I take very seriously the moves Rob Bell has made away from Christian orthodoxy. In any Bible-believing denomination, he would be be found guilty of forsaking his ordination vows and defrocked. But my guess is that he would not have taken those vows in the first place. He needed a non-denominational and independent church that does not have peer review.
And yet…. Mark Tooley, a noted conservative Methodist who is deeply involved in the culture and biblical wars of his own denomination and Evangelicalism at large, gives some positive spin.
The religiously orthodox are right to delineate the countless theological problems of the hyper-individualistic Church of Oprah, Bell & ultimately Emerson. But at least their confusion reflects the embers of the Jewish and Christian Deity, premised on hope and progress, however incomplete.
Much of what Bell will have to say will rise out of general revelation, the image of God that remains impressed on persons. His turn toward general revelation is compromised in some measure for Bell has turned away from where general revelation leads. And in this sense, some of what he will be doing denies the power of general revelation. But America could do worse in this day of violence, chaos, and crumbling foundations.
Here is Tooley’s article.