“Brian McLaren and his ilk of the emerging church [i.e. Rob Bell] … all it is is 19th, 20th century liberalism in a postmodern dress. There isn’t anything new in it at all. And the only reason they can get away with it is because people are so a-historical and ignorant of theologies of the past.” – David Robertson, Emergent Calvinism (MP3). One of the biggest surprises with this Rob Bell universalism/inclusivism controversy isn’t that Bell is affirming universalism. The response of evangelicals, particularly younger generations, including mine, and their response has been the most surprising aspect.
However, I shouldn’t be that surprised. It’s what happened to J. Gresham Machen in the 1920’s and 30’s in which he received the most push back from the moderates of theological liberalism who were willing to tolerate individuals who wholesale rejected anything resembling Biblical Christianity. We are now back at one of those points.