A Public Call for Rob Bell to Repent

19 Mar
Pastor Bell, in light of what you have hinted at in your previous writing (Velvet Elvis), and have now made quite clear in your present work (Love Wins), you have joined a long-standing heretical movement called universalism.  You profess that you and your church hold to Evangelical 

Pastor Bell, is Christianity the exclusive way to God?

Orthodoxy, but the facts are otherwise.  Your challenges to the wider Evangelical population to care about lost people encourage us to stand strong for the gospel, but you have departed from the faith once-for-all-delivered-to-the-saints (Jude 3).

I appeal to you and to the spiritual leadership of Mars Hill Church to abandon the heresy of universalism and make your repentance public.

Paul’s warning to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20 speaks of “savage wolves” who “will not spare the flock.”  He further says, “even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.”

It seems clear that you have embraced a kind of “Evangelical” universalism advocated by false teachers like Philip Gulley, Thomas Talbott, Carlton Pearson, Gregory MacDonald (pseudonym of one of the leaders of the

These are rejoicing over your message, Pastor Bell.

“Evangelical universalists”), and apparently my friend of 40 years ago, Brian McLaren.

Please sincerely consider this challenge to repent and turn away from your error.  There are many Evangelicals who are praying that you will do just that.


Larry Dixon

Columbia International University Seminary & School of Missions

Columbia, SC


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5 responses to “A Public Call for Rob Bell to Repent

  1. Julie Ferwerda

    March 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Hey Mr. Dixon, what makes you so sure you are not the wolf and Rob is the sheep? How do we know it is not you who is distorting the truth and who needs repentance? I realize you have studied out universalism to some degree, but your theology has just as many holes as Rob’s apparently does. How are you so sure you are right and he is wrong? What if you’re wrong? Wasn’t there a pattern in Jesus’ day that the orthodoxy and educated scholars of Jesus day were the ones He criticized as being in error? Could it not be the same today?

    I tried reading your blog entry on why you believe universal reconciliation is heresy, but it was so poorly formatted and there was so much to wade through (all 45 pages in a Word doc), I wasn’t able to get through it. What are your greatest objections to it, in a nutshell? There is certainly just as much scriptural evidence for it as there is against it. I’m curious how you came to your conclusion that it is heresy.

    • MTY

      August 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

      Hi Julie, please read carefully and prayerfully for example the following Bible verses and passages, which clearly emphasize the fact that all people will not reach heaven: Matthew 7:13-14, Revelations 20:11-15, Revelations 21:27, Revelations 22:10-11,15, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and Matthew 7:23. Jesus and the apostles did not exaggerate or lie about hell in order to scare people into repentance. Instead, they spoke and warned about hell speaking the truth in God’s love, so that as many people as possible would take their warnings seriously, repent and follow Jesus – and live this earthly life righteously as a preparation for the eternal life in heaven. If you haven’t consciously received Jesus Christ as your Savior, I pray that you will do it soon. The reconciliation of all THINGS does not mean the repentance and salvation of all PEOPLE. Instead, it means that after Satan, his angels and the sinful people who refused to repent of their sins during this earthly life have been locked up eternally in hell, the creation has been restored to an ideal condition in God’s eyes. Heaven is full of blood-washed people, who are and will be eternally free from all temptations and sins. God bless you and may you let Him understand His Word, the Bible, correctly!

      • Anonymous

        February 8, 2013 at 8:28 am

        MTY, read “The Hour We Least Expected”. It directly addresses these passages you mentioned.

  2. George W.

    March 22, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Whether or not Universalism is a biblical heresy is up for discussion. I agree that it is likely biblically grounded, but I’ll reserve my final judgment until I have more information. 😉
    That said, Universalism is most certainly a heresy to Orthodox Evangelicalism, and therefor, if Rob wants to remain a member of this group, he certainly must disavow Universalism. Just as though a Jehovah’s Witness would be a heretic if they advocated the five Solas, or if a Catholic said that the Pope was not in direct contact with God, an Evangelical affirming Universalism is a heretic within his faith. That is what Larry is saying.
    Rob Bell would still be a Christian, and perhaps (though debatable) a more biblically consistant one at that. But he would not be an Evangelical.
    The rest of your comments stand.

  3. Garth

    March 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Dr. Dixon,
    Thank you for your quickness in pointing out the evil of universalism. Of course Rob Bell must repent of it. If not, he should be declared a heretic like Origen. Or perhaps even better, he should be made an example like Jesus who said such blaspemous things as “I when I am lifted up will draw all to myself”. They knew how to deal with heretics back then.

    A better idea though…. Why don’t you repent and believe the Gospel. Jesus died for you too.


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