Is Gandhi in hell? What’s more, what is hell? Or heaven, for that matter?
These are some of the questions that have sparked a bit of a firestorm around Rob Bell’s new book Love Wins: a book about heaven hell and the fate of everyone who ever lived. This first came across my radar screen when I read a post on Tony Jones’s blog late last week about the growing attention and criticism about this book. Then I did some searching and saw that it has even made a splash on the national news scene from CNN to ABC.
Here’s the book promo video:
Controversy in and of itself isn’t surprising with Rob Bell. That’s happened before. What is striking is that judgment has been leveled by a number of people who haven’t even read the book yet because it has not yet been released!
Ultimately the controversy stems from the fact that Bell is raising core questions about issues that are central to the Christian faith. He has posed the questions in ways that have led some to conclude that Bell is promoting something called Universalism; a doctrine where everyone gets saved, no matter what. Again, these are all assumptions because none of his critics have actually read the book yet. The only worthwhile critique I’ve read so far is Greg Boyd’s, namely because he actually has read the book. (As a side note, as an Anabaptist, it’s worth paying attention to Boyd partly because he’s grown very close to Mennonites in recent years, even flirting with the idea of joining MCUSA.) read more »