Love Wins??

     Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, And The Fate Of Every Person Who Ever Lived - Rob Bell 3/5 stars

     I remember when this book first came out people lost their minds! It seemed as if everyone had an opinion and if you weren't against it then you were part of the problem and declared an enemy of Christianity. Sadly, I was one of those Christians. It doesn't make sense does it? As a Christian you're job is to show some sort of compassion, and love all people, but when this book came out Rob Bell was the most hated man in America. It's interesting that no one talks about religion and if you do you're attacked because you don't follow the mainstream beliefs of Christianity. The problem is that Christianity is full of hypocrites that talk a great game but when it comes to actually following the Bible they fail miserably.

     Now that I'm in a different mindset and removed from my Christian faith I thought I'd read Rob's book again. The difference now is that I can do it with an open mind. That's really the best way to read Love Wins. If you begin reading this ready to attack it then the message itself is going to be lost. You're so set in your belief system of hell and eternal punishment that nothing is going to change your mind. It's okay. Most of us are taught that there's a heaven for good people and then for those that reject Jesus and the Bible well, sorry about your luck but you're gonna burn in hell. There's no leeway or middle ground. You have one chance to repent or else.


       We want to project this image of Jesus but what we're taught flies in the face of that. God is often portrayed as a jealous wife, or girlfriend and because of our free will (which God gave us) we face the possibility of being cast into hell. There's no second chances, but Love Wins shows us another possibility and who knows maybe he's right and they're wrong. Rob shows us a lot of proof that what we're taught could be wrong. His proof at times seems a little wonky but let's be honest and admit that all religion is full of contradictions and ideas that just don't make a lot of sense. There are a lot of rules and no real wiggle room. Love Wins is pretty convincing when you look at the state of the world we live in now. Could this be the hell that we're so afraid of? Rob's book shows us that it's okay to question what we believe and seek out the truth. That's something that goes against what we're taught to believe but as I read Love Wins I could see the point that he was trying to make. 

      Is it faulty? Any book like this is, but the thing to keep in mind is that it opens up a dialogue with other Christians to seek out what the Bible is trying to tell us. It's interesting that God has created us only to allow us to suffer for eternity in a lake of fire. If he loves us wouldn't he try and save all of us? What about free will? Is that our true downfall? If that hadn't been given to us then what? See? There are a lot of questions that Bell doesn't answer, and maybe he can't. What he shows us makes sense because it portrays the God that we are taught to believe in and then there are other ways that you can be a follower of Jesus that hardly anyone actually practices. The idea of a Heaven on Earth seems like a hippie concept but isn't that what Jesus wanted us to do? He wanted us to teach people about him and not hell but somewhere along the way the wires got crossed. 

     Love Wins does raise more questions than it actually answers, but it's an interesting book that shows us that there's more to faith and religion than hell. It's not something that you'll find in your local Baptist Church or any other church for that matter. Hell drives the point of religion home and if you want to be a Christian it's your job to hammer that into people's heads. The idea of choice has to be removed and in order to have a working relationship you must fear him. Is Rob Bell the Devil? Of course not and the book is not as evil or as vile as people would have you believe. It's an interesting look at faith that could be wrong, but we're all in danger of being wrong. That's what faith is all about. It's not a perfect book, but it does raise some interesting points and allows us to look at religion in a different way. An interesting read that most Christians would love to erase, but they can't so you should borrow a copy from your local library.