Largely, I am very disappointed to read Rob Bell’s book “Love Wins”. It dances so close and around the heresy known as Universalism, that says everyone will eventually go to heaven, because all roads lead through the pearly gates in the end. Through poor exegesis and embarrassing uses of scripture he tries to “express” his views on hell. I say express, because what Rob as an artist is really doing, is expressing his faith in this book. It’s not a systematic theology, but merely an expression it seems. A severely lacking expression that would definitely lead some unaware people into false beliefs about Christ.
However….I admire his attempts deeply in making the Bible palatable to the every-day post-modern person. I have been discerning to sift through the heresy to search out that shepherds heart he has. He does have a point in the following excerpt in terms of how we use our “Christian-ese” when talking with those who don’t believe.
“So when the gospel is diminished to a question of whether or not a person will ‘get into heaven’ that reduces the good news to a ticket, a way to get past the bouncer and into the club. The good news is better than that. This is why Christians who talk the most about going to heaven while everybody else goes to hell don’t throw very good parties.”
– Rob Bell in his book “Love Wins”, p. 178-179
The question that he raises in my mind, How can we best talk, gossip, present, and bring up issues found in the Bible without being that “judgemental” believer, who holds the doctrine of justice over ones head, while holding the doctrine of love in the other. May God give us the words to use graciously, the times wisely, and most importantly His heart for the lost. We need a heart transplant every single morning!
PS – If you are reading the book, Dr. Ben Witherington has a good chapter by chapter review of the book here. The series is called “For whom the Bell tolls…”