Concluding Thoughts of Their Differences
Bell and Luther do not have much in common when it comes to the Scriptures. Bell sees that time shifts in culture should lead to a change in Scriptural revelation. He may use trendy terms or ways that may seem cool or hip to today’s audiences, but a man without Scripture alone, or a substandard view on the doctrine of Scripture alone, leads to a different gospel. Believing that culture may change interpretation and meaning certainly changes the gospel. Looking for changes in the doctrines of God, Jesus, the Bible, theology and future, change the good news told of in the Scripture. And to alter doctrines and deconstruct the Bible from its original intentions is disdainful to the Lord. You cannot bend the picture too far before it is distorted. One cannot change the message of the gospel in any way, shape, or form. If the message of the gospel has been changed, truth has been changed. In John 14:6, Jesus says “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” If we have changed the basic doctrines of Jesus, truth, Scripture, and what is the way and the truth, then how can man even come to life? False saviors, false views of the Bible and false systems of theology lead to a false gospel.
Luther started the Reformation when he saw the importance of Scripture and its authority. He did not change doctrines that were good but rather he revised bad doctrines back to their original truths and greatness. From the beginning of the Reformation Luther placed Scripture first and foremost before all of his work. Luther states in the beginning of his studying in Scripture:
The writings of all the holy fathers should be read only for a time, in order that through them we may be led to the Holy Scriptures. We are like men who study the sign-post and never travel the road. The dear fathers wished, by their writings, to lead us form the Scriptures, but we so use them as to be led away from the Scriptures, though the Scriptures alone are our vineyard in which we ought all to work and toil.
A correlation between Bell and Luther’s view of Scripture alone is not visible. It would seem that they do not come from the same tradition. Luther dealt sternly with liberal theologians such as Erasmus, saying, “I read our Erasmus and my enthusiasm for him decreases daily… I fear he does not sufficiently exalt Christ and God…; things human count more with him than things divine.”[2] The same can be said for Rob Bell. “I read our Bell and my enthusiasm for him decreases daily… I fear he does not sufficiently exalt Christ and God…; things human count more with him than things divine.”

[1] Hugh T. Kerr, ed. A Compend of Luther’s Theology, 13.
[2] Luther, Luther’s Works, 12.

I had e-mailed Mars Hill about contacting Rob Bell on this topic. After my first email, his sectary emailed back saying, that I could e-mail the question(s) to her and Rob Bell would answer them. After I had sent the question of, what is Rob Bell’s stance and view on the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. I was given back an e-mail stating, that Rob Bell was now unable to meet. Although, I could send an e-mail to a committee and they would be able to answer my question. At this point I sent my question to them, and this idea that they had proposed now would not be able to happen. From there Rob Bells sectary e-mailed me back saying, if you would like, all I can do is lead you in the direction of one of Rob Bell’s associate pastors. After 2 weeks Nate Dawson, e-mailed me back with their stance. And he stated:
“I realize that you are particularly asking the question of “sola scripture” but as you know that is a reformed doctrine and we have no statement on that specifically.”
Number one, “that is a reformed doctrine”, what in the world is this guy thinking! “Reformed doctrine” Rob stated in the beginning of his book Velvet Elvis, that he was a part of this tradition in his introduction.
Number two, if you have no statement about that “specifically”, then why claim to be a part of what Martin Luther started! This is quite upsetting to me, due to the fact that he claims one thing and then says another!
Number Three, he ended the e-mail to me with this verse:
Is. 1:17 – Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, and plead the case of the widow.
I’ll assume that he is referring to just seek after God and do not worry about troubling issues or doctrine’s in this case. And to this, I am absolutely speechless…


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