Again, it is not my purpose to go on an anathamatizing rampage or type angry words — but in this case, a “John 2” type of anger would be completely warranted. At times, my disagreements with Rob have been simply methodological. However, in this case, my issues with Rob are purely theological; the gospel is at stake. Movement 6 reveals the heart of Rob’s soteriology.
It is dark. It is scary. It is wrong.
Let’s take this further. As one writer puts it, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were unable to do anything about our condition, while we were helpless, while we were unaware of just how bad the situtation was, Christ died.
And when Jesus died on the cross he died for everybody.
Every tribe, every nation, every tongue, every people group.
Jesus said that when he was lifted up, he would draw all people to himself.
All people. Everywhere.
Unless you take a radical view on the extent of the atonement, you are probably in agreement with Rob so far. However, he continues,
Everybody’s sins on the cross with Jesus.
So this reality, this forgiveness, this reconciliation, is true for everybody…This reality then isn’t something that we make true about ourselves by doing something. It is already true. Our choice is to live in this new reality or cling to a reality of our own making.
Apparantly, we are no longer required to repent and believe the gospel. That must be the church’s interpretation of Jesus that has been superimposed upon his true teachings over the course of 2,000 years. The real truth is that we need to live in the reality of universal reconciliation?
This is bogus. The first part of the movement was great — we need to recognize who we are in Christ. However, the second part of the movement goes on to affirm that everyone is already in Christ and that they simply need to recognize it. If this is the true message of the gospel, then why didn’t Jesus teach this clearly?
Heaven is full of forgiven people.
Hell is full of forgiven people.
Heaven is full of forgiven people God loves, whom Jesus died for.
Hell is full of forgiven people God loves, whom Jesus died for.
The difference is how we choose to live, which story we choose to live in, which version of reality we trust.
Ours or God’s.
The glaring problem here is that Rob is advocating some sort of hybrid universalism (Dr. David Saxon believes it to be similar to Barth’s view in Church Dogmatics). So he holds that Christ has already reconciled everyone and that we just need to live in this new reality.
Here is where it grows difficult, if Christ has already forgiven and reconciled everyone, then why/where/how must they face God’s wrath? It is very hard to hold such a view and then believe in a literal hell as well. If Christ has already forgiven everyone, then how do we explain any sort of eternal punishment for anyone? Easy, he tries to explain away all references to a literal hell.
Another question arises, if God has already forgiven and reconciled everyone, then how does an individual become a Christian? To Rob, no longer is it faith alone, by grace alone; rather, it is our choice to live in this new reality.
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Paul’s usage of the word “another” is interesting here. The Galatians were so quickly removed from God’s grace and embracing another gospel. The word another in this instance is heteros; it means another of a different kind. Paul continues to say that this new gospel they are believing is not another. The word here is allos; it means another of the same kind. The believers were not abandoning the Christ they knew for another take or spin on the same truth. Rather, they deserted Christ for a gospel of a completely different kind.
Sadly, Rob has done the same thing.