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March 8th, 2011
03:49 PM ET

Dearborn mayor: Muslims misrepresented

Dearborn, Michigan, Mayor Jack O'Reilly Jr. discusses Rep. King's Muslim radicalization hearings.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture wars • Michigan • Muslim

Firestorm grows over 'Christian heresy' book
March 8th, 2011
12:49 PM ET

Firestorm grows over 'Christian heresy' book

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

The firestorm around Rob Bell has grown considerably in the last week.  Now the leadership of his Mars Hill Bible Church is rushing to his defense, and we're learning more about the fight to publish his controversial new book.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Books • Christianity • Church • Michigan • United States

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. FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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

February 1st, 2011
11:05 AM ET

Michigan mosque shaken by terror threat

Worshippers at the Islamic Center of North America in Michigan react to a thwarted attack on the mosque. WDIV reports,

Read more Belief Blog coverage of this story.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Houses of worship • Michigan • Mosque • United States

January 30th, 2011
06:36 PM ET

Man charged with making terrorist threats in connection with mosque

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

A man arrested by Dearborn, Michigan, police and charged with possessing explosives in connection with making terrorist threats was targeting one of America's largest mosques, according to officials at the Muslim house of worship.

A 63-year-old California man was arraigned Wednesday and charged with one count of false report or threat of terrorism and one count of explosives - possession of bombs with unlawful intent - the Dearborn Police Department said in a press release Sunday.

Roger Stockham was in possession of Class C fireworks, according to Dearborn Police Officer Brandon Nichols.

The felony charges carry maximum sentences of 20 years and 15 years respectively, Nichols said. Stockham is being held on $500,000 bond with a requirement of a GPS tether if bond is posted, according to the police department's release.

Dearborn police informed the Islamic Center of America on Tuesday that they had arrested an individual with "a large quantity of fireworks in his car" in the mosque's parking lot a day earlier, a Sunday press release from the mosque said.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Houses of worship • Islam • Michigan • Mosque

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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.

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