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Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

59 out of 81 people found this review helpful.

Ultimately does Love Win? (a real review by someone who has read the book)

Would a loving, all powerful, God sentence human souls to infinite torment and suffering for something they did in a finite amount of time? What about a child who grew up and never had the chance to get to know this loving God? What about a person who is repulsed by tho...
Would a loving, all powerful, God sentence human souls to infinite torment and suffering for something they did in a finite amount of time? What about a child who grew up and never had the chance to get to know this loving God? What about a person who is repulsed by those who claim the name of Jesus but, live a life closer to his teachings than some of his followers do?

Many people in the evangelical world find Rob Bell's style of asking more questions than giving answers unsettling. The idea that Bell might suggest something different than the modern "turn or burn" and "hellfire and brimstone" evangelism has caused quite a stir, including making Rob bell a trending twitter topic.

Weather you agree with Rob Bell or not it's is hard to deny that he has the power to reach an extremely large audience. In his latest book, Love Wins, he uses this ability to ask serious questions that deeply affect the faith of, well "Every Person Who Ever Lived."

The book is masterfully written to engage the reader with serious questions and help folks wrestle with real issues. It is not a new highly developed theological stance or a break from Bell's core convictions. However, it is a far different point of view on the bible and Christianity than the one painted by most evangelical Christians today.

With searing insight, the book puts heaven and hell under the microscope, and the message is decidedly hopeful. Yes ultimately Love Wins!

*This book has been endorsed by Eugene H. Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, and author of The Message and Greg Boyd, senior pastor at Woodland Hills Church and author of The Myth of a Christian Nation*

posted by Tom_B on March 4, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

27 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

False Teaching

I can understand the non-Christians liking this book because it does tickle the ears and remove some of the uncertainty out of things eternal. But for those of you who say you are Christian and have a relationship with God which should include fellowshipping with Him in...
I can understand the non-Christians liking this book because it does tickle the ears and remove some of the uncertainty out of things eternal. But for those of you who say you are Christian and have a relationship with God which should include fellowshipping with Him in His Word and prayer, and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit should have a little more discernment and be able to see this does not line up with the God breathed scriptures of His Holy Word. Biblical views of God, salvation, heaven and hell are not really challenged through argument but are dismissed through a series of rhetorical questions that caricature conclusions that most Christians have historically maintained on the basis of looking at relevant passages. He constantly contradicts himself throughout the whole book and ends every question with what kind of "god" would do this or what kind of "god" would do that? I guess Rob Bell's "god" and anyone elses "god" who would believe this wolf in sheeps clothing. It sure isnt the GOD of the Bible.

posted by jude3-4 on April 1, 2011

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    False Teaching

    I can understand the non-Christians liking this book because it does tickle the ears and remove some of the uncertainty out of things eternal. But for those of you who say you are Christian and have a relationship with God which should include fellowshipping with Him in His Word and prayer, and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit should have a little more discernment and be able to see this does not line up with the God breathed scriptures of His Holy Word. Biblical views of God, salvation, heaven and hell are not really challenged through argument but are dismissed through a series of rhetorical questions that caricature conclusions that most Christians have historically maintained on the basis of looking at relevant passages. He constantly contradicts himself throughout the whole book and ends every question with what kind of "god" would do this or what kind of "god" would do that? I guess Rob Bell's "god" and anyone elses "god" who would believe this wolf in sheeps clothing. It sure isnt the GOD of the Bible.

    27 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2011

    what the heck.

    i feel this book does not even come close to what the bible tells us about heaven and hell. we are all sinners and the only way we can get to heaven is by believing in Jesus. Rob Bell says that everyone goes to heaven even if they don't believe in Jesus. they go to heaven by Gods grace. God's Grace is shown, by letting jesus die for our sins so that we can be with him.

    23 out of 54 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    love wins - what the blogs missed

    Much has been written about Rob Bell's new book Love Wins.
    But - the motivation was missed.

    Yes, he seems to be re-defining hell and trying to find a way to get everyone into heaven.
    But - those are the verses. The motivation is the chorus.

    The Motivating Chorus

    Rob Bell is an excellent writer, and his book reads like a good song. Songs have verses, but it's the oft-repeated chorus that rams the thought home. I found Rob's chorus no less than four times, and I probably missed some. Listen to the chorus as it repeats itself in the quotes below.

    1. If "you were surrounded by Christians who believed that . . . you were going to leave someday and go somewhere else to be with Jesus . . . you could possibly end up in a world in which millions of people were starving, thirsty, and poor; the earth was being exploited and polluted; disease and despair were everywhere; and Christians weren't known for doing much about it. . . . That would be tragic." p. 6-7
    2. "It often appears that those who talk the most about going to heaven when you die talk the least about bringing heaven to earth right now, as Jesus taught us to pray: 'Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' At the same time, it often appears that those who talk the most about relieving suffering now talk the least about heaven when we die." P. 45
    3. "Often the people most concerned about others going to hell when they die seem less concerned with the hells on earth right now, while the people most concerned with the hells on earth right now seem the least concerned about hell after death." P. 78-79
    4. "Christians who talk the most about going to heaven while everybody else goes to hell don't throw very good parties." P. 179

    Maybe he is right.
    But CS Lewis disagreed.
    Of course Lewis smoke and drank too, so maybe he knew more than some about how to party.

    Lewis said, "If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one."

    Everybody has a right to their opinion, but nobody has a right to be wrong in their facts.
    They can't both be right. So, who is - Lewis or Bell?

    I did a Google search and found the largest private disaster relief organizations are those who believe in a literal heaven and hell, and are looking forward to the next world. Three of what are often listed as the top four (it rather depends on what kind of relief you are focusing on for who is listed as largest) are Christian organizations who are doing just what Rob Bell says isn't done. The top four are:
    1. The Red Cross
    2. The Salvation Army
    3. The Southern Baptist Convention
    4. The Roman Catholic Church

    If William Booth, the SBC and the Catholics aren't thinking about the next world, who is? And no one is helping out this world more. No one.

    Once you look further, you find that CS Lewis hit the nail on the head. Those who are looking forward to the next world are the most involved in fixing this one. From Saddleback's P.E.A.C.E. initiative to alleviate AIDS to Compassion International, Samaritans Purse, the lists are overwhelming.

    In an effort to support a wrong premise (that a literal view of heaven and hell has kept the church from being effective in the present age), Rob Bell wrote new verses to fit his chorus. The verses he changes are Biblical.

    If you

    18 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2011

    Proceed With Caution....

    Rob Bell has a lot of questionable "teachings" in his books. He must answer to the charges of using universalism and "open theology" in his teachings. It is better to buy a book on Biblical orthodoxy and be a Berean with the Scriptures "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."

    12 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    who will you believe?.........

    ....i choose to believe scripture. Sorry Mr. Bell, scripture is the word of God and is not to be interpreted any other way than how it was written,and how the author intended it to mean. There is a literal hell,Jesus warned of it many times in scripture. To be a saviour, it means to be saved from something? Why else would Jesus have to be crucified? Christianity isnt about avoiding hell. Its about being justified with God, through Jesus Christ by repenting and putting our faith in Him. For those who dont Hell is the place a just and righteous God MUST send people or hes not just, hes corrupt. Heaven is not a place for good people.Theres no one good,no not one. Its a place for bad people who have been forgiven by a righteous God. Mr. Bell stop tickling ears and interpret the Bible as it was intended. Not how YOU interpret it.

    9 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2011

    Terribly Misleading

    Satan got Eve to question what God had clearly said in the garden. She was emboldened to take what God had forbidden by the devil's clever insinuation and paid for it.

    It astounds me that in a book about heaven and hell that supposedly is teaching what the Bible says that Rob Bell would never even quote the clearest OT passages about the resurrection of the dead and the eternal damnation of sinners- Isaiah 66:22-24 and Daniel 12:2. And even more so, key NT passages like Luke 13:23-28, Mark 9:43-48, Romans 2:4-5, Romans 10:14-17, Luke 12:58-13:9, etc. These passages and others so perfectly refute the writer's conjectures that if he merely quoted them without explaining them away he would then have nothing to write about.

    The good news of the gospel is necessary because there is bad news, as Paul shows in Roman 1:18-3:20- our guilt before God and righteous condemnation of us on the day of judgment- if we're not made new creatures and forgiven in Christ. The Bible says "Flee from the wrath to come" and to bring forth fruits meet (fit) for repentance (Matthew 3:7-10). That is the response we must make to God's generous offer of mercy and grace through the death and resurrection of Christ.

    When we consider that Jesus himself warned his hearers to turn from sin or be punished in hell forever; and that he left a responsibility for us to do so in the limited time of our lives in this world in Mark 9:43-48, Luke 12:58-13:9, then anyone who claims to speak for Jesus and denies that warning and that urgency must be treated as a false teacher/prophet. Jesus loves us more than anyone else, and to deny and leave out what he has clearly said is to oppose him.

    What "Love Wins" does is give false comfort to those who have not turned from all sin and let Christ take his rightful hold on their lives (Psalm 2:10-12, Hebrews 5:9). The same type of false comfort the Serpent gave Eve in the garden.

    "Love Wins" also doesn't take into account that it is often better SHORT-TERM to disobey God than to follow Christ. There is a pleasure to sin that is very uncomfortable to forsake to the point it can be called suffering (See Hebrews 11:25, Romans 8:17). That goes against Bell's premise that hell is what we create for ourselves by disobeying God. Truly obeying God can be extremely unpleasant and only those who are totally convinced by Christ's total faithfulness and the sureness of his promises will actually be his disciples and walk the narrow way that leads to life. That is when God really does get glory. We have the privilege that we can go straight to the Bible to see those promises, the truth about heaven and hell, and the entire counsel of God regarding salvation. May all who read this not be deceived by preachers who say what appeals to the itching ears of people.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Welcome to pop religion

    Mr. Bell has managed to write a book about Universalism and disguise it as a new theology. Universalism and the so-called doctrine of free will have been around for a long time and have now evolved into a version of pop religion, or feel good religion, much like most television prosperity ministries espouse. Listening to his sermons which are available online, sounds a lot like another false teacher, Joel Osteen.

    Scriptural references are taken totally out of context and are often used without reference to related passages which disprove what Mr. Bell espouses. Paul warned us of false teachers and false prophets and Rob Bell is one of them. Only if you follow Universalism and/or the doctrine of free will and believe that they are not heretical teachings will you agree with the contents of this book.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2011

    Do not recommend...waste of time

    Asks more questions than it answers, nothing new, incorrect translation of the Greek and intellectually weak.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2011

    Very troubling

    This book was very troubling to mt. I read it through in a matter of hours, but I felt that Rob Bell was all over the place. While I agreed with some of his critizism of many Christians and churches, I feel he is reviving many of the different heresies that have been soundly put down over the centuries. He dabbles in universalism, do overs if you mess up, salvation by works etc. While I'm glad that I read the book to see what the hubbub was all about, I would not recommend it to anyone else, especially young Christians, or at least young in their faith.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2011

    beware of any book like this

    it's all opinion. how could anyone possibly know these answers outside pure hypothesis?

    6 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2011

    Don't Bother

    If you read and believe the whole Word of God, don't bother with this. If you take Oprah's "All roads/religions lead to Heaven" view, then you should buy it. Satan used scripture out of context, too. I too believe that Love wins, but this controversial garble only serves to confuse those that are not sure of The Truth before they start reading....

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2011

    Sell out of The Gospel

    In this book Rob Bell has a need to attract those who have been turned off by the True Gospel, in rhetoric soothing to our feely touchy side.

    His attempts to save God from a bad reputation are both damaging and wrought with deceit, leading unknowing souls down a path of apostasy.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2011

    HERETICAL

    this is the old lie of satan re-packaged. don't waste your money and be deceived.

    5 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    Example of philosophy of man rewriting Scripture

    This book will appeal to those who exalt their personal view of God over Scripture. For those who affrim the Bible as the word of God, this book is heresy. Love only wins when the true God is seen, loved, and treasured for who He really is.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

    Extremely Poor.....

    Absolutely nothing good to say about this book. It is so far off from Scripture that you have to totally ignore a vast majority of the Bible to believe this junk. Guess it true, folks will start looking for someone to just "tickle their ears" just because they dont like what they're are hearing.......Wake up people!!! There is a hell and without Jesus you WILL spend eternity there. Jesus himself taught there is a hell and you cant get around it no matter how hard you try to explain it away.....

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2011

    Heresy delivered via Socratic Method

    I own it and have read it - do wish Rob was right, but the Bible won't cooperate with these pleasant, popular musings. Any reader will find 160 references to hell (just in the New Testament), and 70 of them were delivered by Jesus Himself. It's possible to love and strongly disagree on an issue; this is one of those moments.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2011

    ???

    I admit that I haven't read this book, but I have read a lot about it. Can someone who has read the book please explain to me why Rob Bell believes that Jesus died on the cross if not to pay the penalty for our sins? My sincere appreciation in advance to whomever might choose to respond. Thank you!

    3 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2012

    Rob Bell, No Hell, No Justice, Oh Well!

    You silly dogmatic, legalistic, old school Christians who still believe in Hell – lighten up! That’s so first century. I mean, C-O-M-E ON! Do you expect us to believe in an eternal damnation and separation from God for all eternity for less than a century of indiscretion? Don’t you think that’s a little harsh?

    Let me illustrate:
    “So Harry.., you talked to Adolph yet?”
    “Adolph?”
    “Yeah, you know, Adolph Hitler.”
    “Adolph Hitler’s here?”
    “Yeah.., everybody’s here! Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao.., all the guys.”
    “You got to be kiddin’ me, really?”
    “No, not kidding!”
    “Wow, how’s my grandfather taking that?”
    “Awe.., no problem, the two of them, are like, best buds. Oh sure, your grandfather was a little taken back at first, but once Adolph explained his thoughts behind the whole Holocaust thing, your gramps was fine. I mean, he seemed a little weirded out at first, but now they’re practically inseparable.”
    “Really?”
    “Well.., practically.”

    This would be an interesting paradigm to say the least. And, if Mr. Bell’s theology of questions rather than answers is correct on the subject of Hell, then the whole gospel message taught in scripture is really much ado about nothing!

    According to him, centuries of Christians have co-opted the original intent of the gospel message away from a message where “Love Wins” (the title of his book), to a message of fire and brimstone, heaven and hell and to a message that is just plain mean. Of course, you have to forget about the little fact that he is in disagreement with Jesus himself (Matthew 13:36-43).

    The questioning theology which Rob Bell hides behind in his book reads more like a junior high seeker’s journal than any serious expose on the true gospel meaning. While I must admit that the idea of Hell not existing does have a certain appeal, unfortunately it’s not supported anywhere in scripture as Bell’s book suggests, even though it’s filled with out of context scripture.

    Furthermore, if Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was nothing more than a token gesture, with all roads leading to heaven regardless of your beliefs, then the very gospel message itself is a powerless and feeble attempt by an impotent god to reign in his unruly children. And though I sometimes agonize over my friends and family, who reject Christ, spending an eternity separated from God, I have to remember that God is still God.

    He is a mighty God, full of both compassion and justice and whose ways are higher than our ways. He meant what he said and continues to mean it to this day. This patience of his with mankind is expressed in 2 Peter 3:9-10.

    And though Jesus warned us about false teaching in these end times, I am still astonished at the depth of the false teaching’s penetration within the church. Rob Bell’s book is nothing more and nothing less, simply repackaged and reissued for the feel good generation of our time.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2011

    The truth can set you free

    Why fill your mind with lies and deceptions? There is a narrow road based on Gods word of salvation thru faith. All broad roads with many choices even after death will deny you the hope, peace, joy, & promise found only in the Lamb of God.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    True Gospel Denied

    -A warning from Jude (The half brother of Jesus): "Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write and exhort you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all. For certain men, who were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." "These dreamers likewise defile their flesh, despise authority, and blaspheme glorious beings." "These people blaspheme anything they do not understand, and what they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals - they destroy themselves." "These people are discontented grumblers, walking according to their desires; their mouths utter arrogant words, flattering people for their own advantage." "Remember the words foretold by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; "In the end time there will be scoffers walking according to their own ungodly desires"; these people create divisions and are merely natural, not having the spirit"

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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