"Love Wins" - Book Review
by Rob Bell
‘Curiosity killed the cat’… or so they say. It was curiosity that led me to read this book by Rob Bell. Having watched a couple of the ‘Nooma’ DVD’s (and been blessed by them!) it didn’t take much twisting of my arm to give in to my curiosity. My Granddad recommended the book and said that it had been a blessing to him, and who was I to ignore the wisdom of the patriarchs in my family. I had also heard a lot of criticism regarding the book and this sparked my curiosity even more.
Right from the outset of Love Wins, Bell begins with a series of questions, which continue throughout. Love Wins asks key questions about issues such as Heaven, Hell, and the eventual fate of humanity. Bell seeks to broaden our understanding of these key issues, whilst keeping at the back of his mind the question of whether our fixed mindset of ‘hell and damnation’ reflects the loving nature of God. For example, he asks would a peace loving man such as Gandhi be thrown into hell, simply because he didn’t confess Jesus Christ as Lord? Bell supports his arguments using Scripture and historical background, whilst using real life stories from his experience as a Pastor.
The book asks those questions that many of us were perhaps a little nervous to ask for fear of being labelled liberal or at worst case, heretics. But Bell’s book is not so much, a new theology or a universalism, but perhaps a challenge to traditional conservative evangelicalism. He often challenges judgemental views and points the reader back to Jesus and how he often dealt with ‘sinners.’ Whilst Bell’s views are refreshing to read and challenge our understanding of Heaven and Hell, my only criticism is that his arguments are very much based in the ‘here and now.’ He seems to overlook the ‘not yet’ of the Kingdom of God. In my opinion, we can taste both Heaven and Hell in this life but it is only a glimpse; the fulfilment of all things is still yet to come.
Bell’s arguments are both thought-provoking and clear and this book is for anyone who is wishing to challenge their understanding of the issues already stated. Love Wins is an interesting read and, whilst it may also bring about further questions, it is truly worth reading. Love Wins seeks to help us, ultimately, understand the depth of God’s amazing love. Curiosity didn’t kill this cat!
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