Famed Super Bowl winning and future Hall of Fame quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, lit up the internet when he spoke about how he rejected the faith of his family, the faith he was raised in.
In an article entitled, “NFL Quarterback Aaron Rodgers Questions How Anyone Could Believe in God” (which you can see here), Amanda Casanova, a ChristianHeadlines.com contributor, says that Rodgers “has questioned the existence of God.” Yet in the quote she gives, he doesn’t quite say that: “I don’t know how you can believe in a God who wants to condemn most of the planet to a fiery hell.”
What Rodgers is expressing is a denial of ECT, eternal conscious torment.
Casanova goes on to confirm that she refers to a 2017 ESPN the Magazine story in which “Rodgers talked about his friendship with Rob Bell… a preacher and author who wrote a book that questioned the traditional teachings of hell.” She then quotes Rodgers from that article: “Listing all the ways in which Rob has positively impacted my life would take up too much space; so I’ll simply say that he has inspired me to live life with a deeper level of appreciation and to love people with a greater awareness of our connectivity.”
Rob Bell is not an atheist. If Rodgers considers Bell someone who has positively impacted his life, then it is unlikely that Rodgers is an atheist. He certainly did not say he was.
For more information on Pastor Rob Bell, see a 2012 blog post by me (here), my review of his book Love Wins (here), and this 2017 article by Collin Huber at the Gospel Coalition website (here).
Casanova goes on to report that Rodgers rejected the creation account and instead views it as a poem that “was never meant to be interpreted as I think some churches do.”
It sounds like Rodgers either rejects inerrancy, or like many Evangelicals today, he rejects those portions of Scripture he finds objectionable as never meant to be interpreted as many churches do today.
Aaron Rodgers in the ESPN piece reported involvement with Young Life, evidently in high school, and grew up “attending a nondenominational church with his parents.” Yahoo has an article about how Aaron’s family “feels he’s ‘turned his back on them’” (see here).
I don’t know if Rodgers ever believed the promise of everlasting life to the believer. He might well have. He may well have heard it in his church and at Young Life. While it sounds like he probably doesn’t believe that promise today, there was nothing in the article that ruled out his belief in the promise of life, either. I suppose the most telling point is that nowhere does he indicate that he believes in the promise of everlasting life for all who believe in Jesus (or anything about heaven, justification, salvation, a relationship with God, etc.).
If Rob Bell moved Aaron away from belief in the Bible and the promise of life, then he will have a lot to answer for. Of course, Rob Bell’s writings have likely had that impact on many people. But Aaron Rodgers has a big platform that reaches millions. Influencing him in the wrong way is very sad.