May Your Hell be Properly Hellish. And Properly Permanent.

I never know quite what do when someone says something like this:

Evangelical opposition to Bell is exemplified in a succinct tweet from prominent evangelical pastor John Piper: “Farewell, Rob Bell.”

Page Brooks, a professor at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, thinks Bell errs in a conception of a loving God that leaves out the divine attributes of justice and holiness.

“It’s love, but it’s a just love,” Brooks said. “God is love, but you have to understand you’re a sinner and the only way to get around that is through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.”

The problem I have with what Brooks says is that for him, salvation is not accomplished by Christ’s death and resurrection, but by the belief in that death and resurrection. There is a significant difference. Salvation is no longer done by God’s act in Christ, but by my act for myself. I am saved not by God’s action for me but by my faith in God. This is what Brooks and his ilk are actually saying. God is therefore irrelevant to salvation in this set-up.

If God is sovereign, then God’s act alone saves. And you must be open to the possibility that Christ’s atoning death and resurrection saves even those who do not confess that reality (some or all). Otherwise, human salvation is *ENTIRELY* a product of human action — individual human faith in God’s work in Christ.