Rob Bell, Oprah Winfrey, and the Missing Jesus

by Michael Kruger

Getting Oprah Winfrey to endorse your book may mean a lot of different things. It would no doubt mean that books sales are going up (exponentially).  It would also mean your book would be read by many folks that otherwise would not read it.

But, one thing it probably does not mean is that your book is a bold and  faithful exposition of evangelical Christian beliefs. On the contrary, Oprah stands as the religious antithesis to biblical Christianity.  She is not about Christianity at all, but is about spirituality. She, and millions of Americans, are simply looking for an existential experience with the divine that can bring meaning and purpose to their life.

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Thus, I was not surprised when I heard the other day that Oprah endorsed Rob Bell’s book, What We Talk about When We Talk about God.  Here are her comments:

Pastor Rob Bell is shaking up the way we think about God and religion. I love his new book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God (HarperOne). When I first started reading it, I was highlighting my favorite passages, but then I realized—what’s the point? I’ve marked every page! It just wowed me. In the book, Bell explains that God is and always has been with us, for us, and ahead of us—and then explores how we can really absorb this knowledge into our everyday lives to become more connected to spirit.

Notice what is missing from Oprah’s account.  No discussion of how she read the book and realized she is a sinner in need of grace.  No mention of the atonement, the cross, or the issue of salvation.  No mention of Scripture as the Word of God that needs to be read and studied. And, most of all, no mention of Jesus

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