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Contributor: Michael S. Horton


Preaching is Not a Lecture

Michael S. Horton
"Preaching involves teaching, but it is much more than that. The sacramental aspect of the Word--that is, its role as a means of grace--underlies Reformation teaching. The preaching of the gospel not only calls people to faith in Christ; it is the means by which the Spirit creates faith in…
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Bell’s Hell: A Review by Michael Horton, Part 9

Michael S. Horton
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8. Chapter 8: The End is Here The title of this chapter reinforces the impression that Bell has simply collapsed the future into the present. I share Bell’s sense of confusion with many of the…
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Bell’s Hell: A Review by Michael Horton, Part 8

Michael S. Horton
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7. Chapter 7: The Good News is Better Than That According to Bell, heaven and hell are not actual places but subjective states in which people live. To be sure, living “heavenly” or “hellishly” will affect the…
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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…
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Bell’s Hell: A Review by Michael Horton, Part 6

Michael S. Horton
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. Chapter 5: Dying to Live For me, the greatest danger of Bell’s interpretation in this book is his view of Christ’s cross. Obviously, if there is no wrath or judgment, then whatever Christ achieved for us on the cross cannot…
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Bell’s Hell: A Review by Michael Horton, Part 5

Michael S. Horton
Part 1 appears here, Part 2 appears here, Part 3 appears here, Part 4 appears here. Chapter 4: Does God Get What God Wants? In this chapter the central dogma becomes especially evident. It’s the old conundrum: God is either sovereign or loving. Bell bases his conclusion on the premise…
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Bell’s Hell: A Review by Michael Horton, Part 4

Michael S. Horton
Part 1 appears here, Part 2 appears here, Part 3 appears here. Chapter 3 Hell Like heaven, hell is described in Scripture with vivid metaphors and analogies drawn from everyday experience. Whatever is meant by such images and expressions as “lake of fire,” where “the smoke goes up forever” and…
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Bell’s Hell: A Review by Michael Horton, Part 3

Michael S. Horton
Part 1 appears here, and Part 2 appears here. Answers Implied already in the “questions” are the following answers the pre-determine Bell’s assertions. At the heart are the following assumptions: 1. God’s Love Trumps Everything—Including God’s Other Attributes 2. Sin is Subjective 3. Salvation is Subjective 4. Heaven and Hell…
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Bell’s Hell: A Review by Michael Horton, Part 2

Michael S. Horton
Part 1 appears here. Rhetorical Questions Stepping down from the pulpit, the author bends over backwards to join the gallery of those who have been burned by the church. “Lots of people” with questions are just told “‘We don’t discuss those things here.’” What follows are lots of questions—actually rhetorical…
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Bell’s Hell: A Review by Michael Horton, Part 1

Michael S. Horton
Rob Bell, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (HarperOne, 2011). Are all of God’s attributes subservient to his love? And does God’s love demand the salvation of everyone? If you answer yes to both, then you’re inclined to agree with everything…
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