First off, I like Rob Bell.
At the same time, I have a few concerns…
I wrote a paper last semester looking at Rob Bell’s use of biblical backgrounds. Without torturing you with the details of the paper, my conclusion was simply that Rob Bell’s background information cannot be trusted.
It is not that all of his background information is incorrect, it’s just that much of what he considers to be “first century Judaism” is actually a form of Rabbinic Judaism that didn’t come about until many years after the death and resurrection of Jesus.
When I wrote my paper, I didn’t find anyone else writing on this topic. Just recently, however, Ben Witherington has taken up the task of giving Rob Bell and honest critique. In my opinion, Ben Witherington’s thoughts are right on, both in his praise and his concerns.
For those who are still curious, here’s a couple links to Witherington’s blog: