I just finished Rob Bell’s Love Wins. I know this is old news, which is the same as not news, but hey, I’m a slow reader.
A friend of mine found Rob’s writing style annoying.
…on the other hand
or new, for that matter.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch…
Rob Bell has a speaking style. So I listen to him speak rather than read his words. This is easy for me because I do not read. I have to see the words on the page, hear the words in my head, construct a mental image of each and every scene, play and replay the mental movie, and then (and pretty much, only then) I can move on to the next paragraph/thought/scene. I think this is why I probably favor poetry.
[The one thing that does bug me is Bell’s love of the contraction. I always expand them, which lengthens the reading process even more.]
Love Wins reflects Bell’s poetic, preaching, teaching, spoken-word style. So, while it may be 200 pages, it really says little more than a college term paper. But I don’t much care for reading college term papers and neither do you.
Here are some of the lines in the book that I love:
- They’re nouns that mean something only in conjunction with verbs. (p44)
- In the Genesis poem that begins the Bible, … (p44, again.)
- Again, surprise. (p52. hysterically true. poetically so. This is the entire paragraph, btw, which is funnier still.)
- We live in several dimensions.
Up and down.
Left and right.
Forward and backward.
Three to be exact. (p59. See? Funny.)
- Those aren’t metaphorical missing arms and legs. (p71. And sad.)
- We can use machetes if we want to. (p72 And tragically true.)
- I could go on though to page 196: It will require a death, …
Unlike a college term paper, I rather enjoyed Love Wins. Bell does suggest there may be such a thing as unconscious salvation but then so did Tony Campolo in his Letters to a Young Evangelical. To my knowledge, Tony has yet to get any farewell tweet, which is a good thing.
Bell also acknowledges and explores God’s desire that all would be reconciled to Him, which earned him the heretic label from many a conservative. However, if lifting up some verses over others is all it takes to be branded with the Scarlet-H, he’ll be in good company with a rather large crowd.