See the advanced info on Love Wins at HarperCollins. In case any of us ever wondered whether universalism was lurking behind Rob Bell’s more obscure teachings in books or Noomas, he is making that clear to one and all with this book. At least that’s what his publisher’s website is saying. Also check out the brief video by Bell off to the side. For the record, Brian McLaren recommends the book. Admittedly, I haven’t read it yet, but I think I detect some errors in doctrine already.
I was actually very suspicious of this book. I had never read anything by Rob Bell until Love Wins. I took a shot despite the fact that many well known evangelicals stood against it. Then I found out that a lot of the negativity was coming from people who hadn’t read a single page of it. It is definitely worth reading. Even if you don’t agree with everything he says, he does succeed in showing us the beauty of God’s love.
I just finished the book, and I am about to write a post on it. I can understand why it is such a controversial book, I see it as an honest way of illustrating the questions that we all may have about God, heaven, and hell. The book helped me to see that God’s grace may be greater than what today’s church tries to teach. If God’s grace is so great, why is hell even necessary? a good question, I think. Peace.
The real question here is whether what “today’s church” is teaching about hell is something that began with today’s church. Is it possible that this is simply traditional or orthodox Christian doctrine as the church has always understood it. If that’s the case, and a brief historical survey of Christian doctrine seems to reveal that it is, then Bell and those who agree with him are the innovators. In dropping an “unecessary” doctrine they may actually be misrepresenting God’s grace and putting others in the unenviable position of missing out on it. Food for thought.
Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle seem to have a different view. Check their latest book out here: http://www.amazon.com/Erasing-Hell-about-eternity-things/dp/0781407257
This topic ended up going farther than I originally planned, eventually turning into a Saturday Seminar at Calvary Chapel Bible College Indianapolis. The PPTX presentations and notes for that seminar are now available in five parts beginning here: