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Chris Matthews Tries to Tackle Debate Over Existence of Hell -- Tries

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"Don't hold back, kids."

Bell's book "Love Wins" and his suggestion that there might not be a Hell has made the new cover of Time Magazine.

We've covered the Rob Bell controversy extensively on this site (here, here, here, and here). Remember, he's the "evangelical" pastor who just released a book questioning the existence of Hell and seemingly suggesting that everyone goes to Heaven. Well guess who else decided to cover it now? MSNBC's very own Chris Matthews.

Matthews admitted "this is the strangest topic we've ever dealt with" before asking his panel what they thought about Bell's theory and how it has now made it to the front cover of Time Magazine.

"Is this a minister trying to appeal to a larger flock, is this some new revelation here?" Matthews asked the panel.

Mediaite's Tommy Christopher explains some of the strange responses:

Veering off-topic somewhat, Matthews asked “Why does the right wing love the Old Testament so much?”

Joe Klein noted that they “like Revelation better,” while Andrew Sullivan offered that “Jesus loved the poor. He thought they were better than the rich.”

After it becomes obvious the discussion is a dud, Matthews had to jokingly goad his guests: "Don't hold back, kids." That's about the point where your forehead might hit your palm.

You can watch the clip below, after which you might think Matthews should stick to describing the thrills up his leg:

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