This book won't get the same thorough treatment most of the book reviews I write get. With Rob Bell, it's pointless. He's a polarizing figure and most people make up their minds about Rob Bell the man before they even read him. Most people make up their minds about Rob Bell's conclusions from the conclusions of bloggers, tweeters, and YouTube theologians.
Rob Bell's writing style is not readable to me. I bought Love Wins the week it was released and tried to read it, but couldn't. It opens with rapid fire questions and extra-biblical concepts I already wrestle with and don't have the answers to and Bell never stops to let me catch my breath and he doesn't explore any of the controversial concepts enough for me to stop and think about what I actually think about what he's writing. His writing annoyed me the way the previous sentence probably annoyed you.
He writes like he speaks and that rarely works for most orators, speakers and preachers. So when I found that Bell reads the audio version of this book, I downloaded it and that worked better for me because, like him or not, Bell is a very engaging speaker.
Now I sound like a fan.
If you've given yourself permission to name by name those who inhabits hell even though the Bible never reveals these things, then you won't be a fan either because Bell takes you on and he's not very nice about it.
Here are this blogger's conclusions about Love Wins:
- Bell rips into a little bit of everybody's extra-biblical dogma like a pitbull rips into a cat.
- When Bell exposits scripture in this book, he doesn't stray from orthodox treatment of the verses he explores.
- He's controversial.
- He's not a heretic.
- If you're a believer and you read Bell's book, there isn't anything in it that will cause you to stray from the truth of the gospel as presented in God's Word.
- If you're an atheist and you read the book, there's a serious chance you'll embrace Christ unless you've made up your mind to continue as a skeptic.
- If you're a serious theological reader, you'll recognize concepts introduced by Don Richardson in Eternity in their Hearts, C.S. Lewis in the Great Divorce, Timothy Keller in Prodigal God, and N.T. Wright in Surprised by Hope.
If you've read the book, I'd love to hear your comments.