"Love Wins" is the title of a highly controversial book that created a firestorm in the Christian community before it was even released. First of all, I have read the entire book, which I feel is essential to give a book a fair assessment. I also saw the promo video before the book release, I saw the author's interviews (e.g. Lisa Miller, Martin Bashir, etc.), I saw the Southern Baptist Seminary panel discussion, and read many reviews. I have read several of the author's previous books, listened to several of his sermons, etc. I have a good sense of where he's coming from in this book and am in a position where I can give this book a level-headed, honest evaluation.
I am not going to take the time to write an exhaustive book review as I did for "The Prayer of Jabez" by Bruce Wilkinson. I would encourage you to read some of the book reviews you can find online and you will quickly find that those who are genuine converted Christians are not divided on this issue, rather it is mainly those who either struggle with their faith or those who present a watered-down Gospel (apparently both of these in Rob Bell's case). Orthodox Christianity, which means what Christianity has believed from the very beginning, is very clear on the issue of hell and unlike what Rob Bell thinks, this has not divided the Church in the past, nor will it now.
Unfortunately in this book, Rob Bell provides the wrong answers to his litany of questions. While Rob claims he is just "asking questions" and opening up a "discussion," I believe this is the subtlety that Paul forbid in 2 Corinthians 6:11-13, the same subtlety that asks, "Did God really say?" (Genesis 3:1). Jesus used questions too but the answers to His questions were illuminated from the question, not to ask "Did God really say?" and leave the audience with doubts and incomplete answers.
Romans 12:19 says to "leave room for the wrath of God" and I'm afraid this book doesn't do that. The justice of an infinitely worthy God is compromised, so the soul who sins (which will be for the rest of eternity) doesn't get justice as God intended. God's ways ar higher than ours and His thoughts higher than ours. We are not going to completely understand everything about God or His ways while on this earth. However, we cannot change His Word so it is more palatable or makes more sense in our worldly mindset. The Bible makes it clear that most people will go to hell (Matthew 7:13-14; Matthew 7:22; Matthew 22:14; Luke 13:23,24; 1 Peter 4:18) and hell is eternal (Isaiah 66:24; Matthew 3:12; Matthew 18:8; Matthew 25:41,46; Mark 9:43-44; Luke 3:17; John 5:24; Romans 9:22; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Jude 1:7; Jude 1:12-13; Revelation 14:11; Revelation 20:14-15), no matter what Rob Bell or anyone else thinks or feels.
© Todd Tyszka
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