Category: book report


Love Wins Review

Sorry this took me a little while to get this written. I finished Love Wins by Rob Bell a little while back. Here are my thoughts.

I really enjoyed the book. He has a really good grasp of scripture and I found it a bit fun when he would bounce around the Bible with different verses that are seemingly contradicting. It is like the sacred cow of christians to not acknowledge anything in scripture that comes across as a contradiction. I think that is exactly what the Spirit did on purpose to keep us uncomfortable if we find our comfort more in the Bible rather than in the Word of God himself.

I agree with his point that heaven or hell  starts right here and now. Not just then and there. I have experienced this myself. I think what ticked people off was the idea that God would still extend love after death. (Luther shared this view) Well to me that makes sense. God is love. His character wouldn’t stop being just because of a lack of breath. Bell also acknowledged that without choice no real love can be present. So, if a person wants to choose the Hell of separating oneself from Love and being in themselves, God will not overpower their will.

The only critique that I have that is slightly negative is I think he was being more provocative rather than simply proclaiming the Good News that God was In Christ reconciling the world to Himself. If this would’ve been the main thrust of the book I wouldn’t have felt like he may have glossed over or ignored some of the uncomfortable parts in scripture on judgement. Because then I would’ve been able to recognize the lens in which he was interpreting  all of the scripture. My journey has brought me to beginning to understand the great dance I am in in the Father, Son and Spirit. I believe this is what has been missing in the proclamation of the gospel. Simply, Love has won. God has already poured His Spirit on ALL flesh. When you have always thought in your heart  “God knows/understands me  and loves me” that was the truth He put in you. Then religious christians turned it into you needing to do something to earn what you already have. Or you may have rejected the rules and moral ism because you or someone you love didn’t measure up to system they claimed was jesus. Good. This is the Gospel;  you are free to believe the Love poured out into you or not. Heaven or Hell, it is your choice but Love Has Won.

The book overall is worth the read even if it makes you uncomfortable. My favorite part of the book is when Bell asks “wouldn’t it be christian to hope God can save everyone” To that I wholeheartedly agree.

I just finished this book and first of all I want to say I admire his heart and dedication. But….

This book was very hard for me to read. I kept waiting for the “crazy love” to show up.  It seems as if the grandeur of God is what is his main draw. Unfortunately, all it did was point out how I (we) really need to be scared of God. I am not saying that being in the presence of the Almighty will not produce fear in me at first but I do believe that the good news is that God is not upset toward us anymore. I believe there is much to be said on having a healthy fear of God but what I saw in this book seemed as if fear was the motivation for at least part of his actions.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us.

1 john 4:18-19 nrsv

The main thing that bothered me is that I believe most people who are motivated by fear will eventually give up and stop trying. On the flip side the more we realize just how crazy God’s love for us is then we will be truly motivated.

Jesus came to really show us the true heart of the Father and to accept the punishment due us as well as enter into our shame and experience the effects of sin firsthand. He wants us to know we are reconciled to God if we will just believe it and join the party.

For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. 2 cor 5:19 NLT

I was just expecting more about how God’s love is completely crazy and makes no sense (humanly speaking).  The book would’ve made a good book if it had a different title. It just felt like a bait and switch.  Lastly, I don’t think Francis Chan is completely off the mark on everything in the book just different then what I expected but I am sure there are those that God will touch through it. I know  He did me by causing me to talk with Him about the challenges I had with the book.

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