Books Ring Mah Bell'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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Aug 09, 11

bookshelves: religion-or-not, local-flava
Read from July 17 to 18, 2011

I had to pick up this book and read it for a few reasons: Controversy and debate.
Rob Bell has his Mars Hill Church in my town. I know people that attend his church and love it there. I have heard so very much about this book, and thought the controversy was localized, but then I saw Mr. Bell’s idea of No Hell on the cover of Time magazine.

When I picked the book up and brought it to the register, the cashier glared at it, then at me. (GLARED, I tell you!) She then launched into a lecture of sorts about "false prophets" and leading people to question things. (oooh boy!) I didn't have the heart to tell her most days I’m an atheist. I should have. Just for fun.

Certainly, I am in no position to get in a theological debate. I have not studied the bible intensely, but I do love the debate, and love to see the ways people interpret what they have read. That is what Bell does in this book. He lists all sorts of places in the bible where love wins, where God is love.
I love Mr. Bell's take on love winning. From early on, I was often told I would be going to hell unless I was "saved". That really bothered me, not from fear, but from a “what kind of God would do that?” standpoint. What about those unaware, never exposed to of Christianity? (As Rob says, "what if the missionary got a flat tire?") It was then that I washed my hands of religion. What kind of God would send people to an eternity of torment for just not being exposed to “the word”? Or being introduced to it and having questions? I mean, HE gave us the brain to think and question... then He's going to punish us for that?

Makes no sense.

I love the message.
God is loving.
Love.
What Rob Bell states is what I want to believe, on the days I believe in anything.

The book is written like a speech, and while I believe it would have been great as a sermon, the format falls flat as a book.

My curiosity has been satisfied, and I was not outraged. I can, however, see where the book would upset those that believe being saved is the only way.

I give him credit for doing what most religions dare not allow: question.
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Comments (showing 1-21 of 21) (21 new)

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message 1: by Jen (new)

Jen When I picked the book up and brought it to the register, the cashier glared at it, then at me. (GLARED, I tell you!) She then launched into a lecture of sorts about "false prophets" and leading people to question things. (oooh boy!)

This sort of thing happened to me when a woman who thought she knew me asked me what I was reading. When I told her 'The God Delusion' she gave me the stinkeye squint. You know the one.

I could have said "Perfect love casts out fear" but then I would've probably gotten the stinkeye and a tongue cluck.


message 2: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! My mom is a cashier in your town?


message 3: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Eh?Eh! wrote: "My mom is a cashier in your town?"

HAHAHAHAHA!!

Even though Bell seems really nice, and I overall agree with his message about humanity, probably, he still kind of rubs me the wrong way. He just looks too much like a rock star, maybe. Like, cool it on the hair jell, buddy. But, ultimately, I guess maybe my problem is that I feel like messages like this try to re-format the Bible into something consistent and timeless because it is too terrifying to say it isn't. I can't really get behind that.


message 4: by Jen (last edited Aug 09, 2011 08:42AM) (new)

Jen I can get behind it. And in front of it. I hope love hits me like a bus and wins big. It would mean that my Yule..er Christmases would be enjoyable and full of cocoa and warm hearts and I would not have to hear about Harry Potter and the devil, or how dinosaurs fit on the ark.


message 5: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! Biblical cherry-picking makes for that consistent, timeless text. In fact, contradictory timeless textsssssss-plural. My favorite story is how someone proved God didn't exist using the Bible. I guess this person flipped to somewhere in Psalms (Proverbs?) and holding his finger over part of the verse, showed the words "there is no God." But the finger covered up "only the fool says."


message 6: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow hahaha! It just makes more sense to me to say, "Hey! Love is important!" rather than to try to prove what God thinks about it. It used to make sense to me to try to figure out what God thinks about stuff using the Bible, but then I realized I usually feel pretty persuaded about what I think, so if God and I disagree, I'll have to just reconcile myself to that, rather than try to prove he's on my side.


Books Ring Mah Bell Even though Bell seems really nice, and I overall agree with his message about humanity, probably, he still kind of rubs me the wrong way. He just looks too much like a rock star, maybe.

yes, exactly!! there's too much of a "look at me! I'm hip! I'm hip and Christian! Did I mention I am hip???"


"My mom is a cashier in your town?"
LOL! Oh, Eh... She damn near killed me with the disapproval in her eyes...

No tongue clucking, though!
:)


message 8: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Bells wrote: "yes, exactly!! there's too much of a "look at me! I'm hip! I'm hip and Christian! Did I mention I am hip???"

Not that people can't be spiritual and still shop at the mall, or whatever, but it seems like he's missing some point about . . . I don't know, the meek inheriting the Earth or something?


message 9: by Jen (new)

Jen I think I understand what you've written, Meredith, except for that last line, where you disagree with God and become reconciled to that.

Kidding.

Growing up inside the pages of a Bible, I can tell you...pretty much every ass on every church pew divebombs scripture to fit their thinking. So, if someone like Rob Bell wants to divebomb and say the moral of the story is that love wins and go hug a neighbor or something, well, I'm okay with that. It is a divebomb his neighbors and nearby humans can survive. In fact, Mr. Bell, I'll nosedive into some scripture right now and say to Mr. Bell:

Hey Rob. Robbie. Pssst I'm your neighbor. Show me some love and just come right on out and say that you're a Deist who is really sweet on Jesus, for various reasons, and you are using the Bible to reach Christians because that is the book they respond to. Because that is what would tickle my ear. Rob Bell, a missionary sent to the mission.


message 10: by Sparrow (last edited Aug 09, 2011 10:09AM) (new)

Sparrow Jen wrote: "Hey Rob. Robbie. Pssst I'm your neighbor. Show me some love and just come right on out and say that you're a Deist who is really sweet on Jesus, for various reasons, and you are using the Bible to reach Christians because that is the book they respond to. Because that is what would tickle my ear."

hahahaha! Exactly. I think that's why Christians get pissed. But, I feel like there's such a move towards that with younger, left-wing Evangelicals. Agreed about how everyone in church pews does that, and agreed that he uses the tactic for good, not evil. I still think it's a suspicious method of persuasion, though. My old pastor was trying to get me to go back to her church once this goatee-sporting middle-aged fellow took over, and when she got to the argument that I should go back because Jesus wanted me to, I had to laugh. I mean, really? Does he want me to buy American, too? I know it's an obvious thing, but I feel like I was so inside of it for so long, figuring out translations of the Greek that would not make Paul iffy on women, that I still feel that sense of relief of just being like, "This is what I think," and not having to have the approval of Jesus behind it.


message 11: by Jen (new)

Jen Wait. Are you trying to tell me that you are NOT worried about what jesus would do? Because there aren't any bracelets for that.

Yet.

We could quick get a business plan and then give the money to secular charities. People would be so mystified by that. It would be lovely. Plus, I could look at my bracelet and eat bacon.


message 12: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow You are such a heathen genius.


message 13: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow P.S. I have a cross-stitch magnet that says "WTFWJD?" It's for, like, when you're feeling religious, but really exasperated at the same time.


message 14: by Jen (new)

Jen Meredith wrote: "You are such a heathen genius."

Aha, but I could find scripture to corroborate this marketing strategy.

That magnet is the only reason I would consider taking up cross-stitching again. Well, that and I like wearing a steel thimble. It just feels right.


message 15: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Jen wrote: "Aha, but I could find scripture to corroborate this marketing strategy."

We could print the scripture on the inside of the bracelets.

Yeah, there are some excellent possibilities with cross-stitch, but it is not really the craft for me. I just command my friends to make me what I want, and then I make empty promises to knit them things. It's a racket, but it works.

Which, actually, note to self: Craft Racket would be a good name for a metal band.


message 16: by Jen (new)

Jen Proverbs 14:15
The naive believes everything, but the sensible man considers his steps.

You see?


message 17: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Word.


message 18: by Kiki (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kiki Nice review! Until the final sweeping generality that most religions don't allow questions. I think most religious books I've read have had characters who question without being punished. At any rate, nice review. And the book is a pretty good read.


Tyler Laird Bell isn't associated with Mars Hill. That's Mark Driscoll


Therese Allen I'm so sorry that that woman glared at you. She should have NEVER done that. She didn't know you, so I believe she should've struck up a constructive conversation. There are far too many Christians who rush to judgement & act more like Pharisees. (& if their behavior much of the time isn't Christ-like, as in LOVING, than one has to wonder if they really are Christians!) I would encourage you to read & study the entire Bible. Make your own opinion. Jesus would not have glared at you. He would (& does) love you. After all, he created you, and he knows from before the dawn of time whether you'll choose him or not (He's above time, we are not), but he WANTS you to choose him. There are so many more things I could say, but not if you don't want to hear!


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