Love Wins, by Rob Bell, is a refreshing look at conservative, evangelical theology. Bell articulately addresses some of the core problems of this brand of Christianity, and gently leads his readers into a new way of looking at some of the pet doctrines which have become so divisive among Christians. The title says it all. Love wins! God is love. Period. Bell goes through all the doctrines of heaven, hell, judgement, who God is, who Jesus is, etc. He gives us a different way of looking at these ideologies, and does it in a way completely consistent with biblical theology.
For me the most powerfully compelling section of the book is the second last chapter where he provides some intriguing persecutive on the biblical story of the prodigal son. If we are honest within ourselves, we have to admit that most of us are closer to the elder son than to the younger. We have defined God as one whom we serve, whose word we never disobey. We also do not believe that we deserve anything better than a small goat (which doesn’t give a whole lot of meat!!!) with which to celebrate. And so we resent our brother who lives a self-indulgent life of dissipation, and receives a fatted calf. Our view of God defines how we live our lives, how we experience life, how we experience God, heaven, hell.
For myself, I have already moved well beyond the biblical concepts I was raised in, and have spent most of my life believing and living out. So in my case Rob Bell is “preaching to the choir”! But for anyone still struggling to reconcile their often conflicting ideas of God, this is a refreshing read. I recommend this little book to all my evangelical, conservative friends!!! And I would welcome discussion of Bell’s view of God and judgement.