Michael's Reviews > Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived

Love Wins by Rob Bell
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's review
May 04, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: christianity
Read in March, 2011 , read count: 1

First, this is not quite a book. I was on Chapter Two before I left the bookstore. I just had to point that out, since I paid real money for it.

Beyond that, it appears to have more in common with C.S. Lewis's fictional allegory "The Great Divorce" than with any clear teaching from the Bible.

Bell makes some very good points. One thing that Emergent authors do very well (in my experience) is identify and address issues and questions that nag at any thoughtful Christian. This is how they lay track into Evangelical churches.

Often, they poke the conventional pat answers full of holes, and that is actually a wonderful service to the Church. The problem is, once they have served their purpose as iconoclasts, they routinely go on to provide their own fanciful answers. This book is packed with very fanciful answers, fanciful conclusions, and fanciful assertions.

"Love Wins" is very appealing, and Bell's enthusiasm about God's redeeming work is infectious. But there is a reason I cannot follow him down this road. It is because I believe in the authority of scripture, on the most practical grounds, and I do not believe that we are at liberty to add extra doctrines or dismiss what we do not like. He sets up a lot of mean, irrational, hyper-literalist straw men in an effort to show how reasonable he is being by comparison, but that doesn't change the fundamental issue: when it comes to matters of doctrine, if it's not biblical, it's fabricated.

I'm not saying we're always right about what Scripture means, and that's why a couple of thousand years down the road from the time of Christ, I'm interested in this type of book. But I just don't see any clear Scriptural basis for the full extent of what Bell is asserting here... it's that simple.

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