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Rob Bell writes in “Love Wins” that his views are taken from a long stream of Christian thought. If only he knew how long and deep that stream runs! In fact, I’m working on research that will demonstrate that Bell is actually closer to ancient Christian teachings on heaven, hell, and the nature of God and sin and man than most “mainstream” Christians in the West give him credit for. A reading of the Fathers of the Church (particularly the Eastern Fathers) will demonstrate that Bell is much closer theologically to what the Apostles taught than your average evangelical pastor here in the States. As for more modern comparisons to Bell’s work, one need only read C.S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce” to see that Bell is far from being alone. Outside the mainstream of Western Christianity he may be, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s wrong.
And samgheb, as for the existence of God, one need not get caught up in debates on His existence. Ultimately, the best proof is firsthand experience. So read the Bible, read sermons and letters from the Fathers of the Church, go to Church services, and above all, pray. We see the invitation written in scripture: “Come and see!”