Love Wins : A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived / Rob Bell.

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      First Edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "Bestselling author of VELVET ELVIS and the 2 million-plus selling Nooma videos, Rob Bell, reveals a secret deep in the heart of millions of Christians-they don't believe what they have been taught are the essential truths of their faith. Out of respect for their tradition, they keep quiet, confiding to a few close friends their doubts and questions about salvation, Jesus, and, of course, God. Is Jesus really the only way into heaven? Is God "good" if he is planning on sending billions of people to eternal torment in hell? Are Christians the only ones who have it "right," and everyone else is just deceived? Bell brings out to the open and faces squarely the questions on everyone's mind: Does it really make sense that God is a loving, kind, compassionate God who wants to know people in a personal way, but if they reject this relationship with Jesus, they will be sent to hell where God will eternally punish them forever? In LOVE WINS, Bell goes to the heart of these issues and argues that the church's traditional understanding of heaven and hell is actually not taught by the Bible. Bell is emphatically not offering a new view of heaven and hell-instead, he closely examines every verse in the Bible on heaven and hell and shows what they really teach. And he discovers that Jesus's most fundamental teaching about heaven and hell is, "Love wins.""-- Provided by publisher.
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Booklist Reviews 2011 April #2

Outspoken pastor and best-selling author Bell dares to question conventional Christian wisdom, such as the popular belief that states a select number of Christians will spend eternity in heaven while the rest of humanity—non-Christians and those who have not been "saved"—will suffer pain and punishment in hell. "How does a person end up being one of the few? Chance? Luck? Random selection?" he wonders. By asking these and other similarly pointed questions, Bell raises issues some may find disturbing or, at the very least, unsettling, not only about religion but about what it means to be a believer. He contends that some images of Jesus and God should be rejected outright—images contrary to what he considers authentic Christian behavior. Through the use of anecdotes and Bible stories, Bell suggests alternative ways of understanding heaven and hell as well as such deeply Christian concepts as salvation and repentance. Further, he maintains that the cruel rather than loving God so many Christians believe in is a distortion of the Christian spirit. Thought-provoking. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2011 May #1

Author of several rather controversial books on Christian spirituality, Bell (founding pastor, Mars Hill Bible Church, Grand Rapids, MI; Velvet Elvis) is nothing if not a hip pastor. His books generally reconcile Christian belief with modern life in novel ways, but in his broadest theological statement yet, Bell treads old territory: by a rather curious and selective reading of the Bible, he suggests that our ideas of hell are too broad and our notion of heaven too small—in short, he is a good old-fashioned American Universalist. VERDICT For many mainstream or conservative Christians, Bell's message will (as usual) go too far; for younger or more open-minded Christians, it may well have the intended effect—to bring readers and believers closer to God.

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