Hell Hath No Fury Like a Centuries Old Church Tradition Openly Challenged

Love Wins, by Rob Bell on Amazon.comI 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
did not
find anything
or new, for that matter.

Go figure.

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.

6 Responses

  1. great review. I’m in the middle of it and while it doesn’t have the depth of some of the other theology-busters I’ve read, it hangs with the poetry of a Batterson book. I’m liking it, though I don’t necessarily agree with it all, I like the questions he asks.

    • Hi Jenny,

      I’m guessing you’ve read the part about the rich young ruler. Did you think Bell weakened his argument by omitting to address the closing “then come, follow me”?

  2. I haven’t read it yet, don’t know if I will–I tend to resist trendy things. Plus, I’ve heard so much about it, I almost don’t

    need to

    read it to know what it does NOT say.

    • Yeah Brian, it says little more than that which has been blogged (ad nauseum) already.

      You would be able to ingest it in one sitting. Probably one hour. Let me know if you decide you want to commit that hour and I’ll bring it into my DC office… we’ll meet up and you can borrow it.

  3. That would be nice. Is there a day of the week that works better for you?

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