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Love Wins : : a Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person who Ever Lived

Bell, Rob. Book - 2011 Adult Book / Nonfiction / Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Bell, Rob None on shelf 2 requests on 1 copy Community Rating: 4 out of 5

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Adult Book / Nonfiction / Religion & Spirituality / Christianity / Bell, Rob 4-week checkout Due 03-08-2023

"Bestselling author of Velvet Elvis and the 2 million-plus selling Nooma videos, 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. Is Jesus really the only way into heaven? Is God "good" if he is planning on sending billions of people to eternal torment in hell? Are Christians the only ones who have it "right," and everyone else is just deceived? 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.""--Provided by publisher.


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The Straw Man is Alive and Well submitted by andrew.smith on April 12, 2011, 6:13am This book has gotten lots of pre-publication publicity. What's the gist of it? Rob Bell writes that he's rejecting the view that the vast majority of the human race is going to hell, he's rejecting the view that only those who adhere to some specific ultra-orthodoxy and flawlessly live out some ultra-morality will get into heaven, and he's rejecting the view that theological truth requires us believe the two preceding clauses.

Instead, Rob is introducing his view, which he claims has its own basis in textual and historical orthodoxy. But it remains unclear what exactly his view is. Much of the attention in pre-press coverage centered on "universalism" - Bell makes no definitive statement on universalism, but rather presents arguments in support of it, without drawing a final conclusion. Likewise, he dwells on the centrality of the Resurrection, without stating specifically its significance, its etiology, or the mechanism by which it affects human life. Indeed, Bell seems to work to avoid formulating clear propositions.

Bell seems wrong on one point, and deficient on a second.

First, the view he rejects is a straw man: the vast majority of serious practicing Christians - of any denomination - would reject what Bell rejects: one would be hard-pressed to find someone who embraces such views. By formulating such a loathsome dogma, Bell justifies his excursions is unorthodox vagueness. This is a standard rhetorical device: cast the antithesis of your own view in such an extreme light that your view looks all the more reasonable by contrast.

Second, Bell fails to articulate and assert, in propositional form, the views, if any, which is is advancing. He refers to God and God's story being "bigger, grander, more massive" than what we can express in human language, and that we "must leave plenty of room" for various unorthodox possibilities. (Admittedly, my summary of Bell's prose here includes some interpretation and interpolation, necessary because of his fragmentary style.) I will concede that it can be productive to leave some questions open, because it starts the reader on his own exploration of spirituality. It is no crime to ask questions, explore possible answers, and leave the reader to wrestle in thought. But Bell wants to be seen as presenting answers when in fact he shies away from any hint of dogmatism.

This is perhaps the core of Bell's dilemma - he wants to avoid being dogmatic, and yet somehow been seen as offering answers.

There is much good and praiseworthy in "Love Wins" - isolated quotes could work their way into sermons or articles - but what is accurate is often mislabeled: the views which Bell rejects could be collected under the heading "the paganism of a vaguely cultural Christian," because no thoughtful Christian, or anyone engaged with the text of the New Testament, would embrace such views or label them as Christian.

What Bell rejects, anyone would reject; when he has the opportunity to make assertions, he shies from the task.

Appreciate, but don't totally accept. submitted by bautell on July 11, 2012, 7:38pm Mr. Bell has portrayed a picture of the afterlife where everyone and everything are made anew, but only the "saved" recognize and enjoy it. He has drawn from a work of C.S. Lewis and Bell's own fear of the traditional perception of a flaming hell to interpret parts of the New Testament. While I appreciate much of what Bell conveys through this book I do not agree with his views. He seems to have tried to rectify a common misconception of a loving God one second and a punishing God the moment after death by removing unacceptable Bible references.

I fully appreciated the historical Jewish view of the afterlife (heaven) and Bell's call for people of faith to act on their faith and work to bring heaven on earth now through acts of compassion and charity. I was disappointed by the vague, God is nothing but love, feel throughout the latter two thirds of the book.

So helpful submitted by irksit on July 8, 2018, 10:33pm This book helped bring me back to faith.

Thought-provoking submitted by JennJenn on August 4, 2020, 9:50pm Many good reminders and thoughts given by Rob Bell. A good reminder that we are called to love and to let God be big enough to deal with the rest.

Cover image for Love wins : : a book about heaven, hell, and the fate of every person who ever lived

New York, NY : HarperOne, c2011.
Year Published: 2011
Description: xi, 202 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Format: Book


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