Thursday, 31 March 2011

Rob Bell - the definitive take on Love Wins by someone who hasn't read it

I've been tracking some of the debate and furore that has surrounded the launch of Rob Bell's latest book Love Wins.

Now I have to say I haven't read the book but in the vein of many of the articles I have read that somehow doesn't seem to matter! However for upfront disclosure I have to say I am a fan of his work, especially his preaching. I would say he is the best communicator I have ever listened to, only C.J. Mahaney comes close in my opinion.

But back to the issue at hand "Love Wins" - or does everyone get to heaven anyway? The best reviews of the book and the central issue I have seen are Derek Tidball from EA which is a brief summary of the book, Steven Harmon who covers the issue of universalism and Derek Ouellette who brings an interesting question - is it the sub-title that has caused all the problems?

Having watched the video (see below) that introduces the book, my view is that I think the questions raised in the book are ones that real people, especially non-christians, struggle with. There is a tension even a bit of a paradox in the general love of God to want all men to be saved and yet we have  the option to choose God.

LOVE WINS. - Available March 15th from Rob Bell on Vimeo.

The best summary of the issue of who gets into Heaven I have seen and I fully agree with is from Steven Harmon who writes, "a settled doctrine of the ultimate salvation of all persons seems difficult to reconcile with the clear teaching of many passages of Scripture. Theologically, a necessarily universal salvation seems to contravene both the freedom of God and the freedom of humanity. I will not be surprised if I discover in heaven that the God revealed in Jesus Christ has indeed in the end reconciled all people to God, but I cannot presume that."

Ultimately God's love will win and I hope as we consider these important questions we remember 1 Cor 13:13 "three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love". Let's pursue love with God, one another and the lost above all else - especially above telling people they are wrong and we are am right.

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