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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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1,040468,110 (3.6)15
Title:Love Wins : A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
Authors:Rob Bell
Info:New York, NY : HarperOne, [2011], ©2011.
Tags:RidgewayGirl, nonfiction, Christianity, @ 234

Work details

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 46 (next | show all)
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 |
There are obviously two versions of Rob Bell's Love Wins book that are available. The one in which he is a universalist and the one in which he isn't.

The furorer started with Justin Taylor's post about Bell's promotional video. Piper responded with a tweet: "Farewell Rob Bell". What he meant by that is anybody's guess -- farewell from Christianity, from evangelicalism, from new calvinism, from Zondervan (the book was Bell's first from Harper Collins)? I don't know about love winning but the publicity certainly meant that the publishers won!

Why the fear? What is wrong with posing questions? I don't agree with all Bell's answers, but the questions he raises are important and need to be addressed.

How biblical is the so-called 'traditional' view of hell? Many evangelicals have taken different views on this topic - does that stop them being evangelicals or even Christian? Why the concern over boundaries - who is and who isn't an evangelical? Since when has a correct view of hell been an indicator of whether one is 'in' or 'out'? Since when has a literal reading of the Bible been an indicator of whether one is an evangelical or not?

There are many types of universalism - some may have some biblical warrant others clearly do not. Likewise, there are many views of hell - some may have biblical warrant others don't.

Here's my rough draft of a range of views:

1. Hell as a place of eternal torment/ punishment (either mental or physical or both)

2. Hell as a place of separation from God

3. Annihilation

3.1 Conditional immortality
3.1.1 Those in Christ are resurrected the rest are annihilated
3.1.2 All are resurrected – then face judgment those not in Christ are then annihilated
3.2 All are created immortal after the resurrection the unbelievers are punished and then annihilated.

4. Purgatorial view

4.1 Hell as a place of discipline
4.2 Hell as the opportunity for post-mortem decision

5. Inclusivism – some may be saved - even if they have not heard of Jesus - based on the revelation they have received

6. Universalism

6.1 Christian universalism: all will be saved through what Christ has done
6.2 Pluralistic universalism: all will be saved – no matter what

Bell seems to hold to a version of 6.1; for example:

What Jesus does is declare that he,
and he alone
is saving everybody (p. 155)

but and it’s a big but with a form of 4.2. But it seems that human free will trumps all that God has done:

God gives us what we want, and if that's hell, we can have it.
We have that kind of freedom, that kind of choice. We are that free. (p. 72)


And that's what we find in Jesus's teaching about hell - a volatile mixture of images, pictures, and metaphors that describe the very real experiences and consequences of rejecting out God-given goodness and humanity. Something we are free to do, anytime, anywhere, with anyone. (p. 73)

Bell is then no universalist - we have the freedom to reject what God has done.
On the other hand he seems to be arguing as follows:

1. God is sovereign and in control of all things
2. God wants all to be saved
3. Therefore, all will be saved.

If 1 and 2 are true then 3 must follow. However, Bell seems to want to add

4. Unless we want to reject the offer of salvation

Bell is obviously questioning evangelical shibboleths- he is an iconoclast, and doesn't mind whose toes he steps on - more power to him!

The focus of the criticism has been on Bell's view of hell. This misses some of the excellent points he makes, particularly in chapter 2. This is a brilliant chapter: for example this extract:

Honest business
redemptive art
honorable law
sustainable living,
education,making a home,
tending a garden --
they're all sacred tasks to be done in partnership with God now, because they will all go on in the age to come.
(p. 47)

Ultimately, Bell's message is that free will is sovereign: we get what we want. ( )
  stevebishop | Apr 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (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)

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