Everyone has questions, especially when it comes to spiritual matters.
What is Heaven like? How do we get there? What if we can’t get in? Do we go to Hell? Does God enjoy sending people to Hell? Is that fair judgment sending people to Hell that never heard about Jesus? Are we sure about our eternal destination? What about the God of Love that Jesus preached about? Where is He? Or is He really an Angry God?
These are not questions that will go away quietly, but are shouted over and over throughout history, demanding to be answered. Like other theologians in the years past, Rob Bell answers the call and declares that Love Wins.
As only Rob Bell can, the questions that will never stopped being asked are given the unconventional and mishmashed answers that people are looking for. But are they the Bible’s answers? Bell declares that the Gospel, the Good News, is so much more than a simple “who is in and who is out” . To think this way is to effectively diminish the Gospel and what Jesus comes to offer. The Good News of Jesus is so much better than you may think now, whether you are a Christian or not.
The answers to the age old questions are not simple yes and nos, but the sharing of a Gospel that is “richer, grander, truer and more spiritually satisfying, a way of understanding heaven, hell, God, Jesus, salvation and repentance” that does not condemn but invite.
It must be said that I am a fan of Rob Bell and his work. I don’t necessarily agree with everything that he has said or written, but I thoroughly enjoy his work. For that reason I would keep this book on my shelf. But that isn’t a reason for you to keep it on yours.
Of all the 21st century ministers and theologians, I think that Rob Bell has the most unique way of thinking and approaching the Bible. He thinks about the Bible differently, he makes connections with the ancient text that other people don’t, or he makes them so much more understandable in our modern context. He offers a different perspective, a new way of looking at these questions about heaven, hell, judgment, love, God and our eternal salvation.
When the book first came out there was a lot of controversy about what Bell believed about Hell and who got into Heaven. What is interesting after reading the book, and not participating in the online disputes, is that Bell doesn’t make any heretical claims. What he does is ask open ended questions. This is something that he is famous for. Rob Bell will ask a question and let the reader or the audience think about it. It doesn’t mean that it is a good question, it doesn’t mean it is the right question to ask. It may not even be a question that Bell believes needs to be asked, but he will ask it as a way to get his audience to think critically.
There are questions that are asked in Love Wins that leave space to wonder if Bell is being heretical or not, but space is being filled with the reader’s assumptions rather than the author’s dialogue. People were, and probably still are, reading between the lines and coming to conclusions about what Bell meant when that was never the case.
Love Wins is not a heretical book. It stays true to the evangelical convictions. If anything, Bell can be accused of broadening the space for understanding what is and what will happen after the events of Revelation or after death. He has given people the freedom to talk and discuss the myriad of different ideas that have been out there for a long time.
Rob Bell and his book Love Wins are guilty of this, creating a space to think, ask questions, agree and disagree with fellow believers about the age old questions about heaven and hell. He has given us an opportunity to explore and discover in a culture that is notorious for being closed off. For this reason, as well as being a Rob Bell fan, I will keep this book ON MY SHELF.
What are your thoughts?
Do you agree or disagree with me? Tell me in the comment section below.
You can buy Love Wins here on Amazon.ca
Or here at Chapters.Indigo.ca
Or here at Kobobooks.com