Millions of Christians have struggled with how to reconcile God's love and God's judgment: Has God created billions of people over thousands of years only to select a few to go to heaven and everyone else to suffer forever in hell? Is this acceptable to God? How is this "good news"?
Troubling questions, so troubling that many have lost their faith because of them. Others only whisper the questions to themselves, fearing or being taught that they might lose their faith and their church if they ask them out loud.
But what if these questions trouble us for good reason? What if the story of heaven and hell we have been taught is not, in fact, what the Bible teaches? What if what Jesus meant by heaven, hell, and salvation are very different from how we have come to understand them?
What if it is God who wants us to face these questions?
Author, pastor, and innovative teacher Rob Bell presents a deeply biblical vision for rediscovering a richer, grander, truer, and more spiritually satisfying way of understanding heaven, hell, God, Jesus, salvation, and repentance. The result is the discovery that the "good news" is much, much better than we ever imagined. Love wins.
©2011 Robert H. Bell, Jr. Trust (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
Having studied theology, I agree that Rob Bell is not talking about anything 'new' here. However, his eloquent method of delivering such a complex theology in simple terms makes this piece of work brilliant.
I loved this book for the simple reason that it deepened my love for God more, even though it didn't support traditional dogma. Even though I am not an evangelical person, I have talked to others about God and faith more since reading this book than ever before. I cannot recommend it more.
It has been said that true inteligence is being able to understand a position without accepting it. In that spirit I've read this book several times and listened to it several more.
Verdict: I am deeply disapointed that such a great writer and thinker has gone off in this direction. It's compelling and gets plenty of conversations going, but at the end of the day it's just herecy in it's pure form. There is no continuity in the idea that "God gets what God wants" in the end! Biblically, this proposition is contradicted in Revelation 20:11as Satan and his demons are cast into outer darkness in judgment, along with death and Hades.
Very well read and written.
Sadly, it is heretical doctrine that will lead many to confusion and ultimate ruin. That's a sad thing.
It has been a long time since I wanted to say Amen. Thank you Rob for cutting through the fog and making the stories clear. I would go back to church to listen to you talk. Thank goodness for your podcasts and books.
Rob Bell knows how to get your attention! This book and the campaign with it have certainly done just that. The theology nerds out there (like me) are going ape over this series of questions, which leads to more questions, and ultimately leaves you questioning.
In a paradoxical and enigmatic way Bell weaves through issues surround the touchy subjects of heaven, hell, and where we end up at from a historical linguistic conservative reading. The challenge is, many of his answers appear to be liberal. This creates an uproar because ultimately, he bobs and weaves enough to leave the door open for many possibilities.
Here's what I loved about the book: the focus on Jesus. As you read (listen) to Bell you can't help but be curious about the Jesus he's curious about. You find yourself wanting to know more of this Jesus.
Here's what I found lacking in the book: the Holy Spirit. Bell talks a great deal about Jesus and God the Father, but rarely mentions the Spirit. He either takes the Spirit for granted or doesn't want to raise questions about this controversial person.
Overall, I think people should read (listen) to this book because it gets you thinking. It also creates some great conversations. If people can start talking about the dynamics of the Kingdom of God being just as real today as they are in the future, then maybe we'll start acting like the Kingdom is now and not yet. Without a doubt, we could all agree then, truly Love Wins!
Have you ever felt like modern church leaders more resemble the Pharisees of the Bible than they do Christians?
Preaching hatred and discrimination. Focusing on collecting and amassing money, power and extending influence. Judging everyone. Condemning anyone who doesn't go to their church and believe exactly what they believe.
Those are not the Christian values I believe in. They are not the things that I know in my heart are right, but yet I hear them endlessly from today's "Christian" churches.
Love Wins provides Biblical explanation for the things I've always felt in my heart were right but could never quite explain. The God and Christ I believe in are too big, their love and compassion too expansive to fit into the little box that modern churches want to stuff them into. Rob Bell does a fantastic job of fleshing out these truths.
Rob Bell is reacting against his conservative evangelical upbringing. This is all well and good. He has issues with some of the ways the gospel has been presented, and he should, since certain distillations of the gospel are terribly incomplete. In this book he clears up some of the misconceptions that people might have about heaven, and for that I applaud him.
He is not advocating universalism, since he still says Jesus is the only way. He just does not think that it is game over when you die. As much as I would love to believe that that is true, it cannot be reconciled with what it clearly says in the Bible. Also, saying God's relentless love will win everybody over in the end, makes God sound more like a creepy stalker than a holy God.
I have read and/or listened to almost everything Rob Bell has published in book form. I think I liked him so much because he clearly articulated how often times, some church practices fail to be in alignment with the walk and talk of Jesus the Christ, my Savior. --- ---- ---
But here Rob paints a distorted picture of what he perceives the actions and attitudes of God will be toward people living in community, who have the life and love of Jesus to teach them how to live and love. --- ---- ---
Love does not win just because we try to learn from Jesus and try to live like Jesus. (God is not looking for a better copy of me. Not even the best copy of me is sufficient to be His representative.)
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Love Really Wins when we come to the place where we admit to God that we are unable to live like Jesus and be his representative, but we are willing to die to our own selfish and self-righteous desires and let the Holy Spirit guide us for the benefit of God's kingdom, not ours! Lord Jesus I pray for your blessing of mercy and grace and peace for Mr. Rob Bell and for myself. Guide us into your truth and may you be glorified in all that is said and done.
Another great Rob Bell project. I have taken some studies (Nooma) by Rob which are alway thought provoking, and seem to make so much sense. This book is more of the same. You won't be disappointed, but you will have more questions...
I was alarmed and horrified as I listened to the preface of this book - the notion that God's Love can be compared and described in terms of man's ideas of love or heaven or hell. I implore readers and Rob Bell to read Paul's Letter to the Romans to learn the truth about the most important element of our lives - our salvation. The Bible (OT and NT) clearly states that because of Adam and Eve's rebellion and disobedience that we are ALL born into sin and that our human nature leads us to sin every minute. "No one is Righteous, not even one." (Psalm 14) and "All have fallen short of the Glory of God." (Romans 3:25) Yes, God has given us one way to be righteous - only in faith in Jesus Christ (there is only one.) Because of Jesus' righteousness and His death and resurrection. we will not be judged on our own merit. Rob Bell seems to be buying into the lie and worldview that "Man is basically good and a loving God would not send people to hell." Election, Predestination and the Sovereignty of God are difficult Biblical Truths, and this book has it all wrong. The question is not why God chooses some to be His people but not others, but why God chooses any of us! Read the Bible, the Book of Romans and Biblical scholars like R.C. Sproul and be enlightened and encouraged that as a believer in Jesus Christ, you stand righteous before the one true God.
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