Case in point: Love Wins, by Rob Bell. The book purports to be “about heaven, hell, and the fate of every person who ever lived.” I don’t normally publicize my thoughts when I disagree with someone, so why critique this book? The answer is simple: Bell is popular; the book has received a great deal of press; and the problems he poses strike the core of the gospel.
Bell does make some valid points in his book. To give just one example, he rightly points out we must present the “right” Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible: “It is about how you respond to Jesus. But it raises another question: which Jesus?” (p. 7). The question is valid. However, the problems of the book far outweigh any positives. The methods Bell uses to reach his conclusion are fraught with problems. I won’t exhaustively address the issues, but I hope the examples below paint the big picture:
Based on what the Scriptures really teach about heaven, hell, and the gospel, Bell’s work falls under the umbrella of false teaching, and therefore falls under the category of “dangerous reading.” Now, if Bell’s description of hell is wrong, then what is hell? For that, you’ll need to come back for the next post!