Martin Bashir talks about his Rob Bell interview

If you’ve seen the video of Rob Bell’s appearance on MSNBC with Martin Bashir then this may be of interest to you. The conversation is between Bashir and Paul Edwards but this time it is Bashir who is on the receiving end of the questions. He offers his thoughts about the Bell interview and his own impression of Love Wins.

It’s a great insight into the research Bashir did for the interview, the importance of truth-seeking in journalism, and — perhaps most interestingly — Bashir’s own theological beliefs.

Here’s the link to the audio.

7 replies
  1. UpAndAtom
    UpAndAtom says:

    "Christ says that he did not come to judge the world but to save the world"
    Oh, good, I won't be judged.
    "Whoever believes in the son is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already…"
    Now I will be? Or maybe I am already! In which case….why did christ come?

    How can this not be contradictory? Seriously, can someone tell me?


    Rob Bell strikes me as a person who has a faith first, which he then uses ~Christianity to express, rather than the other way round, which would be a faith in or because of the Gospel.
    The very first thing Bell says in his interview with Bashir is that he beleives in a god who sheds a tear when we shed a tear. I think it follows from this belief that what matters to us, would matter to god. If we find it unpalateable that unbelievers will go to Hell, then that matters to god; that is relevant.


    Personally I think that what Bell is doing is (so far) a picayunne example of what Jesus did: Screw the doctrines of the powers that be. This stuff is relevant, therefore this is where the truth lies.

  2. Jared Clarke
    Jared Clarke says:

    The two verses are fairly straightforward if you recognize that they're answering two different questions. "Why did Christ come into the world?" (verse 17) and "What is the means by which the world is saved?" (verse 18).


    1. "Why did Christ come into the world?"
    Verse 17: To save it. And it is also important to ask what he is saving it from because verse 18 goes on to tell us: the judgment of God (i.e. everyone is "condemned already").

    2. "What is the means by which the world is saved?
    Verse 18: Belief in what Christ has done. Christ came to save us through his death. We believe and trust in his work to satisfy the judgment of God on our behalf. The mere fact of his coming into the world didn't save it. We must respond to him. And those who refuse to turn to him and trust in his work will not find salvation.

    Like anything, it's important to get the context of what is said — reading John's gospel or even just John chapter 3 will help you understand it better than I have probably explained it.

  3. Mattfourcf
    Mattfourcf says:

    I wouldn’t go so far to compare Rob Bell to Jesus as Upand Atom did. I don’t understand why Martin Bashir kept asking him the same question even when he received an answer. I haven’t read Love Wins yet and probably won’t in the near future because my reading list is long. What I do find interesting is how upset he makes people by his comments. I think there are many Christians who are threatened by his comments. Do I think Rob Bell is right? Well, I know what the Bible says about salvation. I also know that despite what the Bible says, or what God reveals of Himself through the Bible, there is more to God than what the Bible says. His ways are not our ways. The overall reason for what God does is not fully revealed to us. So, does it make sense to reserve judgment. If you don’t like what Rob Bell says, then ignore him. There are many Christians who preach more about Hell and damnation than they do about the Good News of salvation through Jesus. If anything, Rob Bell wants to address the false images of Hell which evolved in medieval times. For example, I know that many people actually think Dante’s vision of Hell in the Divine Comedy is biblical. It isn’t. The same goes for John Milton, in Paradise Lost, as eloquent as his words are. The devil doesn’t have horns and carry a pitchfork. Personally I don’t think about the afterlife. I think about my relationship with God in the here and now. When I talk to people about the Way, I don’t add that God, who loves us unconditionally, will send us to Hell if He so inclines – despite what we do or believe. After all, despite what the Bible does say about salvation, isn’t it always up to God? I mean, we can’t undermine His authority even if we do believe.

  4. Stuart McEwing
    Stuart McEwing says:

    Thanks Matt,

    Martin Bashir kept asking the same question because he didn’t feel like he had been given an answer. A response which Rob Bell gave, is different to an answer. :-)

  5. Mark
    Mark says:

    I didn’t hear Martin Bashir ask any questions. All I heard was Bashire announcing his own opinions. Why did Bashire even bother to invite Rob Bell to sit there if Bashir had no intention of asking any real questions? Now we know why Bashir was fired from his last two jobs as a so-called “journalist”.

  6. Bnonn
    Bnonn says:

    Okay, so for one thing, either you are incapable of communicating normally in English, or you’re just out-and-out fibbing. Since you’re posting here, we have to assume the latter. Bashir was plainly using the grammatical construct we call a “question” for most of the interview.

    For another thing, I wonder why you think journalists shouldn’t interact with or challenge what their interviewees say. Considering that journalism is about digging to uncover the truth, how does that approach qualify as good journalism?

  7. susan yodice
    susan yodice says:

    martin bashir sat with a list of antagonistic accusations which rob bell attempted to answer with kindness and goodwill ~ as if they were actual or thoughtful questions. i was happy to see that rob bell didn’t ‘squirm’ at all, even though he was never allowed to finish an answer, and martin bashir listened to none of his answers anyway.

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