Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Friday, so catch our webcast today at

400-408 – (3/17/2011) MSNBC's Martin Bashir on The Paul Edwards Program.

Here's the audio of my interview with MSNBC's Martin Bashir on his interview with Emergent Universalist Rob Bell of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids. Martin discloses whether or not he is a committed Christian and if the blog rumors are true that he attends Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.

(3:23) Bashir 1. Luther and Bible out of context. Martin Bashir on The Paul Edwards Show yesterday (3/17/2011), talking about his interview on MSNBC with pastor Rob Bell, of Mars Hill, talking about his new book entitled Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Has Ever Lived. 

413-423 – (2:28) Bashir 2. Origen & Arius. 

(:56) Bashir 3. Comfortable Christianity?

(2:23) Bashir 4. Muslim background.

(:37) Bashir 5. Accept critiques.

428-437 – (1:09) Bashir 6. Repetitive.

(1:14) Bashir 7. Asked an Imam a question.

(3:05) Bashir 8. Emergent church.

(1:20) Bashir 9. Purpose in the message.

(2:05) Bashir 10. Bell's response off camera.

(2:05) Bashir 11. Bashir's personal faith.

443-452 – • (2:45) Bell- Love Wins Full. (Rob Bell, pastor of the 10,000-member Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, talks about his forthcoming book coming out March 15th with Harper Collins entitled, "Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived" YouTube here.)

(1:39) Russell Moore: God is love. (Al Mohler and Russell Moore at a Forum today at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 3/17/2011.)  Moore says, Bell is describing God by love and not love by God.

(3:09) Mohler prays for Bell. (Al Mohler concludes by praying for Rob Bell and those who will read his book Love Wins.)

458-508 – • USA Today (3/14/2011) 'Love Wins': Pastor book kindles firestorm over hell.

// In Love Wins, which arrives in stores Tuesday, Bell claims:

• Heaven and hell are choices we make and live with right now. "God gives us what we want," including the freedom to live apart from God (hell) or turn God's way (heaven).

• Death doesn't cut off the ability to repent. In his Bible, Bell sees no "infinite, eternal torment for things (people) did in their few finite years of life."

• Jesus makes salvation possible even for people who never know his name. "We have to allow for mystery," for people who "drink from the rock" of faith "without knowing who or what it was."

• Churches that don't allow for this are "misguided and toxic."

// But Richard Mouw, president of the world's largest Protestant seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary based in Pasadena, Calif., calls Love Wins "a great book, well within the bounds of orthodox Christianity and passionate about Jesus.

The real hellacious fight, says Mouw, a friend of Bell, a Fuller graduate, is between "generous orthodoxy and stingy orthodoxy. There are stingy people who just want to consign many others to hell and only a few to heaven and take delight in the idea. But Rob Bell allows for a lot of mystery in how Jesus reaches people."

512-523 – • USA Today (3/14/2011) 'Love Wins': Pastor book kindles firestorm over hell.

Excerpts from Rob Bell's Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Has Ever Lived.

• "A staggering number of people have been taught that a few select Christians will spend forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity spends forever in torment and punishment in hell with no chance for anything better. It's been clearly communicated to many that this belief is a central truth of the Christian faith and to reject it is, in essence, to reject Jesus. This is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus message of love, peace, forgiveness, and joy that our world desperately needs to hear."

• "At the center of the Christian tradition since the first church has been the insistence that history is not tragic, hell is not forever, and love, in the end, wins."

• "When people say they're tired of hearing about "sin" and "judgment: and "condemnation," it's often because those have been confused with the nature of God. God has no desire to inflict pain or agony on anyone."

• "For some, the highest form of allegiance to their God is to attack, defame, and slander others who don't articulate matters of faith as they do."

• "None of us have cornered the market on Jesus, and none of us ever will."

•• Denny Burke (3/14/2011) Revising Hell into the Heterodox Mainstream.  An excellent critique of Bell!

Views on Hell –

Universalism – the "everybody's in because all religions worship the same God" view.

Christian universalism – the "everybody's in because Jesus died for the whole world even if they don't know it" view.

Evangelical universalism – the "everybody in hell will get a do-over and then hell will be empty" view.  Only Christ-followers are initially "in", and those who are "out" are those who have rejected Christ or have never heard of Him, BUT, hell is only temporary – once you've paid off your sin debt, Jesus somehow will extend another invitation to "get in," of course, everyone will say yes, and so eventually, hell is empty.

Annihilationism – the "God would rather annihilate you than punish you forever" view.  Only Christ-followers are "in", and those who are "out" are those who have rejected Christ or have never heard of Him, BUT, hell is only temporary – once you've paid off your sin debt, Jesus just annihilates you.  Consequently, there's no everlasting punishment of your finite sins, there's just the eternal consequences of your sin, i.e., God just pops you out of existence.

Inclusivism – the "God grades on a curve" view.  Only Christ-followers are "in", and those who are "out" are those who have rejected Christ, BUT God will also allow "in" those who have positively responded to whatever message they got.

Traditionalism – only Christ-followers are "in", and those who are "out" are those who have rejected Christ or who would have rejected Christ had they been given the opportunity to hear via God's Middle Knowledge.

• God's Four Alternatives For Dealing With Evil:  Reform, Second Chance, Annihilate, or Quarantine.

1.  God could reform people.  However, if man is truly free, then God could not cause a person to reform against his will since this would violate human freedom.  Given human freedom, even God cannot guarantee that everyone is reformable.  Skinnerian behavior modification is inhumane in that it is dehumanizing to force a person to change against his will.

C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock (New York: Inspirational Press, 1996), p. 499.  "To be 'cured' against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.  But to be punished, however severely, because we have deserved it, because we 'ought to have known better', is to be treated as a human person made in God's image."

2.  God could offer people a second chance after death.  But this assumes that God was lax in extending His first chance.  If it were merely a matter of people having "more time," the goodness and long-suffering of God assure that they will have it.  The danger is that the longer a person is in sin, the less she is able to choose the Good.

3.  God could annihilate people.  John Stott and Clark Pinnock hold that the most just punishment for evil is to pop them out of existence rather than punish them forever.  One of the many problems with annihilationism is pointed out by J.P. Moreland, in that it assumes God prefers the quality of human life over the sanctity of human life.  According to the quality of life view, people are seen as means to an end, rather than as ends in themselves, with the highest end being the elimination of all low qualities of life.  However, to treat people as means to an end is unbiblical, even in those cases in which the end is an actual greater good.  For example, executing an innocent few for the sake of the innocent many is morally wrong.  If God were to annihilate people, this would be to treat them as means to an end, the end being the removal of the lowest quality of life, which is Hell.  The sanctity of human life is rooted in us being God's image-bearers, and as such, we have intrinsic moral worth.  This moral worth trumps any quality of life argument.

4.  Thus, God's only option is to quarantine people.  The four popular purposes of punishment are: retribution, rehabilitation, deterrence, and the protection of society.  All but the first are forward-looking and actually dehumanize the criminal by attempting to force a change of their free will.  Only retribution presupposes free will and seeks to retain full human dignity and "respect" for the criminal by allowing them to receive what they have freely chosen.  The other views of punishment have a less robust view of moral responsibility.  Thus, in order to preserve the dignity of man, and to honor man as a free being, the greatest good is served in dealing with evil by allowing man the deliverances of his volition and to quarantine him forever away from the presence of God. 

• Notes on Hell

There are many myths about hell.  First, the devil is not in hell, nor is hell a place of eternal flames, rotisseries, and punishing, rather hell is a place of eternal darkness and punishment.  There is no one actively punishing the lost in hell, rather the lost are punished by their own memories of rejecting God's grace and the consequences of such rebellion.  This punishment is never-ending conscious torment without the gift of sleep.  Hell is a place of total separation, separation from physical objects, from light, from other beings, and especially from God.  Think of it is an eternal desensitization tank in which you never sleep.

528-539 – Calls

544-554 – Calls

558-608 – Today, we have a special opportunity for the first 10 couples who jump on this opportunity!  Join me, my wife Gina, Joni, and her husband Ken, for an intimate dinner together out at Joni & Friends, April 1.  Come out to watch my show, then together we'll go with Joni, as she gives us a personal tour of the facility, and maybe we can get her to sing a few songs with us in their wonderful chapel!

Be part of the Joni & Frank Dinner, April 1st, with your donation right now of five custom-fit wheelchairs for a gift of $750!  Call 888-799-49-99 to give the gift of mobility.  These 10 couples will be providing $7,500, enough for 50 wheelchairs to be delivered on their next trip to Cuba, April 15-23.  Over the past 17 (1994) years, Wheels for the World has distributed over 95,000 wheelchairs to 115 countries, in chairs made in 18 prisons in 14 states.

Terry Fahy, my boss and Vice-President and General Manager of KKLA and his wife Cindy, special correspondent for Joni & Friends, talk about their recent trip to the Dominican Republic just two weeks ago.

Joni Eareckson Tada, has been a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair for the past 43 years, since a diving accident in July 1967 – and she's the least "disabled" disabled person I know!  She's written 35 books, over a million people a week hear her daily "Joni & Friends" ( 5-minute broadcast, her paintings (done with the brush between her teeth) are sought by collectors all over the world, and she's an accomplished vocalist!  How's that for being "disabled?"  She and her husband Ken have been happily married since 1982.  Her latest book is entitled A Lifetime of Wisdom: Embracing The Way God Heals You.  She is the founder of the International Disability Center in Agoura Hills and the Christian Institute on Disability.

612-623 – Joni, Terry, and Cindy.

628-639 – Joni, Terry, and Cindy

644-656 – Joni, Terry, and Cindy

• Fox News (3/17/2011) Mother of Bully Body-Slammed in Video Demands Apology From Her Son's Victim.

• Peggy Noonan (3/18/2011) You Can't Go Home Again.  Lesson from the front: It's easier to start a war than to finish one.

• OC Register (3/17/2011) Schuller Sr. speaks out against Crystal Cathedral anti-gay covenant.

• CBMW (11/19/2010) CBMW Responds to New NIV(2011).

• Biblegateway (pdf) Updating the New International Version of the Bible:  Notes from the Committee on Bible Translation.

• Fox News (3/18/2011) Judge Temporarily Blocks Wisconsin's New Labor Law.

• Rowan Scarborough (Washington Times, 3/17/2011) Diversity panel wants military to look like U.S.  Urges change to let women in male-only combat units.