Amy'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
Feb 22, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, read-in-2012, religion
Read in February, 2012

Wow, what else can I say that hasn't been said about this book? Overall I really appreciated what he had to say, even though I'm not sure if I agree with all of it. Although it is considered very "controversial", I actually like his way of getting people to think a bit out of the box. He certainly doesn't approach it as a serious theologian, but rather in a conversational style. His writing is more like his speech, written down.

Because he writes like this.

Which sort of grated on me.
Due to all the short sentences.

And space between.

Like this.

OK please make me stop! Back to more serious matters, like heaven and hell. I thought his discussion on heaven was interesting, and his thoughts on the use and understanding of the word "forever" in the languages of the Bible (not the same use as our word, apparently). I think as soon as you start thinking you know exactly the details of what will happen after death, you get hung up. Because there's no way we can truly understand with our human brains, as much as we want to summarize all our beliefs in a neat 4-point outline.

His thoughts on hell are very thought provoking, but I feel like I would need to study more and spend a lot more thought on this. Many people accuse him of being a "universalist" which seems to be the ultimate evil in some evangelical circles. I don't see it as such a bad thing. The idea that God will ultimately "renew all things to himself" does appear to be in the Bible. Balancing this with the verses about hades, fire, judgement and punishment is the difficulty. But it's probably true that our conceptions of the afterlife are shaped so much by our culture (and Dante) that it's impossible for us to really read the Bible without some of our biases. I do agree that Christianity is not just about getting your "ticket" to get into heaven. It's so much more than that. It's about this life as much as the next life. And none of us can point to others and say automatically where they stand with God -- God knows each of us and our hearts.
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