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Love Wins Intl Paperback – Mar 29 2011

3.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (March 15 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006208335X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062083357
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.4 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #174,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“In Love Wins, Rob Bell tackles the old heaven-and-hell question and offers a courageous alternative answer. Thousands of readers will find freedom and hope and a new way of understanding the biblical story - from beginning to end.” (Brian D. McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity and Naked Spirituality)

“It isn’t easy to develop a biblical imagination that takes in the comprehensive and eternal work of Christ . . . Rob Bell goes a long way in helping us acquire just such an imagination--without a trace of soft sentimentality and without compromising an inch of evangelical conviction.” (Eugene H. Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, and author of The Message and The Pastor)

“A bold, prophetic and poetic masterpiece. I don’t know any writer who expresses the inexpressible love of God as powerfully and as beautifully as Rob Bell! No one who seriously engages this book will put it down unchanged. A ‘must read’ book!” (Greg Boyd, senior pastor at Woodland Hills Church and author of The Myth of a Christian Nation)

“One of the nation’s rock-star-popular young pastors, Rob Bell, has stuck a pitchfork in how Christians talk about damnation.” (USA Today)

“Claiming that some versions of Jesus should be rejected, particularly those used to intimidate and inspire fear or hatred, Bell persuasively interprets the Bible as a message of love and redemption. . . . His style is characteristically concise and oral, his tone passionate and unabashedly positive.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Bell fights every impulse in our culture to domesticate Jesus [and] challenges the reader to be open to surprise, mystery and all of the unanswerables. . . . Bell has given theologically suspicious Christians new courage to bet their life on Jesus Christ.” (Christian Century)

“This attention-getter of a book ignited a heated popular conversation about whether God saves people like Gandhi or sends him and billions of other non-Christians to a fiery and painful place in the afterlife.” (Publishers Weekly, Best Books of the Year)

“Love Wins will make Christians re-examine their faith and will help them reclaim a vital and exciting vision of heaven and God’s love.” (Relevant)

“Bell is at the forefront of a rethinking of Christianity in America.” (Time magazine)

“One of the country’s most influential evangelical pastors.” (New York Times)

“This evangelical celebration of the love of God will open new doors for Jesus seekers fed up with the toxic hellfire and brimstone tirades of fundamentalist Christianity. As that happens, love wins again!” (Spirituality and Practice)

From the Back Cover

Millions of Christians have struggled with how to reconcile God's love and God's judgment: Has God created billions of people over thousands of years only to select a few to go to heaven and everyone else to suffer forever in hell? Is this acceptable to God? How is this "good news"?

Troubling questions—so troubling that many have lost their faith because of them. Others only whisper the questions to themselves, fearing or being taught that they might lose their faith and their church if they ask them out loud.

But what if these questions trouble us for good reason? What if the story of heaven and hell we have been taught is not, in fact, what the Bible teaches? What if what Jesus meant by heaven, hell, and salvation are very different from how we have come to understand them?

What if it is God who wants us to face these questions?

Author, pastor, and innovative teacher Rob Bell presents a deeply biblical vision for rediscovering a richer, grander, truer, and more spiritually satisfying way of understanding heaven, hell, God, Jesus, salvation, and repentance. The result is the discovery that the "good news" is much, much better than we ever imagined.

Love wins.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'm rarely intimidated approaching a book review. However, this book presents some unique challenges, many of which have very little to do with the book itself. This book has become something of a lightening rod for both opponents and proponents of a particular form of universalism that it was reported to contain, by some prominent critics of Rob Bell, based upon their viewing a promotional video and before they read the book. There's a great number of people who have drawn conclusions about this book, the author Rob Bell, and what the book is or is not saying, and a remarkable number of those people have not read the book themselves either. That's the way things are. Issues of public attention like this take on a life of their own.

So, as much as I have tried to avoid getting too deeply drawn into the conversation before actually reading the book, I have to confess that I've heard a great deal of things and it's perhaps not possible to take things and set them aside completely. To the best of my ability though, here's what I saw as I read the book and then I'll make some comments following about my observations of the controversy surrounding the book.

Often times, when evaluating a review of a book, the views of the reviewer are as important to know as a point of reference. I am a former evangelical pastor and denominational worker who left formal ministry about 6 years ago for honorable reasons. Since that time, I've also left institutional church membership and am a proponent of organic or simple church. I have a degree in Biblical Literature and am fairly broadly read in several different veins of theology.
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Format: Hardcover
Not knowing in advance that this was a controversial book in some settings I set out to hopefully be encouraged that indeed 'Love Wins'! The content was interesting and the author makes some good points, not all of which I agree with but that's not an issue. He makes use of a lot of creative thinking to help us understand where he is coming from. However the paragraph structure and writing style was distracting so became more of a hinderance than a vehicle to well articulate points to me. I didn't always understand the short paragraphs and all the question marks. But hey that's just my journey. I suspect it is written in a style very conducive to popular culture. My daughter would probably fly through it! Thought provoking.
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Format: Hardcover
One of the things I appreciate most about Rob Bell's latest book, Love Wins, is his desire to tackle a very important subject, the fate of every person who ever lived, and bring to the table the questions people have been asking for years ' without reservation. While taking on the subjects of heaven and hell will always be risky business, he feels that the topic is important enough to discuss again, and I couldn't agree more.

What Rob confronts more than anything are our biases and traditions about who we believe will make it into heaven and who will not; views that stipulate that only a select few will be chosen for heaven, while the vast majority of people will be co-signed to eternal conscious punishment for the sins committed in the short few years they lived on earth.His response is multifaceted and covers a broad range of other possibilities that have been presented throughout church history.

Some have claimed that Rob is a universalist based on their reading (and in many cases their non-reading) of this book. Universalism is the idea that everyone will eventually find salvation through Jesus Christ at one time or another. Some take this belief to an extreme and say that even Satan will find salvation. However, Bell categorically denies this accusation and has made this abundantly clear throughout the text.

He writes that hell is a topic Jesus discussed time and time again and He used those moments to communicate the 'very real experiences and consequences of rejecting our God-given goodness and humanity' (73). Hell is the word we use to illustrate what happens when we continually decide to reject the good and beautiful life that God has for us.
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Format: Hardcover
Love Wins is the most compelling, compassionate, grace filled presentation of the Gospel I have ever seen. It is a pastoral letter from a concerned leader who wants to offer hope and correct what he sees as a wildly off course perspective other churches and leaders have been offering that has become damaging to the church as a whole and people.

I really, really want to believe the perspective that Bell offers. Too many people have reduced this book to Bell claiming there is no such thing as hell. This is unfair and not true. Bell makes it clear that there is a hell'the real issue people have is how he defines and interprets hell.

Like I said, I REALLY want to believe Bell's book which is essentially a discourse on the love of God and how it works out through the gospel presentation of heaven, hell, forgiveness, the cross and more. I am not saying I disbelieve or disavow what Bell is saying'I simply need more. The line between truth and heresy is razor thin and Bell tightrope walks it on several occasions but in my opinion never actually falls into heresy.

As a pastoral letter (love letter really) I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Unfortunately Bell makes some extraordinary claims in his interpretation of hell. As we have heard before extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and Bell simply doesn't offer it.

The first third of the book which focuses on heaven is well backed up by other writers such as N.T. Wright and Randy Alcorn. Most particularly Bell has the solid theological, hermeneutical and exegetical work of Wright holding him aloft throughout. The problem is no such work seems to exist to undergird his interpretation of hell. If there is he does not tell the reader.
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