Southern Baptists recently called hell an “eternal, conscious punishment” for those who do not accept Jesus, rebutting a controversial book from Michigan pastor Rob Bell that questions traditional views of hell.
Citing Bell’s book “Love Wins,” the resolution urges Southern Baptists “to proclaim faithfully the depth and gravity of sin against a holy God, the reality of hell, and the salvation of sinners by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.”
OK… I get it. Â Affirming hell. Â A good thing.
But did anyone question whether Southern Baptists didn’t believe in Hell? Â I’ve definitely never heard anyone say that.
So, the statement, to me, seems to be totally reactionary to one book published by someone not in your tribe.
Which begs the question to me… who was this statement for?
If it was for Rob Bell, then I’m not sure what it accomplishes, other than to say that you have profound impact on the Christian community, especially our own SBC pastors.
If it was for the SBC pastors, then it says that you need to preach against hell. Â Most do, as far as I can tell.
If it was for the SBC congregations, that’s good, but I don’t know that Rob Bell’s book was read by tons of congregational people. Â Their too busy reading Stephen King and John Grisham.
And if it was for the public at large, I don’t know that it will have much of an effect. Â It could be seen as ‘we still believe in hell and we still believe you’re going there’.
I’m not trying to be too harsh… I’m just wondering what the real purpose of the resolution was. Â Was it necessary? Â And should resolutions by such a large body be made over one isolated published work?
You tell me.