Rob Bell on Science and Religion: 'If Science Threatens Your Faith, Then You Probably Need a Better Faith'
Former Mars Hill megachurch pastor and best-selling author Rob Bell appeared on The Church Boys podcast earlier this week where he discussed his passion for science and how he reconciles it with his Christian faith, which he described as very "orthodox."
Bell was on the porgram to discuss his latest speaking tour Everything Is Spiritual where he dives into the topics of science and spirituality and attempts to show how the two "are at long last partners," according to the tour's website.
The former pastor talked about his passion for science, and made a bold statement while discussing its relation to faith during Monday's program.
"It was about 10 or 15 years ago when I stumbled into what people were saying about quantum physics and I just found it all so fascinating," said Bell on the podcast. "When you read the really great scientists, [it] blows your mind and raises all sorts of new questions."
He continued: "For me at the heart of any faith would always have to be welcoming of whatever new facts and discoveries. If in any way science threatens your faith, then you probably need to get a better faith."
Aside from science, Bell also went on to address his theological views which were brought into question by evangelical circles after he released his controversial 2011 book Love Wins, which strongly questioned the existence of an eternal hell.
"I'm as Orthodox as they come," said Bell. I believe! When I was a kid I heard the Jesus stories and I found them utterly riveting. I love the idea that He answered questions by asking more questions. He was always saying 'you have to own this, you have to wrestle with this, you have to think through how you're going to handle this. And I love that whenever there was a system that made clean lines between who's in and who's out, who's with God and who's against God; He always subverts that system."
Bell confessed to being convicted over what he described as a "universal" move of love, acceptance and inclusion happening in the world today, which he says keeps getting more interesting.
He also addressed his affirming of same-sex marriage, which is something he said he always would have supported if asked, while joking about the Internet media sensationalizing his decision to publicly support homosexuality.
"I would have answered these questions 10 years ago the same way. I'm a pastor. These aren't topics. These are people. These aren't abstract notions. These are actual friends. And as a pastor you don't get the luxury of standing at a distance and speculating. You actually walk with people," said Bell.
"And it is healthy, normal and natural to want to spend your life with someone. As a pastor, the idea of saying to somebody you have to be alone in your life because of who you are, that isn't something that we should be doing."
Bell asserted that he's for "love, fidelity, commitment and sacrifice" in relationships. He further claimed that Scripture doesn't directly address homosexual relationships between two consenting adults, and therefore Christians don't have strong scriptural grounds to prohibit two people of the same-sex from marrying.
"Were the biblical writers talking about two people who love each other? Committed to each other? Walking through life together? The biblical writers didn't have that category. [When they address] homosexuality, they aren't talking about what we're talking about."
Bell then argued that the Scripture's authors were addressing the immoralities prevalent in the first century, including temple prostitution, pedophilia and excessive promiscuity, according to his interpretation.