What might J. Gresham Machen say to Rob Bell, if Machen were still alive today?  Perhaps the following:
“Jesus did not invite the confidence of men by minimizing the load which He offered to bear.  He did not say: “Trust me to give you acceptance with God, because acceptance with God is not difficult; God does not regard sin so seriously after all.”  On the contrary Jesus presented the wrath of God in a more awful way than it was afterwards presented by His disciples; it was Jesus—Jesus whom modern liberals represent as a mild-mannered exponent of an undiscriminating love—it was Jesus who spoke of outer darkness and the everlasting fire, of the sin that shall not be forgiven in this world or in that which is to come.  There is nothing in Jesus’ teaching about the character of God which in itself can evoke trust.  On the contrary the awful presentation can give rise, in the hearts of us sinners, only to despair.  Trust arises only when we attend to God’s way of salvation.  And that way is found in Jesus.  Jesus did not invite the confidence of men by a minimizing presentation of what was necessary in order that sinners might stand faultless before the awful throne of God.  On the contrary, he invited confidence by the presentation of His own wondrous Person.  Great was the guilt of sin, but Jesus was greater still.  God, according to Jesus was a loving Father; but He was a loving Father, not of the sinful world, but of those whom He himself had brought into His Kingdom through His Son” (emphasis mine).
[Taken from: J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009), 72-73.]


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