Rob Bell on the Resurrection

“To affirm the bodily resurrection of Jesus is to affirm the goodness of all bodies–and that includes yours.” —Rob Bell

I assume by “all bodies” Rob Bell means all human bodies.

Or perhaps,rob-bell1

“All bodies” refers to all material bodies–human and non-human.

It is also true that when Jesus died he shed his blood to redeem all of creation as well, not just humans (Romans 8:20-21; cf. Colossians 1:20).

This aspect of incarnation theology may not fit with some, but I do believe we need to broaden our scope of the redemption of Jesus.

And ask, “Did Jesus just die for humans or for non-humans as well, namely, the creation?”

Against the docetic heresy of his day, Irenaeus is believed to have said that everything Jesus assumed of humanity he redeemed.

Remember, this must be understood against the docetists who were saying that Jesus ONLY appeared to be human.

Whether Rob Bell means human bodies and non-human beings or simply human bodies and not non-human bodies, “To affirm the bodily resurrection of Jesus is to affirm the goodness of all bodies…”

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6 Responses to Rob Bell on the Resurrection

  1. David Beirne says:

    Well, we do have that Romans 8:20-25 passage that I take as meaning Christ redeems all of creation. I look forward to seeing all my puppies that have gone on before me :). The only ones in the Bible who are not redeemed are unbelieving humans and fallen angels. This can lead to the “lions laying with lambs” language–literal or metaphorical of the universal peace that redemption will bring? If it is indeed true that ALL CREATION is redeemed, won’t it be cool to safari outside the New jerusalem. See how much more fun the Bible is when you take Genesis and Isaiah at face value 8D

    • TC Robinson says:

      Great insight. I had puppy when I was a teen I don’t mind seeing again. 😉

    • Jon Hughes says:

      I don’t understand how Christ can redeem all of creation and yet unbelieving humans remain perpetually unredeemed. I’m not sure it will be cool to safari outside the New Jerusalem if the dogs and sorcerers and whoremongers and murderers and idolaters remain there.

      I rather suspect that we will be interceding for them to come in to the city, whose gates will never be shut. Especially our loved ones who didn’t make it. (No, I don’t buy into the argument that the Lord will perform a spiritual lobotomy on us so that we will either forget that they ever existed or rejoice in the fact that God was just in damning them.) Let’s get them all in, we who are the firstfruits, and then we can all go on safari in a truly redeemed creation.

      • TC Robinson says:

        Is this a case of one’s emotions shaping their eschatology? Perhaps you are correct. In that case, we will need to rethink the biblical categories of heaven and hell and how we imagine them.

  2. Jon Hughes says:


    A couple of recent books that explore the possibilities of Revelation 21 and 22 in terms of a wider hope are:

    Gregory MacDonald*: “The Evangelical Universalist”

    Bradley Jersak: “Her Gates Will Never Be Shut: Hell, Hope, and the New Jersusalem”

    *Robin Parry is the author of the book, but had to use a pseudonym (combining Gregory of Nyssa with George MacDonald) because of the prejudice around within evangelicalism concerning the subject matter of the book.

    I’m personally convinced that we have a flattened out, reductionist view of hell and eschatological judgement that doesn’t do justice by any stretch of the imagination to all the biblical data.

    • TC Robinson says:

      Yes, I first encountered this reading of Revelation 21-22 in Rob Bell’s Love Wins. I must tell you, that I remain unconvinced.

      We may not wish for the predominant picture of hell that was spawned out of the medieval days, but I’m not convinced with the alternatives.

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