Monday, February 28, 2011

Love wins Redux

Ok so a few things...

1. Yes I have the book so quit asking (photo provided)

2. No the book is NOT for sale

3. Saying mean things about my family or myself will not get your comments posted nor will it stop this book from getting published (and adding "I mean this in Love" does not make your post Christ like).

4.The book is biblically based and includes EVERY reference to Hell in the bible. So please stop trying to post anonymous references that only include a bible verse describing Hell. I have read them before and they are all included in the book.

5. As you can see from the picture this is an uncorrected proof. I find it important to say verbatim what it says, so I am not going to correct its grammar, thats the job of the editor who I'm sure will correct it before you buy it.

OK so with all that out of the way I’m not sure I want to go too in-depth about the book because I think it is important for folks to explore it for themselves. As you would expect the book, much like the video, is full of questions (more so than answers). I am fighting the urge to do a more extensive review before it is published because I think people should read it and wrestle with the questions themselves.

When I say he lands on solid orthodox ground I don't mean this has been some sort of bait and switch and he ends up just agreeing with the neo-Calvinists (As Julie Clawson points out there is a sometimes huge difference in evangelical orthodoxy and Christian orthodoxy). What I mean is he always uses The Bible as his reference point, He does not end up saying Jesus was a space alien or some other ridiculous thing. To put it more simply I can not find anything in this book that contradicts the Nicene Creed (though again I'm sure there are scores of folks who will disagree).

In describing the history of the Christian church and what Christians have believed over time he says:
"...however you answer these questions, there is a good chance you can find a Christian or group of Christians somewhere who answer in a similar way. It is a wide stream we are swimming in."

I will say that in the same way He writes about angels and animals in “Sex God” (speaking about abstinence and self indulgence) he explores the issues of Heaven and Hell, Judgement and Eternity. He avoids buying into the traditional narrow views on both sides and delves into scripture, inviting the reader to question, explore, and make their own judgments.
Here are a couple of other reviews by others who have also read the book (but again don't take our word for it read it yourself):
“In the current religious climate in America, it isn’t easy to develop an imagination, a thoroughly biblical imagination, that takes in the comprehensive and eternal work of Christ in all people and all circumstances in love and for salvation. Rob Bell goes a long way in helping us acquire just such an imagination. Love Wins accomplishes this without a trace of soft sentimentality and without compromising an inch of evangelical conviction in its proclamation of the good news that is most truly for all.” – Eugene H. Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, and author of The Message and The Pastor
“Love Wins is a bold, prophetic and poetic masterpiece. I don’t know any writer who expresses the inexpressible love of God as powerfully and as beautifully as Rob Bell! Many will disagree with some of Rob’s perspectives, but no one who seriously engages this book will put it down unchanged. A ‘must read’ book!” – Greg Boyd, senior pastor at Woodland Hills Church and author of The Myth of a Christian Nation


Unknown said...

Just a chuckle from your post: the "Niacin creed?" "I believe in the efficacy of vitamin B3."

As an editor and writer who is a master at typos himself (and a shirttail relative of Rob's), I just had to confess to being tickled by that one--and am willing to wait to read Rob's book before I make my own judgment.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your insight. Please answer "your opinion" on what I think the real question is.

Having read the book (as I plan to), is Rob Bell saying that there are people who will be in heaven who (in their earthly lifetime) never trusted Jesus Christ for salvation from their sin?

Tom Batterson said...

@Dean HaHa I'm a master at typos too thanks I'll correct it...

Tom Batterson said...

@ Jon
If I give my opinion it will be just that my opinion. Far smarter people than I have read the book and commented on it (Eugene H. Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology Regent College & Author and Pastor Greg Boyd to name a few).

** This is from me not the book** Even the question you pose postulates a given view of how one achieves salvation that may need to be questioned and better defined.

Please read the book and come to your own conclusion.

iam4iam said...

Thank you so much! I really appreciate this entry, from someone who has actually READ the book. And, I have to admit, it was comforting that your response to it didn't scare me!

Anzaholyman said...

I find it interesting that receiving Christ sounds more like some kind of ultimatum with the veiled threat of Hell's fire. I can see why if this is your preferred method of Sharing the Love of God found in Jesus Christ with others, you would be none to happy if your Hell card was pulled from your deck. All this is just a method designed by men i.e. "The Roman Road" or the assumption of "Total Depravity" read into the words of Paul. Orthodoxy has become the wet firewood for those who wish to keep us in a frozen state in theology, after all that good old sixteenth century is a great place for a mental vacation. Let me quote from John Calvin here; “Whoever shall now contend that it is unjust to put heretics and blasphemers to death will knowingly and willingly incur their very guilt.” Not much has changed for some as their numbers shrink but after all "many are called but few are chosen", good bye John Calvin. ANZAHOLYMAN