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Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and…

Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who… (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Rob Bell

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1,075477,771 (3.56)15
Title:Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
Authors:Rob Bell
Info:HarperOne (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library

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Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell (2011)

  1. 10
    The Last Word and the Word after That: A Tale of Faith, Doubt, and a New Kind of Christianity by Brian D. McLaren (StephenBarkley)
    StephenBarkley: Both books both explore views of Heaven and Hell from an emerging church perspective.

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Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
I didn't read this when it first came out in part because I picked it up, looked at the price tag, the large print and short sentences and felt like I would be wasting my money on it.

Had I read the print edition, I think I still would have had several objections to Bell's writing style. But I listened to the audiobook version of Love Wins. I think the problem with Bell's writing style is that he writes like he speaks. What is engaging in one medium is tedious in another. The brief sentences and rhetorical questions did not appeal to me in the print format, but are highly effective in the audio version.

But what of the content? What Bell articulates here is the Christian Inclusivist position. Bell did not deny the existence of hell or say that no one would go there (though he did question 'eternal torment'). What he does say is that God is always at work to bring restoration and new life, even when things look hopeless.

Obviously based on the fallout and books written in response, Bell did very little to convince a certain crowd of the merits of his position. It is too bad, I think what Bell articulates here is a compelling and exciting look at Grace. John Piper's imfamous tweet seems to me to be unfortunate, but I think Bell is partly to blame for being so antagonistic to Piper's classical evangelical view of eternity. Had he said it with a little more grace to traditional hell-mongers, there may have been more receptivity.

But probably not, because that in your face style is what gives Rob Bell his appeal and charm.

It also should be noted that Bell is not as sloppy and naive in his exegesis of the Bible as the blogosphere seems to imply. Even if you don't buy his interpretation of every passage, he presents a compelling and nuanced look at several passages.

I am not sure that I would agree with Bell on every point, but I am glad he articulated a view of eternity which is humble enough to admit, there is so much we don't know about God's ways and is hopeful for more of God's love and mercy! ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
I'm glad I didn't know about the controversy around this book or read the reviews before. so I was able to read it with no preconceptions.
the positives: I think the author really challenges us to explore our faith more deeply than an rote recitation of memorized verses.
the negatives: he fails to take his conclusions to their logical end and the logical end is an even bigger challenge to grow your faith.
so, without getting into the specifics, I'll lead with this: if 2000 years from now, translators dug up a sports illustrated article that said "Michael Jordan could fly through the air and was a giant slayer" what would be the right translation? what if the translators had no idea what basketball or sports were, would they get the translation right? ( )
  jimbomin | Jan 23, 2017 |
After finishing this book, I have to say that I am not quite sure what Rob Bell was really going on about.

There were a lot of talk about what heaven might be and what hell might be. There were a few stories from the Bible, but in the end, I didn’t close the book feeling as though I gained any new insights.

To take one aspect of God and elaborate on just that one aspect is a little dangerous. God is love, but why is it so difficult to believe that He is also wrath? In a way, I felt that this book pushes God into a box and wraps Him in the pretty paper the author wants him to be.

There are some interesting points in the book, but in the end there wasn’t much that I could take away. Also, I was a bit put off by the writing style. It kept jarring me out of the narrative and I had to put it down many times before finally pushing through to the end.

If you want questions with hardly any answers, then Love Wins is the book for you. ( )
  iShanella | Dec 2, 2016 |
Really great book. A little repetitive at times, but I'm pretty sure that's the whole point. Not too casual, not too God-ish, just right. Love wins. Plain and simple. ( )
  Bertha_ | Aug 6, 2016 |
The subtitle of this book is telling - Rob Bell shares his interpretation of what the Bible tells us about heaven, hell, and eternal life. Bell's interpretation aligns in many ways with my own, but he also shared insights that expanded and clarified my views. Bell narrates the audio book, and he is a compelling speaker, but the content is weighty enough that I know I missed a lot in a single listening. I'll likely revisit this one in paper. ( )
  porch_reader | Jul 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Rob Bell is a heretic.
And so are you.
But that's the good news...The book, which will be released by Harper One on Tuesday, drew the ire of critics (many of whom had not yet read it) last week, lighting up the Twitterverse and the blogosphere with condemnations of Bell and his theology.

They called him a Universalist. A wolf in sheep's clothing. A false prophet. A radical. Dangerous.

And more than a few have labeled Bell, one of the most influential voices in evangelical Christianity today, a heretic.

Rob Bell's Bridge Too Far
The controversial pastor raises crucial questions, but offers answers that may sabotage his goals.....After reading the book, it's hard for me to believe that Bell doesn't espouse universalism, but to be fair, he never formally affirms such belief. And in later passages, he does allude to hellish consequences for unbelief. In the end, he says he is raising the issue only to show that we "must leave plenty of room" for that possibility.

Perhaps, but in raising such momentous issues, he has raised crucial questions that also must be asked. If universal salvation is true, why does Jesus not showcase it? Why is Jesus' teaching characterized instead by a relentless focus on the last judgment?
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from Preface

To begin with,

a bit about this book

First, I believe that Jesus' story is first and foremost about the love of God for every single one of us.  It is a stunning, beautiful, expansive love, and it is for everybody, everywhere.
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Table of Contents:

Millions of us --What about the flat tire? --Here is the new there --Hell --Does God get what God wants? --Dying to live --There are rocks everywhere --The good news is better than that --The end is here.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006204964X, Hardcover)

Millions of Christians have struggled with how to reconcile God's love and God's judgment: Has God created billions of people over thousands of years only to select a few to go to heaven and everyone else to suffer forever in hell? Is this acceptable to God? How is this "good news?"

Troubling questions--so troubling that many have lost their faith because of them. Others only whisper the questions to themselves, fearing or being taught that they might lose their faith and their church if they ask them out loud.

But what if these questions trouble us for good reason? What if the story of heaven and hell we have been taught is not, in fact, what the Bible teaches? What if what Jesus meant by "heaven," "hell," and salvation" are very different from how we have come to understand them?

What if it is God who wants us to face these questions?

Author, pastor, and innovative teacher Rob Bell presents a deeply biblical vision for rediscovering a richer, grander, truer, and more spiritually satisfying way of understanding heaven, hell, God, Jesus, salvation, and repentance. The result is the discovery that the "good news" is much, much better than we ever imagined.

Love wins.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:42 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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