One of the most infamous quotations by Rob Bell, in his book Love Wins, is from Martin Luther regarding his supposed teaching of an after-death repentance.
And then there are others who can live with two destinations, two realities after death, but insist that there must be some kind of “second chance” for those who don’t believe in Jesus in this lifetime. In a letter Martin Luther, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, wrote to Hans von Rechenberg in 1522 about the possibility that people could turn to God after death, asking: “Who would doubt God’s ability to do that?”
Again, a good question. [pg. 106]
As Bell does throughout the book, he doesn’t cite the exact source to the quote, so that people can cross reference for themselves. However, many people familiar with Luther’s works did some research into the exact quote and what it was actually saying. What is the full context of the quote from the letter?
It would be quite a different question whether God can impart faith to some in the hour of death or after death so that these people could be saved through faith. Who would doubt God’s ability to do that? No one, however, can prove that He does do this. It is impossible for anyone to be saved without faith. [emphasis mine]
Again and again I am further convinced that Rob Bell is not deceived – he is actively deceiving. As I showed in my review of his book, Rob Bell cannot possibly be “accidentally” taking things out of context. How can he “accidentally” have thought that Luther taught universalism when Luther clearly taught otherwise as shown by the following sentence! This isn’t just being stubborn in your opinion…this is willingly distorting facts and just flat-out lying to prove your point.
Below is a video featuring Todd Friel discussing the quote and Rob Bell’s use of it in greater detail (H/T to Hell’s Bell).