Love Wins: At the Heart of Life's Big Questions

( 409 )

Overview

God Loves Us

Here's how the Traditional Story Goes… God Offers Us Everlasting Life By Grace, Freely, Through No Merit on Our Part. Unless You do Not Respond the Right Way. Then God Will Torture You Forever. In Hell.

What?

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, ...

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Overview

God Loves Us

Here's how the Traditional Story Goes… God Offers Us Everlasting Life By Grace, Freely, Through No Merit on Our Part. Unless You do Not Respond the Right Way. Then God Will Torture You Forever. In Hell.

What?

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, much better than we ever imagined.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780007420735
  • Publisher: Collins
  • Publication date: 3/28/2011
  • Pages: 202
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Rob Bell
Rob Bell
Michigan pastor Rob Bell, known for his unconventional preaching style, offers a fresh and challenging work of Christian inspiration in his new book, Velvet Elvis -- giving readers a 21st-century (and distinctly unstodgy) view of what it means to wrestle with one's faith.

Biography

Reverend Rob Bell is a bestselling Christian author and the founding pastor of Mars Hill, a rapidly growing mega-church located in Grandville, Michigan. He is the featured speaker in the first sequence of NOOMA, a series of spiritual short films that investigate questions of faith and explore the world from the perspective of Jesus. In 2005, he published his first book, Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith, a fresh take on Christianity that emphasizes inclusiveness, flexibility, love, and forgiveness. His 2007 follow-up, Sex God, explores the connections between sexuality and spirituality and was described by Publishers Weekly as a book that "joyfully ties, and then tightens, the knot between God and humankind."

Bell and his wife, Kristin, live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with their two sons.

Good To Know

A few interesting outtakes from our interview with Bell:

"I've never had a cup of coffee."

"A couple years ago, I hit my head doing a flip on a wakeboard and for three days I had to be told who I was and that I was married and had kids."

"The first time I shared the ideas for Velvet Elvis with a publisher, they were convinced that it was actually six books. I remember thinking, Six books? I don't know if I can even write one!"

"My boys and I are into any sort of board you can ride. Wakeboard, skateboard, snowboard, surf board, etc."

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    1. Hometown:
      Grand Rapids, Michigan
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 23, 1970
    2. Place of Birth:
      Lansing, Michigan
    1. Education:
      B.S., Wheaton College, 1992; M. Div., Fuller Seminary, 1995

Table of Contents

Preface: Millions of Us vii

Chapter 1 What About the Flat Tire? 1

Chapter 2 Here is the New There 21

Chapter 3 Hell 63

Chapter 4 Does God Get What God Wants? 95

Chapter 5 Dying to Live 121

Chapter 6 There are Rocks Everywhere 139

Chapter 7 The Good News is Better Than That 163

Chapter 8 The End is Here 193

Acknowledgments 199

Further Reading 201

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 409 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 413 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    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 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*

    59 out of 81 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2011

    RELAX!!!

    Wow! The warnings toward and bashing of Mr Bell in the negative reviews here is remarkable. I applaud Rob for digging deeper than surface interpretations and accepted wisdoms of the bible. Rob looks directly at the words of Jesus in a fresh and challenging perspective. I am no longer a Christian, but am VERY familiar with the bible. These are all questions I myself have had when reading the bible. He is encouraging Christians to think outside the box, especially when they believe they KNOW what God is thinking. If that scares you, perhaps Mr Bell has achieved what he set out to do- MAKE YOU THINK! Brave work...

    43 out of 62 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2011

    God wills salvation for all of us. God's will cannot be thwarted.

    Scripture tells us that God IS Love. Not loving, full of love, love like, but... LOVE. Could a God who is LOVE condemn "his" children to an eternity of suffering for a finite trespass? Why would a God who tells us to love our enemies, asks us to forgive 70x7 times, tells us to turn the other cheek... why would that God ask of us anything that "he" is unable or unwilling to do "himself?" Why would a God of LOVE demand that our redemption be won by such a violent act as crucifixion? Scripture tells us that God takes no delight in sacrifice. "For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings." -- Hosea 6:6

    "I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." -- Amos 5:21-24

    Romans 5 tells us that just as death came into the world because of one mans sin, so to salvation has come to ALL because of one mans obedience.

    Seeing a world in turmoil, God humbled "himself", and came t live among us in human form. God taught us how to live in relationship with one another. How to love unconditionally, to be gracious and merciful, to forgive; and yet we rejected that message, and killed the very son of God. Perhaps Jesus died not FOR my sins, but rather BECAUSE of them. And yet, in the ultimate display of unconditional love, God looks down from heaven and says, "I love you. I forgive you. You are my child." What greater love could there be? And now, how do we live in response to that love? We do not fathom the depth of God's grace, of God's mercy, of God's LOVE for us. I think all of us will be surprised by who we meet in heaven. Thank you Rob Bell for having the courage to write this book.

    42 out of 60 people found this review helpful.

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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.

    26 out of 55 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 March 29, 2011

    A must read!

    This book, which I devoured in just 4 days (even though I'm a slow reader), took me back to the early days of my faith in Christ, some 30(+) years ago, before I already "knew" everything (uh-hem...); to a time before I had learned all the lingo and labels and gotten thoroughly confused by denominational differences. This was a very timely and needed read. Obviously inspired, God spoke to me quite profoundly through it, and my faith has been renewed and refreshed.

    20 out of 27 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 2, 2011

    outstanding

    this God centered theology. Bell belongs up there with C.S. Lewis as one of the greats

    16 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Read the Bible for yourself

    I have a great respect for Rob Bell and only wish the best for him. His greatest gift to me has been in pushing me to think outside the norm, so that I can hold to the truths of scripture with confidence. However in this newest book he has espoused and ideal that can only be defended by using verses out of context and not providing a full picture of God who has other characteristics besides love - and all of them perfect including perfectly just.
    If you read this book, read every scripture quoted in the larger context (usually the complete book) in the book in which it was written

    15 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2011

    can't wait for this book

    Rob Bell has great insight into the heart of God. Of course stodgy traditional american church fed "christians" are going to find fault with his open thoughts. It is going to my christmas gift to all my "christian" friends and family :o)

    13 out of 27 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2011

    I wish everyone could read this book without an agenda

    As Christ said: "He whose has ears, let them hear.". If you want to learn alot about a person's heart, then listen to the criticism they unleash from their mouth. It is terribly sad to read some of what is being said about this book. As I was once told by a wise man: "You have truly be ome educated when you realize how much you do not know.". From the very first page, Rob compels the reader to ask better questions. Read, listen and pray; then trust the Holy Spirit. Life with God is a journey of the heart. For those that criticize: are you so sure your heart is beating in rhythm with God's?

    11 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2011

    WELL WORTH READING

    Rob Bell's LOVE WINS is about God's love, heaven, hell and who will be saved. One of its biggest recommendations lies in those who who have railed against it. Whether or not you agree with it, this book is well worth reading.

    10 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    Amazing

    This makes the bible make sense, it makes God and his love for his creation make sense.

    10 out of 15 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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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Please be careful

    We are to work out our salvation "with fear and trembling"; Jesus speaks of Hell more than anyone else does within the Bible. I would recommend reading The Shack by William P. Young, if you are looking for a new perspecive on Jesus.

    9 out of 33 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2011

    Bell Casts A Fresh Light On Biblical Beliefs

    It's hard not to read this book and walk away unchanged or unmoved by what Rob Bell has provided. This book is a must read. I'd also recommend another life changing book, "When God Stopped Keeping Score" which will change everything that you only thought you knew about God and forgiveness.

    8 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2011

    Love Wins. Period.

    I haven't read this book, but just reading the comments on here, I felt like I had to say something. I'm not a Christian, used to be, but I found my own path in a universe that loves us and is full of beauty. Why would you be so hateful towards a great man who loved so many, and say he'll burn in hell just because he doesn't believe what you do? What if he's right and you're wrong? Personally, I'd say that he would be more likely to go to heaven than a bunch of the Christians I've seen here in the Bible Belt for loving from his heart, rather than loving out of fear of going to hell and because an awfully mistranslated book says so. If you believe I'm wrong about the bible, try and research it. Find the original texts and look up the original translations, it's nothing alike. Enough of that though, Ghandi was clearly a man who loved, so why should he go hell? Why should anyone who truly loved others go to hell? Isn't that what Christ taught, love? Love. Isn't that what all great religious and spiritual leaders taught? Personally, I wouldn't want to worship an "all loving God" who damns good people to hell because they don't believe in that specific deity, but practice what their very essence is. What about you? It's time we all go back to love, just love. Love and Light to all of you <3 Namaste :)

    8 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    Bold

    This book is courageous, important, and well-done (although not exactly groundbreaking). It builds on works like Gulley and Mulholland's "If Grace is True." In either case, it echoes what my grandmother taught me about a God who is love (and who knows more about love than grandmothers).

    8 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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