As I've previously pointed out, Rob Bell, in his book Velvet Elvis claims that, "The moment God is figured out with nice neat lines and definitions, we are no longer dealing with God. We are dealing with somebody we made up."
This is not an isolated instance of Bell speaking like this. In an interview with Christianity Today on topic of the "Emergent Mystique" Bell said he and his wife found themselves increasingly uncomfortable with church after they launched Mars Hill in 1999. The interview goes on to say:
"Life in the church had become so small," Kristen says. "It had worked for me for a long time. Then it stopped working." The Bells started questioning their assumptions about the Bible itself—"discovering the Bible as a human product," as Rob puts it, rather than the product of divine fiat. "The Bible is still in the center for us," Rob says, "but it's a different kind of center. We want to embrace mystery, rather than conquer it." (Online Source)
The term "embracing mystery rather than conquering it" sounds so spiritual and enlightened. But, did our ancient Christian forbears "embrace mystery" or did they embrace and worship God using the neat lines and clear definitions of God laid out for us in God's Holy Scriptures?
By way of comparison, here is the confession of faith that Irenaeus confessed. See if you can detect any "mystery embracing" by this ancient saint who learned the Christian faith from Polycarp. (Polycarp learned the Christian faith directly from the Apostle John.)
The Church, though dispersed through our the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: [She believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father “to gather all things in one,” and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, “every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess” to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all; that He may send “spiritual wickednesses,” and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting fire; but may, in the exercise of His grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept His commandments, and have persevered in His love, some from the beginning [of their Christian course], and others from [the date of] their repentance, and may surround them with everlasting glory.
Irenaeus - Against Heresies, Chapter 10:1
Notice that Irenaeus' confession incorporates the clear teachings and definitions laid out for us in both the Old and New Testaments. Irenaeus wrote his book Against Heresies in the mid to late 2nd Century and it was written against the multiple forms of the Gnostic heresy that were threatening and convoluting the Christian faith in his day.
Point of Note: If you read Irenaeus' work you will discover that the "Christianity" that Rob Bell is promoting sounds EXACTLY like the gnostics and NOTHING like the Christianity that Irenaeus confessed.
Maybe the reason why Rob Bell sounds NOTHING like the ancient Christians is because he doesn't confess the same faith as they do but instead confesses a faith that the ancient Gnostics were more familiar and comfortable with.