Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Love Wins--prelimary review

I just finished reading Love Wins by Rob Bell. It was a quick and satisfying read. Rob addresses each mention of hell in the Bible (or so he says--I have not yet personally double checked to make sure), talks about the original language that has been translated as hell in modern versions of the Bible, and discusses how the original recipients of the letters of the New Testament would have understood the content. (an essential ingredient that seems often left alone rather than embraced in churches) He voices many of the same questions, doubts, and seeming contradictions that I have wrestled with for a long time. He points us back to the Bible for the answers.

Many who read this book will be surprised and probably skeptical to learn that the idea that God's love will be so appealing to all people, that they will ultimately choose God is not a new idea, but rather a very old one. Rob did not make up some politically-correct version of heaven and hell for this book.

As I said a few posts ago, the concept of ultimate reconciliation of all to God is not new to me. I've had years to get comfortable with this, though maybe had not been able to have 100% confidence in it. Love Wins gave me new and beautiful things to think about, not only about hell, but about heaven, Jesus, God, and how to more fully be a part of bringing the world more of God's goodness and love.

There was a point toward the end of the book where I felt like things were getting a little murky, but I appreciate the Rob was not trying to give us every single answer since not all things can be known by us. He embraces the mysteries and unknowable things and leaves room for us to not know all the details. To me that is far more honest than cooking up a bunch of details that we just can't know right now.

I would recommend this book to anybody who wonders about heaven, hell, God, salvation, or how to live life. Even if you think you won't agree, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much you do get out of the book.

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