Martin Bashir may have just conducted one of the toughest interviews you will ever see on MSNBC.
As we noted earlier, evangelical pastor Rob Bell is in New York City to promote his new, controversial book, Love Wins. In it, he wrestles with the idea that everyone goes to Heaven. This morning he visited with ABC's George Stephanopoulos and gave the opposite of a hard-hitting interview. Later in the afternoon, however, he strolled on over to MSNBC where he sat down with Bashir. That interview wasn't hard-hitting either-- it was more sledge-hammer-over-the-head-beat-you-in-the-face hitting.
This was one of the best interviews I have seen. Bell is visibly uncomfortable answering tough questions and being called-out for trying to dodge them. Note that the "solid ground" Bell stands on is his own feelings--not Christ, not God, not the Bible. What he presents is New Age spirituality with a little Jesus icon on top to really sell his all-inclusive message. His responses to theological challenges are all touchy-feelies. Hats off to Bashir. Sure wish all interviews were conducted this way. This is a joy to watch.
Bell denies he is a universalist, as some of posited. But that doesn't seem to satisfy Bashir, who keeps returning to the question, "Is it irrelevant and is it immaterial about how one responds to Christ in this life in terms of determining one's eternal destiny?"
The critique Bashir brings up -- that Bell is "amending the gospel" and creating a Christian message that is watered down and "palatable" for modern times -- is a common one among those who reject Bell's teachings and his camp, the emerging church.
In case you're wondering, Bashir is a Christian.