses they don't like personally( therefore practically refuse to give the Bible the final authority). They repeat or concentrate on the themes that only interest their feelings. Their personal preference or wishful thinking is their supreme importance, not what the living Word of God is teaching clearly. Heretics are not too different from worshippers of self. Just being trendy... again.

    March 19, 2011 at 3:02 am |
    • JohnR

      Nonsense. Various "heresies" become orthodoxies elsewhere. The word 'hell' comes from Nordic mythology and almost all the garish visions of it that are part of the hateful, spiteful orthodoxy of many Christians comes from the Greek notion of Hades. Greek culture was enormously influential in the ancient Middle East from Egypt to Persia. These Greek incursions would quite reasonably themselves be considered heresies vis-a-vis early Jewish belief and almost surely what Jesus himself thought about the matter, though Jesus himself was more than a bit of a heretic.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • observer143

      So there is no difference between what you call heretics and the so called Christians? They both choose parts of the bible that will only serve their purpose. The bible was written by man hence, the different versions. For me, faith that relies solely on the bible is not true faith because that means you have more faith in a book written by a man. What if the bible was never written? Are you a worshiper, a fideist, or a believer? Just think...

      March 19, 2011 at 9:08 am |
    • KeithTexas

      You have made the perfect circular argument. You can't prove something with it self.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • farmboymn

      Which Bible? Which version containing which interpretations and translations from other languages of which books, passed down not in writing but by oral traditions, and seemingly arbitrarily selected and then finally after hundreds of years, codified...until other versions came along?

      March 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Observer, men scribed the words written in the Bible, divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. God is the author.


      March 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  18. damian

    I think It's funny how people are angered that this guy says there is no hell. The concept of hell came from Greek mythology anyways, not Judaism (or Hebrew god). Religions are just myths usually with elements borrowed from older myths to answer the unknown and the hope that there is something more then life. It only takes unbelievers to realize that the god in the old testament has a totally different personality then the god Jesus preached about, blah blah blah Jesus Christ changed all that. If god is perfect and all knowing then he wouldn't have to had to send Jesus here in the first place. Just like if your life is really predestined fate created by god, then what's the point of praying other then worshipping?

    March 19, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • Mudfoot

      Actually, Jesus spoke of hell more than anyone else in the Bible.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Horvath

      That's not true. Maybe it's the other way around, because God IS all knowing and 'perfect' is the reason he sent Jesus. Your parents created you, knowing there is a good chance you would make mistakes, does this make them bad parents?

      March 19, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • chef dugan

      There is no point in praying. The first person I talk to that has been to either place, heaven or hell, might convince me that these idiots are right.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • Jesus

      I am all for restoring the Infancy Gospels to the Bible (removed by Emperor Constantine in 320 something AD). Let's expose the true and young Jesus.In those Gospels Jesus would kill on a whim and was disgusted by women. He preached that a woman would have to turn into a man before she'd ever get to Heaven. Sounds more like an ancient Roy Cohn.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • Mikey-A

      That is a good point, if God is perfect, why send Jesus to seemingly make up for his "mistake" ? But isn't it about love? Love is a choice. God seeks a relationship with us, his love for us and our love for him. But he gives you and me the ability to question, think, hate, curse, help, give, kill, steal, create, invent, build, mock, etc. We have the choice to believe in him. The story of the Bible is that in the beginning of creation, man/woman, chose to disobey God. Man/woman are imperfect, THEY made the choice to turn from God. We today, you and I, choose to disobey him every day. Thus, you and I are guilty as well and require a savior in order to be reconciled with God.

      Sorry to preach, just wanted to make a quick point!

      March 19, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • HeavenSent

      We are all the same in the spiritual dimension in heaven. Woman was created in this 2nd earth age to be fruitful and multiply. Woman is the most important of God's creation.


      March 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Dave

      We are all of the same spiritual dimension, which is why God loves his gay children!

      March 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Dave, the spiritual dimension is when we get to Heaven. We aren't there yet and you won't be on the right side of the divide if you don't read His truth (the Bible) to learn what He wants for you and what He wants for you. The sin of Pride is the first sin that befell satan. The sin of Pride and the sin of Lust are two sins that g-ay people need to have fall to the wayside. The only way they can do that is read, comprehend and apply Jesus' spiritual truth to their lives while down here on earth and in Heaven. Then will anyone get to reside through eternity with Jesus. If not, you'll be on the wrong side of the divide, still don't listen to His truth after the Day of our Lord, you fry in the eternal flames to then be blotted out.

      Listen to man/woman and abide in what they say ... do not save souls.
      Listen and abide in Jesus truth save souls.


      March 21, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Dave

      God loves all his children including me. God is love, he loves me, he created me to show people like you that you don't know understand his love.

      March 22, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  19. Spencer Sims

    "we are speculating about after you die" OOOOHH No! The Scripture is clear! (Rom. 6:23; 1 Tim. 6:15, 16; Eccl. 9:5, 6; Ps. 146:3, 4; John 11:11-14; Col. 3:4; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; John 5:28, 29; Rev. 20:1-10.)

    I Vote that that is enough to charge him with Heresy!!
    PRAY For this dude!!

    I wish the guy would use "orthodox" instead of "traditional".

    dude is leading people astray, poor church 🙁

    March 19, 2011 at 2:20 am |
    • farmboymn

      "Charge him" with heresy? What is this, the Spanish Inquisition?

      March 19, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Spencer, you will notice that all the non-believers love to listen to lies so they don't have to give up their sinful natures. It's easy to follow the lie of liars, it takes courage to follow Jesus' truth.


      March 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  20. Spencer


    March 19, 2011 at 2:13 am |
    • chef dugan

      All this nonsensical discussion over nothing but nonsense. Who cares what this guy believes or doesn't believe? Organized religion is a pox on mankind and, in some instances has almost destroyed mankind.All this junk about the bible and what people thought Jesus said 300 years after He died only demonstrates how far people will go to avoid thinking for themselves.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • collins61

      Wow Chef, that was deep, would have been interesting had we cared for your predictable tirade.
      Its so boring, please, move on.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • Tom Shriver

      Chef, don't worry about it; I for one found your comments among the most enlightened on this thread.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • David Donahue

      Two statements:
      CNN may or may not be "hyping" this guy. Either way, it is bringing a lot of discussion, and as a result "eyes" (read consumers) to their site.
      I like the comment about Stephen Hawking, a person who I have done three college papers on. However, as great as he is, (and Einstein, and, and, and...) no one has been able to explain HOW all of this started. No empirical evidence of the "big bang", "evolution", etc...all of which are denoted as THEORIES by the same people who espouse them.
      Makes one wonder if these scientists aren't trying to shill their way in to multiple ways of salvation/end.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • farmboymn

      David Donohue-you really don't want to play "empirical evidence" with matters of your faith. There is no empirical evidence of God either. And please look up the actual definition of "theory". It doesn't mean what you think it means, which is, apparently, wild-ass guess.

      March 19, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • John the unbaptized

      Interesting that God sent His only begotten Son into a world that had developed writing and yet the Son or even those closest to Him did not see fit to clarify the great mysteries in writing! All the "quotes" of Jesus came long after the fact and suffer the same fate as any 3rd hand story. Dismiss this argument as the usual "test of faith" reason that has been Jehova's modus operandi and the source of religious debate forever and believe whatever your preachers tell you. Humans are historically lousy at thinking for themselves and prefer to believe what they were taught as children. Its obvious heaven and hell are here and now not somewhere else later. Just read today's news.

      March 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • a2rjr

      chef dugan, What is so obviously wrong about your post is your post. Have you noticed that since they have taken away prayer and the 10 Commandments and banned things like Menorahs and Nativity scenes from public buildings/schools how much more depraved our society has become. That is because the country as a whole has turned it's back on God. I can promise you and anyone who denies truth as you do that if we as a country would turn back to God the USA might become a civilized country again.

      March 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
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.