The title “Everything is Spiritual” doesn’t really begin to make sense until around 55 minutes into the presentation. Bell argues that everything in Genesis is either purely spiritual with no physicality (like God), or purely physical with no spirit (water, trees, etc), until man is created. Bell says that there is actually no word in the Hebrew for “spiritual”. What he fails to realize is that the lack of a certain word doesn’t mean that the idea didn’t exist. It would be like saying, “There is no word in English to differentiate fraternal love from marital love like the Greek language does, so English speakers obviously don’t differentiate the two.”

Bell argues that Jesus came to show us that “everything is spiritual”. But while it is certainly part of Jesus’ teaching that our actions have eternal consequences, the essence of Jesus’ teachings would certainly be that the Kingdom of God has arrived, that Jesus is the one who has brought it, and Jesus is the only way into it. The center of Jesus’ message is the Gospel—and “everything is spiritual” is not much of a Gospel.

Bell is a gifted communicator—he’s fun to watch and his humor is great and well-timed. His message is memorable; one wishes that it were a better message. The thing is, the Church today doesn’t need to hear that Genesis gives us a spiritual message to the exclusion of the historical message. Of course Genesis tells us about God; of course it’s theological in nature—the whole Bible is theological. But it’s also historical, and if it’s not historical, then it doesn’t really tell us about God, because the central premise of the Bible is that God exists and has intervened and interacted with creation at crucial points to bring about salvation through Jesus Christ. And if He has done that at all, it had to be in real history.

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