This past weekend my husband mentioned the blog "firestorm" gaining ground regarding the new book by Rob Bell Love Wins. It won't be releasing until late March, but already verbal punchs are being thrown, sides are being taken and heretics branded. Zondervan opted not to publish the book so HarperOne is carrying it.
Fans flock to his Facebook page, his NOOMA videos have been viewed by millions, and his Sunday sermons are attended by 10,000 parishioners—with a downloadable podcast reaching 50,000 more. An electrifying, unconventional pastor whom Time magazine calls “a singular rock star in the church world,” Rob Bell is the most vibrant, central religious leader of the millennial generation. Now, in Love Wins: Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, Bell addresses one of the most controversial issues of faith—the afterlife—arguing that a loving God would never sentence human souls to eternal suffering. With searing insight, Bell puts hell on trial, and his message is decidedly optimistic—eternal life doesn’t start when we die; it starts right now. And ultimately, Love Wins. (Amazon/HarperCollins)
Explosive, controversial, divisive...Should House of James sell Love Wins? Is Rob Bell a universalist? Are you going to read it? John Piper, Tim Challies, Josh Harris, and Kevin DeYoung (among others) have all weighed in with strong opinions of Rob Bell and his theology but the consensus seems to be wait and see. Read the book first so that we are not jumping to conclusions based on tantalizing and effective (!) marketing by the publisher.
I am personally planning to read Love Wins and I am glad that we will be selling it here at the store. If we want to speak authoritatively about a subject, we had better have our facts in order. I don't want to form my opinions based solely on the generalizations of others about such a crucial topic. This issue calls for first-hand knowledge.
So, we can start the discussion now, but before we draw any hard and fast conclusions, let's read the book. ~~Becky
Take a look at the following video by Rob Bell himself.