Thursday, March 31, 2011

Joe, what do you think of Rob Bell and his new book Love Wins?

Good question.
Take me out to coffee and I'll tell you.
I drink decaf americanos with a bit of cream
And yes, I actually read it.
No seriously, I suck at book reviews (if you'd like a good one, go here)...so sorry, but no written book review here.  But, since I know you're interested...
Here are a few hyper short and general reflections:
  • Rob Bell's style annoys me (so many questions, so few answers) but it's nothing to crucify the man over.  Over coffee, ask me about this.  
  • Rob Bell is no universalist.  Well, he may be...but his book doesn't suggest it.
  • Love Wins is not a systematic theology of the doctrine of hell.  And if I ever see people quoting his book, Love Wins, in their MDiv eschatology papers....I'm going to have a hernia.
  • Rob Bell was very right (wonderfully right) and very wrong (frustratingly wrong) on key biblical passages.  Welcome to theology.
  • Love Wins has very real implications for how we live our lives...and while I heartily disagree with a few of Bell's key conclusions (can I call them that?) all the internet/twitter hoopla seems....well, silly.             
So that's it.  Well, not really...I have LOADS more to say on the pedagogy of Rob Bell, theological reflections of the book, as well as implications of Bell's message for Christian discipleship...but I want decaf americanos...so call me.
In the meantime...here are a few resources for you that I've read and found helpful over the years regarding eschatology (the theology that deals with "last things"):
Some good books:
Some other reflections on Rob Bell's Love Wins:
Other potentially helpful summaries of what eschatology is really trying to clarify:
As a final note...I'm seriously considering for the next four days describing the four most common methods of understanding the nature of hell, based on the Biblical text:  The Literal View, The Metaphorical View, The Purgatorial View, and the Conditional View. The reflections won't be super long (maybe like 300 words each)....but they might help you understand why there is a theological discussion.  It also might help you decide what the biblical text is actually saying and not saying...which is the goal...right?



1 comment:

Beth said...

Do it Joe if you can. I'd love to learn about the 4 views and 300 words is about right for most of us in your fan world. :)

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