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Rob Bell: Love Wins ?

Heresy? Hope? Confusion? Truth? Clarity?

okay really, this post was just for link juice from all the silly christians out there.

Update: NY Times and Christianity Today weigh in on controversy
HarperOne the publisher has moved the release date up to March 15th 2011

Update 2: RSVP at the facebook page as Rob Bell will appear at an interactive, live streamed event on March 14, 2011 in conversation with award-winning Newsweek editor Lisa Miller.

Bonus: Love him or hate him, here’s a huge list of Rob Bell links I compiled a while back (including an audio of the message that inspired his latest book, Love Wins).

Update 3 – Below is Rob Bell explaining Love Wins to his church recently

Update 4 – You can watch or listen to the full 72 minute livestream interview of Rob Bell by Lisa Miller below

Watch live streaming video from lovewins at livestream.com


{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Kurt February 28, 2011, 2:16 pm

    Thanks for linking to my blog Lon! Have liked your stuff for quite some time!


    • Lon March 2, 2011, 11:58 am

      Hey Kurt, thanks for linking me back. It’ll be interesting how all this unfolds.

  • mas raden March 1, 2011, 8:24 am

    wow greet. . . thanks for your sharing

    greeting from mas raden

  • Tony Clay April 24, 2011, 7:09 pm

    Why is Rob Bells book‭ ‬‘Love wins‭’‬ so‭ ‬controversial‭?

    The obvious answer to this question is that Rob Bell seems to be questioning long held Christian beliefs about the‭ ‬judgment of God and more specifically the concept of Hell.‭ ‬I doubt‭ ‬whether‭ ‬many Christians have‭ ‬easily‭ ‬accepted‭ ‬the idea of the Christian God of love sending people,‭ ‬who might well be redeemable,‭ ‬if not in this life but perhaps in the next life,‭ ‬to a place of eternal suffering.

    It was only‭ ‬72‭ ‬years ago that the‭ ‬Second World War was waged against a man who had the intention of creating a‭ ‬super race and destroying or enslaving those that didn‭’‬t either qualify or refused to accept him as‭ ‬their father‭ (‬Fuhrer‭)‬ there‭ ‬would seem to be many similarities‭ ‬between‭ ‬Hitlers‭ ‬death camps and the‭ ‬lake of eternal lake fire except that the death camps were not eternal.

    If we are honest we try not to dwell on the‭ ‬judgment of God too much and prefer to preach‭ ‬forgiveness‭ ‬and‭ ‬to‭ ‬live in the light of his love.‭ ‬Rob Bell has demanded through his book‭ ‬‘Love‭ ‬Wins‭’‬ that we look again at what the bible teaches about Hell‭ ‬and God‭’‬s‭ ‬judgment‭ ‬and naturally‭ ‬because‭ ‬we don‭’‬t like the subject very much it becomes controversial.‭ ‬He seems to be asking us to consider another interpretation other than the one that is most commonly taught.

    I don‭’‬t see how this makes‭ ‬Rob Bell into‭ ‬a‭ ‬Universalist,‭ ‬which is a very unpopular label in the Evangelical Christian world.‭ ‬A true Universalist believes that‭ ‬whatever religion or philosophy one‭ ‬adheres to will get you to God in other words‭ ‬‘all roads lead to God‭’‬.‭ ‬This is of course‭ ‬unacceptable‭ ‬to Christians who believe that Jesus is the only way to come to know God the father.

    In another sense though,‭ ‬the bible does teach that the breath of God‭ (‬Ruagh in Hebrew‭) ‬that abides in every man and animal will return to the Father when the man or animal‭ ‬dies‭ ‬..‭ ‬so whatever road or religion‭ ‬or philosophy‭ ‬you may choose,‭ ‬according to scripture,‭ ‬cannot prevent the‭ ‬returning of something‭ ‬in you‭ ‬( soul or spirit‭ ?‬) to God.‭ ‬There seems to‭ ‬be‭ ‬no escaping one day having to meet with ones‭ ‬maker..‭ ‬there‭’‬s‭ ‬nowhere to run.‭

    One‭ ‬could assume that the purpose of the breath of life returning to the father is so that we can be judged as to whether or not we are worthy to live with him eternally however if death nor life can separate us from the love of God perhaps the redeeming work of Christ continues beyond the grave.‭ ‬I personally would very much‭ ‬like to think so but it isn‭’‬t‭ ‬100%‭ ‬clear one way or the‭ ‬other,‭ ‬therefore making it‭ ‬‘open‭’‬ to interpretation‭ (‬open as in permitted‭)‬ There are some‭ ‬valid viewpoints on both sides of this controversy.

    I would like to say that I have struggled with this question‭ ‬for the entire‭ ‬36‭ ‬years that have passed since‭ ‬I become a Christian but the truth is I have ignored the question as much as humanly possible‭ ‬feeling,‭ ‬perhaps,‭ ‬that to dwell on it too much would just churn up other‭ ‬tricky‭ ‬questions and become rather depressing.

    If Rob Bell isn‭’‬t a Universalist then what is he‭ ? ‬I suspect that he is a brave man who wants to find the truth behind this question and isn‭’‬t afraid to pursue it nor to share his findings so far with others.‭ ‬Why is it so hard for other‭ ‬‘Christian‭ ‬writers,‭ ‬preachers, teachers etc:’ to accept this‭? ‬Why does it provoke them to label this man‭ ‬a‭ ‬heretic‭?

    Jealousy maybe a factor behind some of the reactions,‭ ‬one cannot ignore that Rob Bell is a fine communicator,‭ ‬and has‭ ‬an effective ministry and that his books are easy to read and well liked. ‘Oh, why is God blessing this mans ministry more than ours ? ’ …. maybe it’s not God who is blessing him but the Devil at work ? …. whatever .. let’s get him! NB: If that is a factor then beware because Jealousy IS the devil at work !

    A more likely reason for the controversy is that many Christians see themselves as defenders of the faith and they are worried that this book will upset the way the church is viewed by the world and CNN news. It’s more likely that the controversy over the book is more damaging to the Churches ‘image’ than what is written in it. More people are going to read ‘Love wins’ because of the controversy than because they are actually interested in the content.

    I have to say in closing that I think Rob Bell may be right and that we will, as CS Lewis wrote in The Last Battle, be surprised at who actually gets into heaven. I also believe that our God is a just and merciful God who will move heaven and earth to redeem mankind and we have yet to see how this will pan out.

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