It looks like Rob Bell (pastor/author) will be releasing another book in 2011, this one entitled “Love Wins”. I couldn’t agree more with this statement, but I’m not sure if I will actually end up agreeing with his premise in this book (despite me openly supporting most of the conclusions Rob Bell comes to). The description at the Harper One website says:
Rob Bell reveals a secret deep in the heart of millions of Christians–they don’t believe what they have been taught are the essential truths of their faith. Out of respect for their tradition, they keep quiet, confiding to a few close friends their doubts and questions about salvation, Jesus, and, of course, God.
Bell brings out to the open and faces squarely the questions on everyone’s mind: Does it really make sense that God is a loving, kind, compassionate God who wants to know people in a personal way, but if they reject this relationship with Jesus, they will be sent to hell where God will eternally punish them forever?
In Love Wins, Bell goes to the heart of these issues and argues that the church’s traditional understanding of heaven and hell is actually not taught by the Bible. Bell is emphatically not offering a new view of heaven and hell; instead, he closely examines every verse in the Bible on heaven and hell and shows what they really teach. And he discovers that Jesus’s most fundamental teaching about heaven and hell is, “Love wins.”
The question raised in the second paragraph is a huge question, and one that is very dividing for many Christians. Brian McLaren weighed in his opinion this year in A New Kind of Christianity, and ends up with a lot of different answers than I would cite (despite me still deeply appreciating him and his heart). I’m not sure if Rob is going to take it as far as “hell is non-existent”, but the one thing that Bell seems to do well is walk the line of controversy, yet remain a consistent voice that challenges the Evangelical community. The best example of this is in Velvet Elvis where Rob Bell uses the example of questioning the Virgin birth to make a case for deconstructing one’s faith, even though he doesn’t actually make the claim that Jesus was not born of a Virgin. Since this is a pillar of faith for most Christians (myself included), this (of course) stirred controversy in the ole blogosphere (love this word), and Rob Bell blew up with a Christian bestseller. Bell’s like the Kanye West of Christian authors, minus the arrogance and annoyance factor…so I guess not much at all.
But it seems like this new book is inspired by this sermon (which you can download for free) – and I agree with the mantra that:
The cross is God’s way of saying, “Love Wins.”
I can get behind that. And if you really like this idea, you can buy the phrase for a buck and put it on your bumper. Of course.
Love Wins. I agree. We’ll see about his new book.