In the News: Freud, Beyoncé, R’hllor, and more!

A round-up of recent religion news. Continue Reading →

Our Daily Links, Rant Edition

If you’re in New York, you should be making plans to visit the #occupywallstreet folks.  They’re being slandered and abused for saying what we all say:  the wealth of the country is being unethically siphoned off the top.  Even if you’re not saying that, you believe in unfettered freedom of speech, right? Show it. Continue Reading →

Give Us This Day Our Daily Links

Stephen Prothero measures the distance Franklin has fallen from the Graham tree.  It’s old news by now that Sojourners and other progressive Christian organizations have a gay problem.  Hussein Rashid asks Muslims how they will treat LGBT people.  What do some Russian women see in Vladimir Putin?  Paul the Apostle, reports the Telegraph (via  With a cue from Rob Bell, Chris Armstrong constructs a Handbook to Hell.  The When I Return Project: What will you do when you return to a liberated Palestine?  Anthea Butler on Glenn Beck’s plans to host a Restoring Courage rally in Jerusalem on August 20 this year.  An excerpt from Frank Schaeffer’s new book, about how “The Right” is waging a war on “all things public.” David Bahati, the author of Uganda’s “Kill the Gays Bill” may soon be that country’s Minister of Ethics.  Terry Mattingly begs for a definition of fundamentalist. Continue Reading →

John Piper v. Rob Bell:Battle for the Soul of Evangelical Christianity?

by Becky Garrison

Rob Bell, a bestselling Christian author and founder of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids became a top trend on Twitter last week after Justin Taylor posted a blog article titled “Rob Bell: Universalist?”  Taylor, vice president at Crossways International, a Christian educational non-profit, based his commentary on select chapters of Bell’s forthcoming book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived that were sent to him and on a promotional video produced to accompany this book’s release on March 29th. Those who picked up on Taylors’ post included bestselling author and Reformed pastor John Piper, who tweeted a succinct “Farewell, Rob Bell.”

The bulk of those generating the ensuing online buzz appear to have reached their conclusions regarding Bell’s book not based on the book itself, which few have actually had the chance to read, but on a position they’ve already taken in the ongoing battles between reformed and progressive (aka emergent) evangelicals. Bell’s detractors claim that he’s abandoned “biblical Christianity” and the belief that only Christians can enter heaven. Instead, he’s charged with adopting universalism, a concept which states that everyone will eventually be saved.  In other words, critics claim, what’s at stake is nothing short of Bell’s soul and those of his followers and readers. Continue Reading →