Bell’s Hell: A Review by Michael Horton, Part 7
Michael S. Horton
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.
Chapter 6: There Are Rocks Everywhere
Speaking of natural religion, Bell collapses saving grace into common grace and general revelation into special revelation. In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul speaks of the Rock that followed Israel in the wilderness as Christ. “Paul finds Jesus there, in that rock, because Paul finds Jesus everywhere” (144). Literally, everywhere: “There is an energy in the world, a spark, an electricity that everything is plugged into. The Greeks called it zoe, the mystics call it ‘Spirit,’ and Obi-Wan called it ‘the Force’” (144).
The Bible calls this the Word of God and the Word became flesh (146). Therefore, although Christ is the only Savior, he is restoring all things through various religions. “As soon as the door is opened to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Baptists from Cleveland, many Christians become very uneasy, saying then that Jesus doesn’t matter anymore, the cross is irrelevant, it doesn’t matter what you believe, and so forth. Not true. Absolutely, unequivocally, unalterably not true. What Jesus does is declare that he, and he alone, is saving everybody. And then he leaves the door way, way open” (155). So, like Christ’s death and resurrection, the Word and the sacraments are symbolic of eternal truths in the sacred cosmos. “These rituals are true for us, because they’re true for everybody. They unite us, because they unite everybody. These are signs, glimpses, and tastes of what is true for all people in all places at all times—we simply name the mystery present in all the world, the gospel already announced to every creature under heaven…He is the sacred power present in every dimension of creation” (157). So whatever you do to show you accept God’s love, do it. “Whatever words you find helpful for describing this act of trust. Jesus invites us to say yes to this love of God, again and again and again” (194).
Part 8 appears here.