I love anything Rob Bell puts out. He able to articulate exactly what I feel.
Controversial but relevant
Love Rob Bell or hate him he make you think. I love his teachings.
Rob Bell attempts to dispel some of the anecdotal theology which has come up to surround the Bible that is unsupported by the Bible itself. To this end he succeeds, but he quickly moves from dispelling bad theology to doubting incontrovertible truths of scripture. He rightly identifies god as the focal point of heaven, the reality of a physical and enjoyable place, and the need for condemnation of the unrepentant. However, he fails to close the door on some heresies which the Bible is in fact explicit about. He emphasizes God's love to the point of mistaking it for the whole of God's character rather than one of his attributes, and skews his interpretation of what love should look like to fit his personal expectations to the point of undoing many well supported doctrines regarding Hell. To this end I would highly recommend reading Francis Chan's book Crazy Love either instead of or along with this book should you choose to read Love Wins. Ultimately, Rob Bell narrowly steers clear of outright espousing any heretical theological positions, but in his exploration of possible interpretation he leaves the door open on many doctrines about which the Bible leaves no wiggle room. I cannot in good conscience recommend this book, either to the unbeliever who could mistake Bell's willingness to abandon sound doctrine with the unsound doctrines at the point of personal preference, or to the believer looking to expand his understanding of scripture as Bell relies more heavily in his own interpretation and assumptions than the vast array of scripture that undermines most of his more controversial conclusions and suggestions. I can only really recommend this book to someone who is interacting with a friend, family member or coworker who is enamored with Love Wins so that you can in love help them to separate the important valid points that Bell makes (which have been made by others before him and will be made by others in the future) from his overreaching assertions brought forth from faulty assumptions and infusing his opinions and definitions to mold scripture to fit his expectations, and then I would recommend supplementing it with either Crazy Love or another book which challenges the conclusions Bell reaches. Finally test everything Bell and others say with the totality of scripture, not just the proof texts they offer. Bell has some good points, but the number of and implications from unwarranted assertions from Bell lead me to recommend against reading this book unless you have a desire and the time to thoroughly engage the text and the scriptures so as to not be misled by some sweet sounding doctrinal errors.
Audiobooks while I drive, nothing better.
While I can't say that I concur, agree, subscribe or have completely made my mind up about every idea and thought in this book, I can say that I have enjoyed the thoughts, conversations and discussions that have come out of listening to it. I've actually listened to it 3 times because it's pretty short.
This is not a boot that takes an intellectual/academic look at religion, it is an example of spiritual apologetics centered in modern, mainstream liberal Christianity. Within this context, it is honest and explores many of the critical issues that secular readers would find interesting and skeptics would find crucial to explain. It makes a good case for liberality within Christianity and is very persuasive, speaking to the heart of the reader.
Ballsy, Humble, and Hopeful.
The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
To my knowledge i have listened to all of his other books. This one, he is still the same old Rob... very approachable, humble and of course he has fun talking about this one... however he seems less goofy that in "Jesus wants to save Christians".
No laughing of crying... just a lot of questions and some pretty awesome conversations.
music adict...i'm in a program.
This book was hopeful, grace-filled, and in line with Biblical theology. It dives deep into what the Bible actually says about Heaven, Hell, and the fate of every person who ever lived, and doesn't just rehash church doctrine, classic theology, or scholars' opinions on the subject. It adds a much needed perspective these days to Jesus' story that isn't mainstreamed from the mega-church stadiums, and for that, I say, "Thank you, Rob Bell."
I am grateful that someone of Rob Bell's stature, for those of us who appreciated his work until this book came out, has broached this subject from within the evangelical camp.
This book asks the questions that so many of us have been silently wondering about for a long time. Or bailed on church as we know it because the answers were just so much stonewalling.
Hell ... really? Or is it a "spin" that serves evangelists and pastors that want more forceful leverage on the behaviour of their flocks or communities? (Sometimes understandably, where human selfishness and hate drive people to others' harm.)
Problem is, fear is a crummy foundation for faith. The antithesis, actually. And the friends I have who embraced faith, or at least church culture, out of fear of Hell or some cartoon end-times anti-Christ, have largely dropped out of both.
Bottom line: Very few Bible-believing Christians actually believe in Hell. Not really. If they did, they'd be up sweating at night and weeping in the streets.
Would deflating the hyperbole of Hell mean that patently evil people get off Scott-free? I doubt it. We will all be held to account, and Paul suggested that those outside the faith will have "blows" meted out to them to a lesser degree than those who should know better, such as the local "saved" church pedophile.
I respect that Bell does not shove definitive answers at us (as his orthodox opponents do.) Though we who were weaned on yes/no doctrine might wish he would -- I think he's smart to leave the codifying to sterner academics. This is a pretty short book, and undoing such a daunting shibboleth will be a huge undertaking.
For now, this will do.
And at least the silenced majority in the Church, and the numerical majority now outside the camp, can see that their quiet musings on the subject are registering. Somewhere.
I love the message of this book: that God loves me (and you) no matter what! That Jesus came that we can live more abundantly in this life, it's not about the next. I felt, at times, that Rob was talking too fast, but then, I can always listen to it over and over. Thanks, Rob, for speaking your truth.
not sure. haven't seen the printed version.
mainly how the prominent theme of God's loving character being highlighted through scripture
the story of the 2 brothers
here and now
Rob reads his book in the warm, engaging and energetic style that is characteristic of his sermons. He draws in the listener and gives you the sense that he's sitting down to chat with you in a homey, informal setting. This is good, because the things he's asking Christians to wrestle with are serious, meaty business.
When Rob tells the story of the Prodigal Son and then analyzes it from the perspectives of the three characters: the wicked son who thinks that his badness keeps him from the father's love, the self-righteous son who thinks that his goodness should have earned him favored status, and the father who loves both of them unconditionally. Rob shows how the issue here is the conflicting stories each character has about themselves and each other, and how the sons' only route to abundant life is to believe the story their father is telling about them. It's an electrifying and emotional moment that, I hope, will bring comfort and encouragement to many.
Not applicable, since this is a nonfiction text and Rob is narrating it only as himself.
There were many such parts. One was the story of the prodigal son, as described above. Another was when Rob was talking about judgment: people often say that they don't believe in a God of judgment, when the truth is that we crave it -- we long for someone to reach down, to stop the evil surrounding us, to bring justice and set right the harm that has been done. We look at the suffering and misdeeds all around us and cry out in our hearts,
This is a much-needed resurfacing of doctrinal ideas that go back to the earliest days of the church, but have largely been lost in mainstream Christianity -- especially in the evangelical churches of the United States, with their