It took only a couple of days to really get into Rob Bell’s controversial book, Love Wins. I have not been a fan of Bell, despite being greatly impressed by his speaking abilities a number of years ago. What turned me off were his Nooma videos. To me, the videos brought the viewers dangerously close to a theology that left space for ones personal interpretations and conclusion. But this isn’t about the Nooma videos, it’s about Bell’s new book.
Opinions aside, I opened the book with curiosity and an open mind. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for me to see how dangerous this book could be!
As Rob Bell often does, the book leads the reader through a head-spinning circuit of questions, and questions for the questions in a dialog format. For me, it was as though Bell was spinning a web of ideas trying to ensnare me in a barrage of words, only to wrap me up with half truths and a poor theological position that sounds Biblical but lacks the frame work to support any real idea or thought.
The discussion of hell is one that bears considerable weight. It is literally a matter of life and death; “eternal life” vs. “eternal death.” To not have it right could leave a reader in a precarious place. And sadly, I don’t think Rob Bell has it right.
Heaven and Hell. From the time I can remember, I have been taught that there is a real heaven and a real hell. At a risk of over simplifying it, heaven is a place set aside for those called to be the Church. Hell is a place for those who are not called to be the Church.
There are so many issues that miss the mark in this book. I think there is a huge misrepresentation of the God we see in Scripture. Yes, God is a loving God, but God is a Sovereign God who rules as He sees fit and not by what we think is fair or right. Reducing hell to every day experiences that a person is left to deal with, live through, or endure minimizes the power of God and the word of Scripture that speaks to hell being a place of punishment. Heaven is not a state of feeling or emotion or something we create by doing good things. And where we end up has nothing to do with our story, it’s all about God’s story.
Love Wins is a book that offers the reader a confusing and deadly false gospel message. There is a heaven. There is a hell. And there is a God who thinks and does things in ways that we will never fully understand. Some will go to heaven. But a great many more will go to hell.
This week, I hope to go through the book and share a few ideas that I believe are way off base. And we will look at some of the Scriptures that I think are taken out of context and used to support ideas that are conceived by a human mind and not passed down by a Divine Creator.
I have also started reading Francis Chan’s new book, Erasing Hell. Only through the first 2 chapters and already Francis has begun to pick a part the destructive thoughts and ideas presented in Love Wins. There’s much on the line here. I pray that God and His purpose is presented for His glory and not mans.